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|France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain|
|Revenue||€376.5 million (2014)|
|Total assets||€367.4 million (2014)|
|Owner||BAI Bretagne Angleterre Irlande S.A.|
Number of employees
|2,451 (2014 average - high and low seasons)|
Brittany Ferries is the trading name of French shipping company BAI Bretagne Angleterre Irlande S.A. that operates a fleet of ferries and cruiseferries between France and United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain, and between United Kingdom and Spain.
1970s and 1980s
In 1972, following the provision of the deep-water port at Roscoff, the company BAI Bretagne Angleterre Irlande S.A. was founded at the instigation of Alexis Gourvennec, after existing ferry companies showed reluctance about providing a service from Roscoff to Plymouth. The company began sailings in January 1973 between Roscoff in Brittany and Plymouth in the South West of England, using the freight ferry Kerisnel. The company's primary aim at that time was to provide a service to Brittany's cauliflower and artichoke farmers, giving them easier access to the British market. In the summer of 1973, Vedettes Armoricaines operated a service between Plymouth and Roscoff using the passenger only ferry Poseidon which they had acquired from Stena Line, and Brittany Ferries acted as the agents in the United Kingdom for this service. In 1974 Kerisnel was replaced by Penn-Ar-Bed, which carried both passengers and vehicles, and the BAI company adopted the name Brittany Ferries. Such was the success of the Plymouth-Roscoff service that a larger ship, Cornouailles, was ordered and entered service in 1977. New routes were developed in the late 1970s, and the company continued to grow. Routes to Saint-Malo, Santander, and Cork in Ireland were operated by the Armorique and Prince of Brittany, and in the early 1980s a second ship was chartered for the Saint-Malo route. Goelo, an attractive-looking vessel, left the fleet in preparation for the new ship to be introduced in 1982. Quiberon replaced Armorique for the Santander and Cork services, allowing her to operate alongside Prince of Brittany on the Saint-Malo route, while Cornouailles maintained the original routes from Roscoff.
Benodet operated between Plymouth and Roscoff for just one year before being redeployed as part of Brittany Ferries' new venture, Channel Island Ferries. Tregastel replaced her and continued on the Plymouth to Roscoff route until 1989. The Cork route was operated by Tregastel and Quiberon, later to be joined by Celtic Pride, operated by Swansea Cork Ferries, supplying a midweek Cork-Roscoff round trip.
In 1986, Brittany Ferries introduced Duc de Normandie, which operated a new route from Caen to the increasingly popular port of Portsmouth. The former Roscoff ship Cornouailles was transferred to the Truckline Ferries route from Poole to Cherbourg, introducing passenger services on this route. This service was also very successful, and new ships were introduced over the next few years. Meanwhile, a second (chartered) ship, Gotland was installed on the Caen service in 1988, as well as a new Truckline Ferries vessel, the Normandie Shipper in 1989. In addition to the Portsmouth-Caen services, from 1986 a Truckline Ferries ferry ran from Poole to Caen during the summer to cope with the seasonal demand on Brittany's standard ships by holiday makers. However, the introduction of larger ships in 2006, and the sale of the original "truckliners", meant that this service was discontinued.
In 1989, the cruise ferry Bretagne was introduced on the Santander and Cork routes. She displaced Quiberon, which transferred to the Roscoff route. Tregastel replaced Cornouailles on the Poole-Cherbourg Truckline Ferries passenger route along with Corbiere (formerly Benodet who had been transferred to Channel Island Ferries). Cornouailles was sold to British Channel Island Ferries and was renamed Havelet. A second-hand purchase was introduced on the St Malo route, Duchesse Anne. which was to run alongside Armorique. This allowed Prince of Brittany to be transferred to the Caen route under its new name Reine Mathilde.
At the end of 1991, Reine Mathilde left the fleet ready for the introduction of the new cruise ferry Normandie on the Caen route. Corbiere and Tregastel also stepped down in preparation for the new Truckline Ferries ship, Barfleur. During 1992, the Truckline Ferries freight vessel, Purbeck, and the St Malo ship Armorique both stepped down.
