News Housing, Public Works and Transport
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"Cap Finisterre" will convert the Basque Country into the "point of entry" for English tourists

2010 November 24

Brittany Ferries' cargo ship takes over from the Pride of Bilbao, multiplying the capacity to transport merchandise by 10

The Basque Country is once again joined to the British Isles by sea. Next year, on the 27th of March, the new maritime route between Bilbao and Portsmouth will commence operation, taking over from the Pride of Bilbao with the objective of converting Bilbao and the Basque Country as a whole into the "point of entry" for British Tourists who come to the Peninsula. The Basque Minister for Housing, Public Works and Transport, Iñaki Arriola, has stressed that the Basque Country "could not allow" this business opportunity to escape, forecasting the movement of 150,000 passengers per year and between 15,000 and 20,000 vehicles. These previsions have led to the Basque Executive's support for this project which will multiply the capacity to transport merchandise by ten in comparison with the previous service. "This route will enable haulage contractors to comply with the operating hours imposed by the EU and forge strategic alliances with European transport companies, whilst abiding by the maxim promoted by the Basque Government: the internationalisation of Basque companies to facilitate a Basque Country that is more sustainable and more competitive, evidencing a greater degree of solidarity," the minister stated.

Next year, on the 27th of March, the Basque Country will recover its maritime connection with the British Isles via the Brittany Ferries service linking Bilbao and Portsmouth, which will multiply merchandise transport capacity by ten (15,000 - 20,000 vehicles). The Basque Minister for Housing, Public Works and Transport, Iñaki Arriola, stated that the route will enable haulage contractors "to comply with the operating hours imposed by the EU and forge strategic alliances with European transport companies, whilst abiding by the maxim promoted by the Basque Government: the internationalisation of Basque companies to facilitate a Basque Country that is more sustainable and more competitive, evidencing a greater degree of solidarity." The Basque Government is promoting programs such as Ecobono, which redirect heavy traffic away from roads towards the sea, with a commitment to "maritime motorways" as an alternative to transportation over land.

In addition to the Basque Minister for Housing, Public Works and Transport, Iñaki Arriola, the presentation of the maritime route was attended by the president of the shipping company, Jean-Marc Roué, the president of the Port Authority of Bilbao, José Ramón de la Fuente, the mayors of Portugalete and Santurtzi, Mikel Torres and Ricardo Ituarte, respectively, and the Director for Tourism, Isabel Muela.

Tourists will also benefit from this new maritime service as in two years it is estimated that the ship will transport 150,000 people, the majority English tourists, presenting Bilbao, and the Basque Country as a whole, as the "point of entry" into the Peninsula.

The route will run from Bilbao to Portsmouth on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The ship that will provide this service boasts 270 cabins with 650 berths and capacity to transport 110 lorries and 80 cars, although it will more commonly transport 70 lorries and 250 cars.
"Cap Finisterre" multiplies the merchandise transport capacity of the previous ferry by ten (15,000 to 20,000 vehicles).
Ticket prices range between £245 (€290) for a small berth with vehicle transport and £700 (€ 830), the most expensive fare during the high season.

 

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Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)
Other guests
  • Iñaki Arriola López