History & specification of Pont-Aven

The Town of Pont-Aven

Pont-Aven is named after a delightful small town in Brittany, also known as the 'cité des peintres', because it has always attracted artists to sketch its picturesque scenery. Monet and Gaugin both painted here, and Pont-Aven celebrates the heritage of its namesake through its stylish furnishings in the town's colours and by decorating its walls with paintings of its scenery. It even boasts a beautiful Gaugin painting.

About the Construction

Pont-Aven, was first commissioned on 22 February 2002, when Brittany Ferries signed a letter of intent with the Meyer Werft shipyward in Papenburg, Germany. Founded in 1795, Meyer Werft was building wooden ships until 1874, when the yard switched - amid huge local protests - to building "new-fangled" iron ships.

Her keel was laid on the 9 April 2003, and on the 13 September Alex Gourvennec, Michel Maraval and Henri-Jean Lebeau pressed a button allowing 100 million litres of water to flood the construction dock, allowing the Pont-Aven to go afloat. The ship was then moved to the front of the dock where final construction and outfitting was completed.

She left the Meyer Werft shipyard on 7 February 2004 to conduct sea trials in the North Sea, where she recorded impressive speeds of over 28 knots. After these successful trials, the ship was formally handed over to Brittany Ferries on 27 February 2004, prior to sailing to Brest.

Into service...

Pont-Aven first arrived in Plymouth on 11 March 2004, and she sailed into the harbour as the Val de Loire departed on her penultimate voyage to Santander. The two ships passed each other with cheers and whistles from the crowd, which had gathered to celebrate the new arrival in the port.

After docking in the port for almost two weeks, allowing the public and press to board the ship, she set sail for Santander on 24 March, and crowds lined Plymouth harbour to cheer her on her maiden voyage. Further maiden voyages included her journey to Roscoff, which included a reception on 27 March, and the 2 April crossing to Cork. On 26 April her naming ceremony took place in Roscoff.

Pont-Aven has proved a great success with passengers and press alike, and its high-quality service has confirmed Brittany Ferries' position as the leading ferry operator on the western Channel.

Pont-Aven technical specification
Launched 2004
Gross tonnage 41,700
Length 184.60 metres
Beam 30.90 metres
Max Draught 6.80 metres
Service Speed 27 knots
Crew 183
Passenger Capacity 2,400
Car Capacity 650
Berths n/a
Cabins 650
Reserved Lounge Seats 47
Shipyard Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany
Engine Power 50,400 kW
Propulsion Power 43,200 kW