In 1993, the penultimate ship of the 1990s was introduced. The Val de Loire was purchased from TT-Line and partially rebuilt for service on the Santander and Cork routes. The vessel replaced Bretagne which transferred to the St Malo route, allowing Duchesse Anne to operate new services between Poole, St Malo, Cork, Roscoff and Plymouth. Following further financial difficulties in the mid-1990s, these new routes were ended and Duchesse Anne left the fleet. Normandie Shipper was also sold, but the ex-Truckline Ferries vessel Purbeck was later chartered back by the company for use on various routes, primarily Portsmouth-Caen. In 1999, Barfleur was repainted in Brittany Ferries colours, ending the Truckline Ferries tradition on the route.
In 2001 a new fast ferry service began to operate between Poole and Cherbourg in partnership with Condor Ferries. The fast Normandie Vitesse could make the voyage in just over two hours. In 2002, a new ship, Mont St Michel, was due to enter service between Portsmouth and Caen. Duc de Normandie was transferred to the Roscoff route in July, whilst Quiberon was sent to Caen to cover until the new ship arrived. Mont St Michel was delayed until December however. Quiberon spent the remainder of the year on the busiest Brittany Ferries route. She had been with the company for almost 21 years when she was sold in 2003. In 2004, another new ship, Pont-Aven, was introduced on the Santander & Cork routes. She could travel much faster than the rest of the fleet, cutting journey times by a quarter.
In late 2004, the company withdrew Duc de Normandie from the fleet. Bretagne transferred to the Roscoff route, leaving Val de Loire at St Malo. Coutances was also earmarked for disposal, but then a change of heart resulted in its refit, losing her Truckline Ferries livery in favour of the new Brittany Ferries logo.
More changes occurred in 2005 with the withdrawal of P&O's French routes from Portsmouth. A new fastcraft, Normandie Express was chartered to operate between Portsmouth and Cherbourg and Caen. In addition, the Poole-Cherbourg ship Barfleur was redeployed to operate a triangular service between Portsmouth, Poole and Cherbourg. A new ship was announced, in part a replacement for Coutances. The ship was named Cotentin. Purbeck was to have returned from operating in New Zealand and cover the Portsmouth-Cherbourg link but this plan was dropped. Barfleur returned to the Poole-Cherbourg link in November 2005.
The former flagship of the fleet (from 1993 until the arrival of Mont St Michel) Val de Loire left the fleet in February 2006, having been sold to DFDS and renamed King of Scandinavia. In the meantime, Brittany Ferries had taken up a 2-year charter of the DFDS ship Duke of Scandinavia, which was renamed Pont-L'Abbé and ran on the Plymouth-Roscoff route. Bretagne returned to the Portsmouth-St Malo route. Brittany Ferries also announced a new build for the Plymouth-Roscoff route, to be launched early 2008. In February 2006 Normandie Express was brought under the French flag, she was later purchased by the company in early 2007. Brittany Ferries new freight ship, Cotentin, entered service on 26 November 2007 with the 23:45 Cherbourg-Poole service. The new ship also operated a weekly service to Santander from Poole. It was announced on 19 December 2007 that the company had purchased Pont-L'Abbé from DFDS. On 1 May 2008 MV Coutances completed her last sailing for the company - having been with Truckline Ferries] for 30 years and with Brittany Ferries since 1985. In early 2009, Armorique was launched on the Plymouth-Roscoff route, replacing Pont L'Abbe. For 2009, Pont-Aven operated a new Portsmouth to Santander service once a week (cutting the previous Plymouth to Santander route to once a week).
