Brittany Ferries confirms order for new LNG passenger ferry

Honfleur will be built by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellshaft and sail from Portsmouth in June 2019
Brittany Ferries confirms order for new LNG passenger ferry
honfleuer will be powered by LNG and diesel-electric propulsion systems (Image: Brittany Ferries)

By Rebecca Gibson |

Brittany Ferries has confirmed its order for a new £175 million (US$223 million) LNG cruise ferry, which will join its 10-ship fleet in early 2019.

Named Honfleur in honour of the seaside destination on the Seine estuary in France’s Normandy region, the 1,680-passenger newbuild will be constructed at the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellshaft yard in Germany. Most of the construction work will take place in 2018, with the steel being cut in February, the keel being laid in June and the ship floating out from her building dock in November. Following interior outfitting and technical works, Honfleuer will undergo sea trials in March 2019 before being delivered and named on 30 April, and entering service in early June.

Honfleur will be powered by LNG fuel and four main engines, which will feed electric generators and two electric shaft propulsion motors with two fixed pitch efficient propellers. Using LNG will eliminate sulphur emissions, significantly reduce nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and carbon dioxide emissions, making Honfleur the most environmentally friendly vessel operating regularly on the English Channel. The diesel-electric propulsion system will optimise fuel consumption at reduced sailing speeds and boosts passenger comfort.

To address the issues related to the lack of LNG storage facilities in ports, Brittany Ferries has partnered with Total to make Honfleur the world’s first passenger ship to be equipped with onboard cranes that allow 40-foot (ISO standard) LNG containers to be lifted into a fixed position.

The containers will be transported by truck from an LNG terminal to Ouistreham, France and then driven onboard so they can be positioned alongside a fixed LNG storage tank at the rear of the ferry. During the next port call, empty containers will be removed and replenished with full units.

“It is important that we invest in new technologies and new vessels that respect the environment in which we operate,” said Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries. “Equally, we must not forget that our customers expect Brittany Ferries ships to be comfortable, relaxing and adapted to the digital age. These objectives are compatible and I believe Honfleur will set a new standard for ferries operating on the Channel.”

Highlights onboard Honfleur will include 257 passengers cabins, an à la carte restaurant, a self-service facility, a café, a bar, two cinemas, and play areas and digital spaces for both young children and teenagers. Like other ships in Brittany Ferries’ fleet, she will also feature boutique shopping and showcase around 1,000 pieces of original artwork by local artists.

Guests can also visit the digital information lounge and use large interactive screens to research available onboard services, connection times, places to visit in the destination and recommendations provided by other passengers.

In a first for Brittany Ferries, free wi-fi will be available throughout all cabins and public spaces, exterior decks and car decks. Each cabin will feature a TV, while front and rear cameras on the ship will enable passengers to track her progress during the journey.

“This is a ship that has been truly designed with the customer at heart and Honfleur will be the first full-service cruise ferry to embrace the digital age,” said Mike Bevens, Brittany Ferries’ commercial director. “She will reaffirm our position as a class-leading operator thanks to LNG propulsion and an interior that has been carefully considered to meet the needs of everyone. It’s a huge step forward for us, a clear statement of our intent for the future and a reassuring signal for our customers, 8 in 10 of whom are British.”

Honfleur will replace Normandie on the route between Portsmouth, UK and Caen, France, operating three daily return sailings alongside Brittany Ferries’ Mont St Michel. Normandie will move east to serve the Portsmouth to Le Havre, France route.

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