Plymouth prepares for French tourism boost thanks to Brittany Ferries initiative


Plymouth is aiming to welcome an influx of French visitors this year through an initiative with Brittany Ferries, showcasing the city as a go-to destination. 

The partnership will promote the benefits of cross-channel sailing to reach the spectacular coastline and surroundings of Britain’s Ocean City. 

Travellers from France can reach Plymouth in as little as six hours on a Brittany Ferry from Roscoff and it is anticipated the promotion will appeal to those seeking an easily accessible, sustainable and stunning coastal destination with a warm and inclusive welcome. 

The partnership is being financed from VisitBritain’s GREAT Gateway Innovation Fund, enabling a joint marketing campaign, focusing on North-West France from Brittany, Normandy and the Loire regions across to Paris, to target the post-Covid-19, short-break travel market. 

Amanda Lumley, Destination Plymouth’s Chief Executive, says: “We are delighted to be involved in this initiative which is such a good fit for our own ethos as a sustainable destination offering unrivalled coastal and countryside locations and activities, value for money and a plethora of other travel options from here onwards. 

“We are known as Britain’s Ocean City and have enjoyed a very proud maritime history of welcoming visitors by sea for centuries, so we are eager to see many more make that short journey across the channel to explore all the opportunities Plymouth has to offer. This partnership is an excellent example of two key organisations working together to make that happen. ” 

VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates says: “This Fund encourages local destinations in forging partnerships within the industry and boosts their marketing activity, showcasing the very best of their region. It also encourages visitors to broaden their travel itineraries, boosting inbound visits across more of the year and across more of Britain, supporting local businesses, destinations and economies.” 

Brittany Ferries sails from Roscoff to Plymouth once or twice a day from March to November. Sailings take around six hours by day and nine hours by night. With great motorway links from the Loire, Dordogne and Atlantic Coast to the French port, it offers easy access to crossings to Plymouth for travellers from a large swathe of France. 

Once docked at Plymouth they will have myriad opportunities to explore the city’s culture –  including The Box museum and gallery – its history and a fantastic choice of dining and accommodation options. The area’s environmental attractions include the UK’s first National Marine Park, numerous stunning walking trails and the ruggedly beautiful Dartmoor National Park. 

“While Brittany Ferries today links 12 ports in France, UK, Spain and Ireland – we never forget that Plymouth was our very first destination port 50 years ago when French farmers established a fledgling ferry route from Brittany to Devon,” comments Julian Patchett, Partnerships Manager, Brittany Ferries. 

“Their vision wasn’t just to transport cargo and holidaymakers – they wanted above all to enrich the regions served by Brittany Ferries ships by promoting trade and tourism links. Our mission remains the same to this day, as we look to reveal the fabulous destinations of Plymouth and the southwest to a new generation of French travellers.” 

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