Date: 28 Nov 2007 00:00 Source: Brittany Ferries
The largest and fastest freight ship on the Channel has started operating out of Poole Harbour.
Brittany Ferries' £50 million vessel Cotentin will sail to Cherbourg during the week and from Poole to Santander in northern Spain every weekend.
Poole Harbour Commissioners dredged the main entrance and channels to the port to be able to take larger vessels such as the Cotentin.
At 165 metres long and 26.8m wide, with a cruising speed of 23 knots, she has 120 cabins and will be able to take 120 freight units.
This is 2.5 times the capacity of the Coutances, the old freight ferry which she replaces.
The route to Spain will allow the rapidly growing market to be served and permit transporters to avoid the weekend driving ban in France.
PHC chief executive Jim Stewart said he was very pleased the port had managed to secure the freight ferry over its rival Portsmouth.
"We were delighted with this news. It was critical to the future financial health of the port," he said.
"It helps to maintain links between Poole and Cherbourg we feel are important with a number of different links, commercial, social, tourism and educational."
Brittany Ferries says its new ship, built by the Aker shipyard in Helsinki, sets new standards in comfort for drivers.
Its air-conditioned en suite cabins allow single occupancy for those travelling alone, with an additional berth for a companion.
Truck drivers will also have the luxury of a self-service restaurant, bar, games area, TV lounges and fitness area.
For more information or to book a crossing, please visit our Freight Ferry site.
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