Fire breaks out on Brittany Ferries Plymouth to Santander route, no-one hurt

A fire broke out Monday on a cruise ferry carrying hundreds of passengers from Britain to Spain, but the blaze was brought under control with no-one hurt, French maritime authorities said.

Fire breaks out on Brittany Ferries Plymouth to Santander route, no-one hurt
The Pont-Aven ferry was travelling to Santander from Plymouth. Photo: Brittany Ferries.

The ship, operated by France's Brittany Ferries, raised the alarm around 4:00 am (0200 GMT) when a fire was detected in one of the two engine rooms as it was off the coast of northwest France.

“The fire was quickly brought under control and there were no injured among the 766 passengers and 142 crew,” the regional maritime authorities said.   

A French navy helicopter carrying firefighters and experts was dispatched to the vessel which was travelling from the southern English port of Plymouth to Santander in northern Spain.

On board were travellers from Britain, France, Spain, the United States, China and Poland.

The MV Pont-Aven, which can carry up to 2,400 passengers and 650 cars, is the largest vessel in the company's fleet, measuring 184 metres (603 foot) in length. 

It is particularly popular with Brits travelling to Spain with their dogs as it provides on-board kennelling..

It will dock at Brest port in the northwestern Brittany region later on Monday for checks.

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Direct ferry route announced between Ireland and Spain

A new ferry route between Ireland and Spain has been launched by Brittany Ferries.

Direct ferry route announced between Ireland and Spain

The company, which already operates regular sailings between Bilbao and Santander to UK ports, will run a twice-weekly service between the northern Spanish port of Santander and Cork on Ireland’s south coast beginning from the end of April.

Britanny Ferries announced that the new route would be provided by the 'Connemara', a ferry equipped to carry around 500 passengers with space for 195 cars.

“This is a significant move for Brittany Ferries, offering haulage companies a direct route to Spain and passengers a far greater range of holiday options from Cork,” said Hugh Bruton, general manager with Brittany Ferries Ireland.

“As a destination so-called green Spain promises visitors a wealth of opportunities. It hosts sweeping sandy beaches, snow covered mountains just an hour from the port, fabulous food and offers visitors a welcome as warm as the Spanish will receive when they join us in Ireland,” he said.

It is the first time Brittany Ferries has offered a route between Ireland and Spain, although in 2014, LD Lines launched a connection between Rosslare and Gijon but the service only last a season.

The first tickets will go on sale from the end of January but the fares have yet to be announced.