In late 2009, the new Poole-Santander freight-only service was deemed a success and the frequency was doubled: there would now be two services a week operated by Cotentin. In November 2009, Armorique was laid up for the rest of the winter season. Major changes were announced in December 2009. Barfleur was withdrawn from service at the end of January 2010 after nearly 18 years service on the Poole-Cherbourg route. The service was temporarily served by Armorique, which came back to service earlier than originally planned. The Poole-Santander service reverted to one sailing a week with Cotentin covering freight on the Poole-Cherbourg service in the absence of Barfleur. Condor Vitesse continued to operate one round sailing a day in the summer months between the two ports. Cap Finistère ran between Portsmouth and Santander twice a week and also operated three round trips a week between Portsmouth and Cherbourg. In September 2010, Brittany Ferries announced plans to serve the Portsmouth–Bilbao route recently abandoned by P&O Ferries. The route started on 27 March 2011.
In February 2011, Barfleur returned to the Poole-Cherbourg route on a seven-month trial basis after being laid up for a year. Her final crossing of 2011 was 3 October. The return of Barfleur allowed Cotentin to run two Poole-Santander trips a week. However, with Barfleur being laid up again, the Poole-Santander sailings reverted to one trip a week. On 23 March, it was announced that Barfleur was to be chartered to DFDS Seaways for use on their Dover–Calais route. Her first sailing on the route was on 27 April.
On 1 April 2011, the new Portsmouth International Port (PIP) terminal, used by Brittany Ferries, LD Lines and Condor Ferries, was opened to the public. An official opening ceremony took place on 13 May 2011. This modern, stylish, eco-friendly building replaced the previous terminal building that stood from 1976 until its well needed replacement occurred in 2011.
On 21 September 2012, Brittany Ferries cancelled sailings indefinitely following two days of wildcat strikes caused by crew members who were unhappy with changes in working terms and conditions. Meetings took place between management and unions to negotiate the management proposals. A vote was taken on 30 September by union members to decide if the management proposals would be accepted. The crew members accepted the proposal and services resumed on 2 October after 12 days without services. During this period, Brittany Ferries made special arrangements with P&O Ferries and MyFerryLink to accept Brittany Ferries tickets on the Dover–Calais route; any unused tickets were refunded. Services were not affected on the Poole–Cherbourg route which was being operated by Condor Ferries.
The 2012 season was the last year of the Poole–Cherbourg fastcraft operation with Condor Ferries. For the first time since 2001, the Condor vessel operating the Poole-Cherbourg summer service was Condor Express rather than Condor Vitesse.
On 5 November 2013, Christophe Mathieu, deputy managing director of Brittany Ferries and Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain, signed an agreement to run a joint marketing campaign designed to attract more French tourists to the UK. The agreement commits both parties to a three-year campaign with a promotional match-funded spend of £1.5 million, and is the first time Brittany Ferries has entered into such an arrangement with VisitBritain.
On 7 February 2014, Brittany Ferries announced that as from the end of March 2014, it would charter the former Visentini-built DFDS Seaways Norman Voyager to operate on Le Havre, Portsmouth and Santander. The vessel was renamed MV Etretat.
During the weekends, the ferry sails on Portsmouth–Santander. Demand for freight capacity is high during the weekend, but also passengers are interested in such a service.
On weekdays, Norman Voyager, which has been renamed MV Etretat, sails on Portsmouth–Le Havre, a route that was successful in 2013 when Brittany Ferries introduced the catamaran HSC Normandie Express. However, after the 2015 summer season, Brittany Ferries pulled Normandie Express from this route as it was not financially viable. The "new" ro-pax ferry MV Etretat will sail year-round.
On 13 October 2014, it was announced that plans to convert MV Armorique, MV Mont St Michel and MV Pont-Aven to run on LNG (liquefied natural gas) as well as a new LNG-powered ferry had been cancelled as the company could not justify the costs. These three ships as well as MV Barfleur, MV Cap Finistère and MV Normandie will instead receive exhaust gas scrubbers in order to remove sulphur from their exhaust emissions.
