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Cork Independent

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Cork-Santander to go year-round

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018 4:57pm

Brexit may serve to create closer links between Cork ad the north of Spain, it was revealed this week.

Brittany Ferries has introduced a new winter sailing schedule due to the demand for freight traffic from Ireland to Spain.

The Cork to Santander route was launched in 2018, and its success has lead the company to extending the route, and is the first time that Brittany Ferries will offer a year-round service out of Ireland.

The Connemara will now depart Cork on Mondays and Fridays at 11.30pm, arriving in Santander at 8am on Wednesday and Sunday mornings respectively.

Brittany Ferries’ Cork to Roscoff route serviced by the Pont-Aven, which has been operating for 40 years, will resume sailings in March 2019. The Connemara will also resume its weekly return sailing from Cork to Roscoff at this time.

Brittany Ferries say that freight figures since the introduction of the new Cork to Santander route have been “encouraging with nearly 2,600 freight units carried to date with demand rising significantly in the last month”.

The schedule has been changed to make the route more suitable for transporters in Ireland.

The ferry will leave Cork on Mondays and Wednesdays, arriving on Wednesday and Sunday mornings after a two day sailing. Return sailings leaving from Santander are on Sunday at midday and Thursday at 5.30pm arriving in Cork on Monday at 3pm and Thursday at 7pm respectively.

Simon Wagstaff, Brittany Ferries freight director said: “We consulted with hauliers who unanimously fed back that they would like to see later evening departures to allow time to travel to the port. This in turn allows for an earlier start in Santander for the onward journey.

“As Brexit uncertainty continues, our new service provides a guaranteed connection for exporting freight from Ireland directly to mainland Europe, allowing freight carriers and passengers to bypass the UK and French land-bridge to Spain.

“We’ve had an encouraging start to the change in schedule, but time will tell,” he added.

Conor Mowlds, Port of Cork Chief Commercial Officer added: “Freight figures to date using this RoPax (roll-on/roll-off passenger) service are very encouraging and the new schedule will help boost further freight during the winter season. With Brexit negotiations developing weekly, the option for freight carriers to bypass the UK land bridge will be even more attractive and we are committed to working closely with Brittany Ferries to ensure this route continues to be a success.”

The winter schedule runs until Friday 1 March 2019, with the exception of Christmas and New Year weeks.

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