Brittany Ferries has launched the UK’s first LNG-powered ferry which sailed from Portsmouth this week on its inaugural voyage to Spain.

Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca (pictured) left the port on Sunday 27th with more than 600 passengers and freight vehicles destined for Bilbao.The ship will make two round trips to Bilbao each week and make a weekly return-voyage to Cherbourg in France.

The vessel is Brittany Ferries' first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered vessel. The ferry operator plans to have four LNG ferries sailing from Portsmouth by 2025, including two hybrids.

Salamanca’s LNG-powered sister-ship Santoña joins the fleet next year, connecting Portsmouth with Santander. Two LNG-electric hybrid vessels will launch a service connecting Portsmouth with St Malo and Caen in 2025.

Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO, said: "LNG-powered ships like Salamanca are a clear statement of our commitment to the future and to fleet renewal. They are cleaner vessels, significantly cutting air quality emissions like soot and sulphur.

"That’s good news for port partners today, but they could be even greener in the years to come. Salamanca is capable of running on future fuels like e-methane or bio-methane if these become available in volume. Either has the potential to cut carbon footprint significantly, addition to the cleaner air that LNG-power brings from day one.”

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Brittany Ferries has also relaunched its ferry from Plymouth to Santander this week. On Sunday (27 March) Pont-Aven sailed into Plymouth and returned to Santander in Spain for the first time since the service was suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The port also saw the return of the ferry Armorigue which resumed daily rotations from Plymouth to Roscoff, France on Monday.

“We are proud to be returning to our home port Plymouth after what has been the most difficult period in our 50-year history,” said Nigel Wonnacott, group head of external affairs, Brittany Ferries.

“Our flagship Pont-Aven will make two round trips a week, rather than one as it has in the past.”

Tom Batchelor, ABP’s South West port manager said: “We are thrilled to welcome the return of Brittany Ferries services here at ABP Plymouth. We expect a busy season.” Christophe Mathieu CEO Brittany Ferries. “The return of favourites like Bretagne at the end of March, coincide with the arrival of our first LNG-powered vessel Salamanca. She is a symbol of our commitment to our customers, our routes and to a more sustainable future. Three sister ships will join her in the years ahead, as fleet ren