Brittany Ferries’ super gas ferry prepares to enter the Suez Canal on its way to Europe
Brittany Ferries’ newest and greenest ship, the Salamanca, is preparing to cross the Suez Canal en route from China to Europe.
The ship departed Weihai, where it was built, in early December 2021 and is on a two-month voyage to Bilbao, Spain, the port for which the ferry was built.
Salamanca weighs over 42,000 gross tonnes, meaning it will be one of the largest ships to service the company, which is UK headquartered in Plymouth, and is 215 meters long and will be the longest.
The transit of the canal is a major stop on the 10,322 nautical mile journey from Salamanca. With a nautical mile equivalent to approximately 1.15 statute (or statute) miles, the voyage is 11,878 miles, more than 20 times the 555 nautical miles from Portsmouth to Bilbao, one of two routes the ship will operate from. by the end of March 2022.
But the journey is much shorter and faster thanks to the Suez Canal. The 120-mile man-made Egyptian waterway connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, dividing Africa from Asia.
It is by far the shortest sea route between the Indian Ocean and Europe, saving Salamanca and her crew around 10 days and 5,000 miles of navigation compared to the route south around Cape Town. Good Hope at the tip of Africa. Salamanca is due to arrive at the port of Suez, at the southern end of the canal on New Years Day, before entering the canal a day later.
This follows a 7,529 nautical mile voyage from China, crossing the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. The trip included stops in Singapore and Columbo (Sri Lanka) to pick up fuel, fresh water and provisions, as well as additional crew members from Brittany Ferries who use the delivery trip to familiarize themselves with the ship and undergo our extensive training. before welcoming passengers on board.
While anchored off Singapore, Salamanca was supplied with liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the first time since its delivery.
This is Brittany Ferries’ first ship to be powered by LNG, which emits virtually no sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide or particulate emissions from combustion. In addition, since LNG burns more efficiently than diesel, there is a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) production of around 25%.
Brittany Ferries worked with fuel supplier Repsol to build LNG bunkering terminals at the ports of Bilbao and Santander for Salamanca, and its sistership Santoña, arriving in 2023.
After passing through the Suez Canal, Salamanca will sail west across the Mediterranean, making further stops in Valletta (Malta) and Cartagena (Spain) to take on more LNG, supplies and crew members. .
It will then cross the Strait of Gibraltar and head towards the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay, before arriving at its Spanish home port of Bilbao on January 12.
After dry docking and crew training, the vessel will enter service on March 27, 2022, carrying passengers and cargo on the routes from Portsmouth to Bilbao and Cherbourg.
Although primarily used on routes out of Portsmouth, Salamanca’s sister ship Galica was tested in Plymouth when it entered service in 2020, in part to verify that the ferry could enter Millbay port. , which means that the company could then use its twin ships to operate from Plymouth.
Christophe Mathieu, Managing Director of Brittany Ferries, said: “She is large and beautiful, promising even more comfort, style and space for our passengers and freight customers sailing across the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay.
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“But above all, Salamanca will be our first ship to be powered by cleaner, greener LNG. It will indeed be one of the very first ferries powered by LNG to sail in French, British or Spanish waters. And in 2023, 2024 and 2025, it will be joined by three other twin ships powered by LNG. This is a green step for Brittany Ferries as we continue our journey to reduce our environmental footprint and be the leader in the sustainable shipping industry.
Salamanca owes its name to the ancient university city of the region of Castile and León, in the north-west of Spain. The 23-knot vessel can accommodate 2.7 km of vehicles and 1,015 passengers in 341 en-suite cabins, some of which can accommodate pets. Onboard facilities include a restaurant, tapas bar, duty free shop, bar, children’s play rooms and spacious outdoor promenade decks.