French operator Brittany Ferries has announced it has contracted for two more Stena E-Flexers to replace Bretagne and Normandie on services from Portsmouth to Saint Malo and Ouistreham.
The two hybrid, dual-fuel vessels will be shortened versions of the design and will be operating on a ten-year charter with option to purchase after four years. They are also to be shore-power ready to allow cleaner operation when in port.
The 2 new e-flexers will be built at Weihai in China and will be 194.7m long, 21m shorter than the standard E-Flexer design to allow for port limitations at Ouistreham. They are not identical vessels but optimised for differing profiles. Passenger capacity compared to the existing vessels will be reduced to around 1,300 from the current 1,70 and 1,800 but freight capacity is being increased and the number of passenger cabins also increased.
The order for the two vessels has attracted financial backing from the French regions of Bretagne (SOMABRET) and Normandy (SOMANOR) and is reported to be around €220m for both ships.
Delivery is scheduled for late 2024.