LD Lines have announced the opening of a new ferry route from Ireland to France and Spain. The new route will begin operation on 5th January 2014.

The crossing will run from Rosslare to Saint-Nazaire in France. From there passengers have the option to continue their ferry journey onwards to Gijón in northern Spain.

Sailings will be once a week and journey times to Saint-Nazaire will be around 22 hours. At the time of writing, ferries are scheduled to depart Rosslare on Fridays at 21:00, arriving in Saint-Nazaire at 19:00 the next day. The return ferries from Saint-Nazaire will depart Wednesdays at 23:59.

Once at Saint-Nazaire, the ferries will continue onwards to Gijón in northern Spain. The total travel time from Rosslare to Gijón will be 39 hours, departing Friday at 21:00, stopping at Saint-Nazaire, then arriving in Gijón on Sunday at 13:00.

The journey times for the return leg from Gijón to Rosslare is around 48 hours, presumably as there is a longer stopover at Saint-Nazaire. Return journeys depart Gijón on Tuesdays at 22:00, arriving in Rosslare Thursday at 21:15.

gijon spain

Sunset over Gijon beach and port. Photo: flickr.com/photos/plugman/

LD Lines Scintu

LD Lines’ Scintu ferry will operate on this route. The Scintu can accommodate 492 passengers and 195 cars. On-board there’s a choice of comfortable cabins, which will be a must on the longer journeys to Gijón. There is also a bar, restaurant, shop and comfortable lounges on-board.

Rosslare already offers plenty of choice for travellers to and from Ireland, with ferries to Fishguard and Pembroke in Wales, and Cherbourg and Roscoff in France. The new route to Saint-Nazaire will help reinforce Rosslare as a key port in the European passenger ferries.

The Rosslare to Saint-Nazaire / Gijon route is the second new ferry route from ireland to be annoucned within a few weeks of each other. Irish Ferries also recently announce the opening of a new route, from Dublin to Cherbourg, France.

Welcome News for Travellers and Tourism Industries

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said of the new ferry route:

“Today’s announcement is more good news for tourism to Ireland for 2014. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct access cannot be overstated – it is absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. We look forward to co-operating with LD Lines to maximise the promotion of this new service.

“France and Spain are important markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2013 is shaping up to be a record year for visitor numbers from both countries. This new sailing will help keep the momentum going for 2014 and boost car touring holidays from France and Spain; visitors who bring their car here on holidays tend to stay longer, spend more and are more likely to visit more than one region. And prospects for car touring holidays in 2014 are really good, with the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s first long-distance touring route, as well as the beautiful Causeway Coastal Route – providing additional reasons for overseas holidaymakers to visit.”

Map – Ferry route from Rosslare to Saint Nazaire and Gijon