The U.K.’s Ferry Operator of the Year 2006, Brittany Ferries
, has purchased the Incat-built 321 ft. fast ferry Normandie Express in what it says should be taken as an indication of its intention to maintain its English Channel ferry
service between the ports of Cherbourg and Portsmouth.
Assisted by the broking firms Incat Europe Ltd
and London-based Mason Shipbrokers, High Speed Catamarans BV has sold the ferry in a $39.51m deal.
Introduced on bareboat charter in 2005, the Normandie Express provides a fast ferry crossing to Cherbourg and Caen from Portsmouth operating from mid-March until mid-November. With crossing times of only 180 minutes to Cherbourg and 225 minutes to Caen, the ship runs up to two return trips a day to Cherbourg and a daily service to Caen every Friday, Saturday and Sunday supplementing the three return crossings a day by conventional cruise-ferry.
Brittany Ferries is a ferry operator on the western English Channel and operates one of the most modern fleets in Europe with eight ships, including the Incat 86 metre vessel Normandie Vitesse, and over 2,500 employees. It accounts for over 50% of the traffic on the Western Channel, carrying in excess of 2.6 million passengers, 780,000 cars and 170,000 trucks a year.
Normandie Express is not only the largest fast craft in the French operator’s fleet but is also the largest of its type on the English Channel, boasting capacity for up to 900 persons and 267 cars.