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A new “cruise-ferry” will begin sailing directly from Ireland to Spain twice a week

Brittany Ferries has formally inaugurated the Salamanca, a 214.5m-long “cruise-ferry,” at Rosslare Europort.

The new ship will take over the direct route from Rosslare to Bilbao in Spain, transporting over 1,000 people and, for the first time on the route, allowing passengers on foot and by bike.

Salamanca will sail twice weekly from Rosslare to Bilbao, embarking on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Sailings to Spain take 29 to 30 hours and include one to two nights on board.

“From the minute they arrive on board, passengers will feel as if they have been transported to a Spanish city,” said Frederic DuMoulin, Brittany Ferries’ chief commercial officer. Going to press, one-way fares for two people and a car sailing from Rosslare to Bilbao start at €232, including reclining seats. The cost of a car and a cabin for two persons starts at €342 each trip. Accommodation is also required on the sailings, with seats beginning at €12 each way and four-berth cabins starting at €135 each trip this month.

Salamanca replaces a previous vessel, Connemara, increasing passenger capacity, space, and creature comforts on what is now Ireland’s only ferry route to Spain.

Brittany Ferries claims that 22 of the 343 rooms are “specifically built for guests travelling with their pet dog.” Pet-friendly and upgraded cabins cost extra. “Until now, accommodating bike and foot passengers on this route has been extremely challenging,” Mr. DuMoulin explained. “Now that we have the proper ship and are on the correct track, I am thrilled to announce a change.”

The new ship, which will carry Irish tourists to Spain, will promote inbound tourism. In 2019, Ireland welcomed 431,000 Spanish visitors to island, spending €218 million.
“The Salamanca is fantastic news for Spanish tourism, increasing the capacity of the present route to 90,000 passengers each year,” said Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Southern Europe Manager.

“As an island, the necessity of easy, direct access cannot be overemphasized; it is absolutely crucial to restoring inbound tourism growth.”

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