Ferry links between Ireland and France continue to grow, providing convenient travel options for passengers and their pets. Brittany Ferries has announced that its Armorique cruise-ferry will be operating a service to Brittany every weekend during November and December 2023. The ferry will depart from Ringaskiddy in Cork on Saturday afternoons and return from France on Fridays. After a six-week pause for a winter refit, Armorique will resume its Cork/Roscoff route on February 9, 2024.
This will be the first time in Brittany Ferries’ 50-year history that the Cork to Roscoff link will be available during the winter months, continuing with sailings in November and December 2023, as well as in February and March 2024. Hugh Bruton, Brittany Ferries’ general manager for Ireland, expressed excitement about the extended service.
Starting from March 22, the Pont-Aven, with its 650 cabins, will also join Armorique on the route, offering two weekly departures throughout the summer and autumn seasons. Brittany Ferries also operates year-round sailings from Rosslare to Cherbourg and has recently announced that three ships will serve the direct sailings between Ireland and Spain next year. The expanded schedule is now available for bookings until November 2024. Prices for fares to France start from €179 each way for a car plus two people with reclining seats, or €210 with a cabin.
The increase in ferry capacity between Ireland and France reflects the growing demand for travel as restrictions due to the pandemic are lifted. Stena Vision, a new addition this summer, is a 1,300-passenger ship that sails between Rosslare and Cherbourg, offering luxurious amenities such as a spa and 485 passenger cabins. Stena Line allows bookings for its France sailings with a €100 deposit. Additionally, there has been a rise in the number of pets traveling on ferries, with Stena Line reporting that nearly 70,000 pets have taken ferry trips this year. The pet-friendly cabins on the Rosslare to Cherbourg services have been in high demand, with 84% booking rate this summer. Stena Line has also introduced a new pet lounge (£15 per pet) on its Stena Superfast service between Northern Ireland and Scotland for 2023.
On a different note, Irish Ferries has reintroduced its Oscar Wilde ferry on the Rosslare to Pembroke route. This ship can accommodate up to 2,080 passengers across 134 cabins. While Irish Ferries does not offer pet-friendly cabins on its French routes, passengers traveling from Dublin to Cherbourg year-round can choose from their Epsilon and WB Yeats ships. Their wine mini-cruises to France will continue until October 12, with the W.B. Yeats ferry offering a hosted onboard tasting event and shopping at partner outlets in Cherbourg. Prices for this package start from €448 for two people with a car and a cabin. Irish Ferries also provides a ‘Sail-Rail’ offer, where customers can claim back 10% of the ferry crossing cost if they book an onward train journey from Cherbourg. Keep an eye out for their 2025 France fares and specials, set to be announced soon.
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