Ferry firm celebrates first 40 years in Plymouth
A FERRY company has celebrated 40 years since its first crossing to Plymouth.
Brittany Ferries' first vessel on the route, the freight liner Kerisnel, carried cauliflowers and artichokes from farmers in Roscoff to their customers in the UK on 1st January 1973.
Now the ferries tend to carry people rather than vegetables, delivering 1 million visitors to France each year.
Passengers were invited to share a glass of champagne and a slice of cake, made by Brittany's own patisserie in Roscoff, with the Captain and staff aboard the Amonique.
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Captain Pascal Loiselet said: "Brittany Ferries started 40 years ago and I'm very proud to be captain and marking this occasion. I'm celebrating early though, as when the passengers are all on board I'll be working.
"I became captain in 2002 but started with Brittany in 1988 on the freight ships, so have been here for over half of the company's history.
"When I first started on the freight ships they were very archaic. There were no computers, just two radars, so the technology has advanced a lot."
Jean-Marc Roué, Chairman and Breton farmer, named the company's strong entrepreneurial spirit as a reason for its success.
He said: "We have, over 40 years, built a strong image and earned a well-deserved reputation for providing a high quality service which is why we enjoy levels of repeat business far above the industry norm. We take decisions based on what is good for customers, employees and the community in the long term."
Passengers were treated to early boarding on the celebratory voyage, which set sail from the ferry port at Millbay.
Stephen Tuckwell, director of communications for Brittany Ferries said:
"They say life begins at 40 and we would like to embrace that.
"Staff in our very own patisserie created the cake, we're very proud of the food that we serve on board led by head chef Yvon Rivoallan."
"The future looks exciting for Brittany – we now have five services to France from the UK and three to Spain. The Spanish service is doing particularly well, but Plymouth to Roscoff is our first route and is a special route to us."