Ferry Business - Spring/Summer 2018

International Cruise & Ferry Review Ferry Business 92 leet renewal is a priority for Brittany Ferries, says Christophe Mathieu, CEO of the French- owned shipping company. In particular, Mathieu is referring to the line’s new LNG-powered ship, Honfleur, which he says will ‘set a new standard for ferries operating on the Channel’ and demonstrates a commitment to green travel. In December 2017, the European Investment Bank (EIB), Brittany Ferries and Société Générale bank finalised a financing agreement for the new, greener ferry. The deal is the first to be granted under EIB’s €750 million (US$936 million) Green Shipping Guarantee programme, launched in 2015. “We must invest in technologies and vessels that respect the environment in the regions where we operate,” says Mathieu. “But equally, we must not forget that travellers expect our ships to be comfortable, relaxing and adapted to the digital age. These objectives are compatible.” Honfleur will arrive on Brittany Ferries’ most popular Caen-Portsmouth route between France and the UK in 2019. “As well as being a clear signal of intent, and indeed confidence, Honfleur will also be the most environmentally friendly vessel regularly operating on the Channel,” Mathieu comments. “That makes me very proud.” Every aspect of Honfleur’s interior has been carefully considered with the digital age in mind. “Free wi-fi will come as standard in all cabins and public spaces, and a digital information lounge will serve as her focal point, revealing more of the fabulous destinations that we serve,” Mathieu explains. “Quiet lounges, panoramic views and reading areas will complement cabins designed to sooth and reflect the unique ambience of a short voyage by sea.” Noting that travelling by sea should always be the ‘richest’ way to travel, Mathieu adds: “Of course Honfleur will also come with a top-class, à la carte restaurant serving locally sourced meals prepared by French chefs. In addition, Honfleur will host a self-service facility, café and bar serving light snacks.” Two cinemas have been included in the plan, alongside other areas designed to keep children and teenagers entertained. Like other vessels in the fleet, says Mathieu, the Green machine Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, tells Anthony Pearce how the company’s first LNG-powered ship is a bold step towards more sustainable travel INTERVIEW ”We must invest in technologies and vessels that respect the environment in regions where we operate”