On 30 January 2015, Brittany Ferries announced that it would charter the DFDS Seaways vessel MS Sirena Seaways from the beginning of April 2015 and start service with Brittany Ferries in May 2015, to operate on their successful Portsmouth–Le Havre route, alongside Etretat. It will also operate a twice weekly Portsmouth–Spain service. The ship will be renamed 'MV Baie de Seine'
On 22 June 2015, Jean-Marc Roue, president of Brittany Ferries, stated in an interview with French newspaper le Marin that a new vessel was to be ordered sometime in 2016. The new vessel is to be similar to the postponed 'Project Pegasis' order. Pont-Aven will take over from Bretagne on the Portsmouth–St Malo route with the new vessel taking on the Portsmouth to Santander, Plymouth to Roscoff, Plymouth to Santander and Cork to Roscoff routes. Bretagne is likely to be sold or scrapped.
On 19 January 2016, Brittany Ferries announced it will charter a vessel to carry freight between Poole and Bilbao, in northern Spain. Brittany Ferries has chartered the RoRo vessel, MN Pelican from Maritime Nantaise for 12 months, with the option of an extension. The vessel has the capacity for around one hundred unaccompanied trailers and twelve drivers and commenced service with Brittany Ferries on 11 February 2016.
On 5 March 2016, Martine Jourdren stated in an interview with le Telegramme that some of the current fleet were then ageing and Brittany Ferries are looking to replace Bretagne and Normandie with newly built vessels. Brittany Ferries are looking to order three new vessels by 2021.
Whilst en route from Ouistreham to Portsmouth in the afternoon of 11 April 2016, MV Normandie suffered a small fire in one of the electrical panels in the engine room which caused smoke to develop. Two crew members were air-lifted to hospital, one suffering from smoke inhalation, the other with an unknown injury. MV Normandie was diverted to Cherbourg, the passengers stayed on board until the following morning, and 9 sailings were cancelled as a result.
On 20 October 2016, Brittany Ferries announced that they had renegotiated a deal to continue sailings from Portsmouth International Port. The deal, which was signed that week with Portsmouth City Council who own the port, is for the next 11 years.
On 24 October 2016, Brittany Ferries announced plans to build a ferry that could integrate a propulsion liquefied natural gas (LNG). An innovative project, that was abandoned in late 2014, which would be reborn as a smaller vessel to sail between Portsmouth and Ouistreham.
On 21 December 2016, Brittany Ferries released its first sketch design for their new LNG-powered cruise-ferry for the Portsmouth to Ouistreham route. The new ship, codenamed Mont St Michel 2, will carry up to 1680 passengers and 130 freight or 550 cars. The new 42,000 gt ship will be constructed by Flensburger Schiffbau shipyard in Germany and is due to be delivered sometime in 2019.
On 20 June 2017, Brittany Ferries confirmed its order for their new LNG-powered cruise-ferry for the Portsmouth to Ouistreham route. The new 42,000gt ship will be constructed by Flensburger Schiffbau shipyard in Germany scheduled for delivery on 30th April 2019. The new ship is named 'MV Honfleur'.
In August 2018 Brittany Ferries announced that The 2003 built MV Baie de Seine charter from DFDS had been extended for a further year and she would continue operating for Brittany ferries until April 2020, the ship currently operates from Portsmouth to Spain and Le Havre and was formerly the Harwich-Esbjerg ship Dana Sirena/Sirena Seaways. Around 2 weeks later, Brittany Ferries confirmed that her replacement will be one of the new Stena E-Flexer Ro-Pax ferries on order from China leaving over a 1-year gap in service needing to be filled.
On 14 July 2017, Brittany Ferries announced it will extend its charter of freight vessel MN Pelican from Maritime Nantaise for a further 2 years. The vessel, capable to carry up to 100 unoccupied trailers, will continue to operate on the Poole to Bilbao route.
On 16 January 2018, Brittany Ferries announced it will begin a new route from Cork, Ireland to Santander, Spain. The new route, which will consist of 2 weekly connections along with an additional weekly service between Cork, Ireland & Roscoff, France, is scheduled to commence on 29 April 2018. Brittany Ferries will charter the Stena RoRo Vessel MS Asterion which is currently serving routes between Italy and Greece and will be renamed MV Connemara.
On 9 March 2018, Brittany Ferries launched a new dedicated website for their new build vessel, 'MV Honfleur'.
