Off-season sailing on the Brittany Ferries MV Armorique and MV Pont-Aven

By Westward’s Kevin Kelway

The specially designed ferry the MV Armorique, was specifically built for the Plymouth-to-Roscoff route by Brittany Ferries.

I’ve had the pleasure to sail on this wonderful vessel many times over the last 13 years, and the journey never fails to excite, and the quality of the services is always excellent.

The MV Armorique first arrived off the coast of Plymouth in January 2009, and I remember the ship arriving in the Sound with a fanfare of local publicity for her first berthing trials.

The official maiden voyage of the MV Armorique from Plymouth to Roscoff from Millbay Docks took place on February 10, 2009.

Millbay Docks in Plymouth

The ship was built in Helsinki, Finland, at a cost of over 120 million euros.

My recent journey over to Roscoff was a little choppy but, smooth as usual and on time.

I always love the early wake-up music calls in the cabin and making sure you leave on time, and always the first to get an English breakfast, and then walking up to the sun decks to see the ship arriving in Roscoff with the dawn rising.

Armorique features a self-service restaurant offering a fantastic choice of foods as well as French favourites, along with a choice of drinks and deserts.

The announcement to get to your cars in the lower decks always seems like a mad rush, and the waiting time to get off (always seems longer than it really is), and then driving through French customs checks.

With 247 cabins, all of which are en suite, my cabin was a 2-berth and was comfortable indeed.

The MV Armorique can carry over 1,500 passengers and 470 cars, and the decor captures the heritage of Brittany, and the Breton culture that so reminds me of Cornwall. 

Looking across to Roscoff

My first travel blogger piece for Westward Shipping News, and it was a pleasure to sail on this gem of a ship.

Seaside town of Roscoff

I spent 48 hours in Roscoff, and especially in my favourite town of Morlaix that is always a memorable experience. The Saturday markets, and the variety of food and crafts on display- celebrating local produce in the area.

The famous viaduct in Morlaix

Lunch in Carantec, and dinner at Johnnies just outside of Roscoff, where the food was absolutely amazing and all made to measure.

Lunch in Carantec

The journey home was on the Pont-Aven, which is the longest-serving flagship of Brittany Ferries and the largest purpose-built cruise ferry on the English Channel.

Traditional French Food at Johnnies outside of Roscoff

The MV Pont-Aven was built in Germany and made its first maiden voyage on March 24, 2004, from Roscoff to Santander.

The vessel boasts many features, and we were a little disappointed that the swimming pool was closed off-season.

Getting ready to board the Pont-Aven at Roscoff Port

There were lots of dining options you would expect on a cruise liner from fine restaurants to bars on board.

The journey was smooth and enjoyable back to Plymouth, and spending quality time with friends and especially watching the pods of dolphins swimming mid-channel was a highlight for me.

Plymouth Breakwater Lighthouse

The exit at British customs was pretty quick, and then homeward bound to the Hoe.

The flagship the Pont-Aven