MV Pont-Aven

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M/V Pont-Aven off the coast of Santander
Name: MV Pont-Aven
Operator: Brittany Ferries
Port of registry: Morlaix, 22x20px France
Route: Plymouth - Santander
Plymouth - Roscoff
Roscoff - Cork
Portsmouth - Saint-Malo (winters only)
Portsmouth - Santander
Ordered: 2002
Builder: Meyer Werft
Cost: £100 million
Laid down: 10 April 2003
Launched: 13 September 2003
Completed: 2004
Maiden voyage: 23 March 2004
In service: 23 March 2004
Identification: IMO number: 9268708
Status: in service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 40,700 tonnes
Length: 184.3 m (604.7 ft)
Beam: 30.9 m (101.4 ft)
Draught: 6.8 m (22.3 ft)
Depth: 9.7 m (31.8 ft)
Ice class: 1B
Installed power: 4x MaK 12V M 43
Speed: Cruising: 27 knots (50 km/h)
Maximum: 28+ knots (52+ km/h) [1]
Capacity: 2,415 passengers
600 vehicles
Crew: 185

M/V Pont-Aven is a cruiseferry operated by Brittany Ferries. She was built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and has been sailing for Brittany Ferries since March 2004. She is the current Brittany Ferries flagship. Prior to being named the Pont-Aven was referred to as Bretagne 2, this was then the codename for the new Brittany Ferries vessel for PlymouthRoscoff, the M/V Armorique.

Pont-Aven's layout is similar in many respects to that of another Brittany Ferries vessel, M/V Bretagne.

Regular routes

Other routes served

In addition to her regular routes Pont-Aven has seen occasional use between Plymouth and St Malo, Plymouth and Cherbourg and Portsmouth and Cherbourg. In most cases these were position moves during the winter though passengers and freight were carried.

The glass lifts in the atrium are one of the Pont-Aven's cruise ship-like features.

Onboard facilities

Bars and restaurants

  • Le Flora a la Carte Restaurant - Deck 7.
  • La Belle Angele Self Service Restaurant - Deck 7.
  • Le Café du Festival Salon de Thé - Deck 7.
  • Le Grand Pavois Bar - Decks 8 and 9.
  • Le Fastnet Piano & Cocktail Bar - Deck 7.
  • Les Finisteres Pool Bar - Deck 9.


  • Monts et Merveilles, Main shop - Deck 8.

This is a combination of all the shops you would normally find on a Brittany Ferries vessel.

Other facilities

  • Swimming pool - Deck 9.
  • Cinemas - Deck 6.
  • Children's playroom - Deck 7.
  • Kennels - Deck 10.
  • 652 cabins - Decks 5, 6 and 8. (Commodore Class, De-luxe, Club 4, 2 and 4 berth standard cabins.)
  • 47 reclining seats - Deck 9.
  • Commodore Lounge - Deck 8.

Pont-Aven is the first ferry on the English Channel to have cabins with balconies. These are the Commodore Cabins on deck 8.


Pont-Aven experienced a number of technical problems in her first year of service. Most serious was the flooding of an auxiliary engine room in August 2004 caused by a faulty sea valve leaving the ferry unable to move from the Plymouth terminal for two days. Many services were disrupted at the height of the holiday season, many passengers having to be transferred to services from Poole and Portsmouth. Interestingly, the problem occurred at the same time as a major breakdown on the Irish Ferries vessel M/V Normandy, which serves on the Rosslare - Cherbourg route. This situation left no passenger ferry link between Ireland and France and as a result many holidaymakers were forced to use the so-called Land-Bridge route, travelling from Ireland to Wales by ferry and driving to Plymouth or Portsmouth to board a ferry for France, or vice-versa. Other problems included the bow door jamming shut and the unusual roll when travelling at high speed even in calm weather. However most faults have now been corrected and the vessel has become a popular member of the Brittany Ferries fleet.

On 22 May 2006 Pont-Aven sustained damage en-route to Santander from Plymouth. Several forward windows were smashed by a 19-metre wave which resulted in a number of cabins flooding. Pont-Aven was forced to divert to Roscoff where passengers disembarked. On 26 May 2006 Pont-Aven returned to service, while refurbishment was carried out on board throughout the voyage. The windows were covered by metal. These windows were later replaced with smaller, round porthole windows in late 2007 - early 2008.

On the 18th August 2008 the ship experienced problems opening the bow door in Santander for cars to be off-loaded. As a result of this the ship had to re-dock, aft into the port first, and the vehicles had to reverse off. This led to further delays and the problem was not fixed before the next crossing to Plymouth later that day; meaning that vehicles had to reverse or make a U-turn to disembark.

See also


External links

fr:MV Pont-Aven