Art will rule the waves as Brittany Ferries brings a taste of Spain to Ireland in the form of the new cruise-ferry Salamanca, which officially launched at Rosslare Europort yesterday morning, November 16th, 2022.
Salamanca, named after the stunning heritage city in Castilla y Léon in Spain, replaces the Connemara vessel, offering more than double the capacity, with space for over 1000 passengers in 343 comfortable cabins, 22 of which are especially designed for passengers travelling with their pet dog.
The new state-of-the-art ship is also the first LNG-powered ferry to serve Ireland and promises lower emissions and a smoother, quieter voyage for travellers.
In addition, the luxury cruise ferry offers a destination-themed experience from the moment you step on board, with bespoke interiors throughout, and local Spanish cuisine cooked by Brittany Ferries’ expert chefs in the Azul and Taberna de Tapas restaurants.
The ships’ numerous cosy and comfortable lounges offer plenty of space to relax, while the central Plaza Mayor bar – designed to evoke Salamanca city’s spectacular main square – is a buzzing and convivial meeting place.
Salamanca also boasts a curated collection of over 200 artworks by local Spanish artists, for passengers to peruse at their leisure.
Frederic Dumoulin, Chief Commercial Office for Brittany Ferries stated:
“Salamanca is a modern and luxurious cruise ferry, connecting the Emerald Isle with Green Spain. She is spacious, comfortable, and powered by cleaner fuel and the latest software technology - delivering a more efficient and smoother voyage for passengers.
"However, it is the passenger experience on board that she really excels. Passengers will feel as though they have been transported to a Spanish city from the moment they step on board. From curated artworks to local cuisine, there are echoes of the Castilla y Léon region throughout.”
At the official launch event, Brittany Ferries also announced that it would now be accepting passengers on foot and bike, for the first time ever on this route.
Mr. Dumoulin added:
"Until now it has been very difficult to accommodate bike and foot passengers on this route. Now we have the right ship, on the right route, so I am delighted to announce a change.
"From today Brittany Ferries confirms to Irish travellers that they may travel to Spain by car, by bike, or on foot. A sustainable tourism option, that’s perfectly aligned with our cleaner greener ship.
"Cyclists and foot passengers will boost the number of passengers travelling to Spain and vice versa. Our aim is to add 50,000 in total this year. That’s a big challenge, but we are up for it.”
Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager of Southern Europe, said:
“We very much welcome the launch of the new Brittany Ferries ship, the Salamanca, operating between Bilbao and Rosslare. The Salamanca is really good news for tourism from Spain, tripling the capacity of the existing service to 90,000 passengers per year.
"As an island, the importance of convenient, direct access cannot be overstated – it is absolutely critical to restoring growth in inbound tourism.
"Tourism Ireland will take every opportunity to highlight the service and recently hosted an event for key travel trade and media contacts in Bilbao to celebrate the launch of the new ship. We already work very closely with Brittany Ferries and we look forward to continuing to co-operate with them to maximise the promotion of this service.”
Rubén López, of the Spanish Tourism Office in Ireland, added:
“We are delighted with this new Brittany Ferries passenger route to Northern Spain from Ireland. We are both of Celt origin so we feel a very strong bond with our Irish visitors. The north of Spain has a lot to offer in terms of food, wine, and culture so we are sure the Irish visitor will enjoy visiting the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia.
"The Irish visitor will also find good value in Northern Spain. Congratulations to Brittany Ferries and the best of luck with this new venture."