Two new hybrid LNG-electric ships are to be introduced by Brittany Ferries.
The additions to the fleet will serve routes connecting Portsmouth with St Malo and Caen in 2024-25.
The ships will be chartered from Stena RoRo on a ten-year agreement, with a purchase option after four.
They will replace of the ferries Normandie and Bretagne and provide more passenger cabins.
The move is part of Brittany Ferries’ fleet renewal plan in a five-year post-Covid recovery strategy.
The vessels will follow the deployment of liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered Salamanca in 2022 and Santoña in 2023 to serve UK-Spain routes.
The new hybrid ferries will cut emissions, deliver less noise and vibration for passengers in a step towards future-proofing the company.
They will be powered by cleaner LNG fuel and will also operate partially or completely on battery power – for example when arriving and departing ports.
They will also be ready to plug in to shore-side power when this is available in ports. This will allow recharging of onboard batteries and power for systems like air conditioning, heating and lighting while at berth, cutting funnel emissions to zero.
Chif executive Christophe Mathieu said: “Fleet renewal is not a choice for Brittany Ferries; it is an imperative to secure our future.
“Our customers rightly demand cleaner, greener vessels and our port partners expect us to be good neighbours.
“Furthermore, we will certainly face tighter regulation in the years ahead. The future of our company depends upon our ability to rise to the challenge today, to prepare for tomorrow. That is why I am so proud to announce these new vessels.
“They bring with them a host of innovations just as Bretagne and Normandie did when they were launched. Both vessels have served us well and we are grateful for the support of the regions that bear their name.
“They are much loved by customers and crew, but now is the time for us to look to the future and to plan for a brighter future, even as we battle the crisis we face today.”