Brittany Ferries has confirmed plans for a fourth new ship in five years in a show of confidence in post-Brexit ferry travel.

The new-build vessel will be chartered from Swedish ferry firm Stena and is due to enter service in 2023.

The ferry will be built in China and be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) for use on long-haul UK to Spain routes.

The use of LNG cuts carbon dioxide emissions by around 20% and sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate emissions to almost zero, according to the company.

The as yet un-named new ship is being built to Stena’s ‘E-Flexer’ design and will join two other similar vessels in Brittany Ferries’ fleet, following the arrival of Galicia in 2021 and Salamanca in 2022.

The charter agreement, which includes an option to purchase, represents the next step in a fleet renewal and investment programme worth around €550 million.

The three 42,200 tonne E-Flexer-class ships will be among the biggest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet. Each will be 215 metres long with capacity for around 1,000 passengers in 340 en-suite cabins.

Three passenger decks will contain Spanish-style shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.

Brittany Ferries is also constructing another new ship, Honfleur, at the FSG shipyard in Flensburg Germany, for expected delivery later this year.

Brittany Ferries’ CEO Christophe Mathieu comments: “We’re delighted to be adding another E-Flexer class cruise-ferry to our fleet.

“These are environmentally-friendly, capacious and comfortable ships which perfectly suit to our long-haul services.

“The charter will continue our fleet renewal plans, marking the fourth brand new ship in five years.

“It signals our confidence in the demand for ferry travel post-Brexit and will help us meet the needs of our passenger and freight customers in the decades to come.

“It also clearly demonstrates our commitment to LNG as a fuel and, our ambition to operate one of the most modern, green and comfortable ferry fleets in the world.”