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Ireland - Spain Ferry Changes
The Port of Cork says it will continue to pursue other ferry link options to Spain after confirmation from Brittany Ferries that it is axing its Cork-Santander route after just two years over low freight numbers.
Following days of speculation, the ferry company confirmed that it is moving its Ireland-Spain sailings from Cork to Rosslare Europort, with a new arrival port in Bilbao. The first sailing is due to take place on February 28.
Like the service being axed, it will operate twice a week and will incorporate a weekly Ireland-France rotation.
All customers already booked on affected sailings from Cork will be given the option of transferring their booking to sailing between Rosslare and Bilbao or Roscoff.
The company said an allowance will be given to cover additional transfers, or a full refund will be provided to those who choose to cancel.
The company emphasised its “continuing commitment” to the popular Cork-Roscoff service which carries nearly 100,000 holidaymakers between Ireland and France every season.
Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu said the decision to relocate its Ireland-Spain route from Cork to Rosslare was not taken lightly and follows extensive consultation with freight customers who sought better road connections and reduced driving distances.
“We opened the route in 2018 with a two-year trial window,” he said.
“While passenger numbers have been encouraging, the reality is that freight numbers, which are key to route viability, were not sufficiently robust.
“However I want to make it clear that we remain committed to Cork, with our flagship Pont-Aven cruise-ferry service to Roscoff. We’re also committed to an Ireland-Spain route, now via Rosslare, and we’ll look after existing passengers whose future travel will be affected by this change.”
The ferry company said hauliers have told them that Rosslare, given its proximity to Dublin and the east coast road network, is a preferred option.
Hauliers operating on the European mainland have also said that Bilbao is more attuned to freight traffic and has easier transport links into Europe.
In a statement this lunchtime, the Port of Cork said the ferry company’s decision was surprising and very disappointing.
“However we will continue to pursue other options for linking Cork and Northern Spain,” a spokesperson said.
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Last edited by dghr272; 30-01-2020 at 13:46.