On 12 March 2018, work commenced on the construction of 'MV Honfleur' with the Steel Cutting Ceremony at the Flensburger Schiffbau Shipyard in Germany. The construction of the vessel is expected to take a little over a year to complete.
On 24 May 2018, Brittany Ferries confirmed it has ordered a second Stena E-Flexer Vessel with the option to buy after the 5-year charter. This takes the number to 2 chartered from Stena Line along with the new build vessel MV Honfleur expected in 2019.
On 13 June 2018, Brittany Ferries announced their new chartered ships will be named 'MV Galicia' and 'MV Salamanca', named after 2 regions in Northern Spain. The names were chosen following a competition among Brittany Ferries staff and follow confirmation of the ships charter last month. The 2 new ships, on charter from Stena Line are expected to enter service in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
On the morning of 4 September 2018, the former Brittany Ferries Vessel MV Coutances began to sink on the outskirts of the Eulalia Buróz marine terminal, located in the city of Puerto la Cruz, Anzoátegui state.
|Ship||Built||Entered Service||Gross Tonnage||Length||Beam||Service Speed||Vessel Type||Port of Registry||Current status|
|MV Armorique||2009||2009||29,468 GT||168.30m||26.8m||25 Knots||Cruise Ferry||Morlaix||In Service|
|MV Baie de Seine||2002||2015||22,382 GT||199.4m||23.0m||24 Knots||Économie Service||Le Havre||In Service|
|MV Barfleur||1992||1992||20,133 GT||158.7m||23.3m||19.5 Knots||Cruise Ferry||Cherbourg||In Service|
|MV Bretagne||1989||1989||24,534 GT||152.80m||26.0m||21 Knots||Cruise Ferry||Morlaix||In Service|
|MV Cap Finistère||2001||2010||32,728 GT||203.90m||25.0m||28 Knots||Cruise Ferry||Morlaix||In Service|
|MV Connemara||2007||2018||27,414 GT||186,50m||25.6m||24.0 Knots||Économie Service||Limassol||In Service|
|MV Etretat||2008||2014||26,904 GT||187.00m||26.0m||24 Knots||Économie Service||Le Havre||In Service|
|MV Mont St Michel||2002||2002||35,586 GT||173.95m||28.5m||22 Knots||Cruise Ferry||Caen||In Service|
|MV Normandie||1992||1992||27,451 GT||161.40m||26.0m||20.5 Knots||Cruise Ferry||Caen||In Service|
|HSC Normandie Express||2000||2005||6,581 GT||97.22m||26.6m||42 Knots||High Speed Ferry||Caen||Laid-Up in Le Havre|
|MN Pelican||1998||2016||12,076 GT||155.0m||22.0m||19 Knots||Freight Vessel||Marseille||In Service|
|MV Pont-Aven||2004||2004||41,000 GT||184.3m||31.0m||28 Knots||Cruise Ferry||Morlaix||In Service|
|Ship||Built||Entered Service||Gross Tonnage||Length||Beam||Service Speed||Vessel Type||Port of Registry||Current Status|
|MV Honfleur||Under construction||Due April 2019||42,400 GT||187.40m||31.0m||22 Knots||Cruise ferry||Unknown||Due for delivery 30 April 2019|
|MV Galicia||On Order||On Order||42,400 GT||214.50m||27.8m||22 Knots||Cruise ferry||Unknown||Due for delivery early 2021|
|MV Salamanca||On Order||On Order||42,400 GT||214.50m||27.8m||22 Knots||Cruise ferry||Unknown||Due for delivery mid 2022|
|Ship||Built||In service||Tonnage||Current status|
|Kerisnel||1972||1972||1,983 GT||Scrapped after sinking.|
|MV Bénodet||1970||1983||4,317 GT||Since 2000, MV Apollo with Woodward Group|
|MV Goelo||1967||1980||5,149 GT||Scrapped in Turkey, 2001|
|Penn-Ar-Bed||1974||1974||6,399 GT||Scrapped in India, 2004|
|MV Armorique||1972||1976||8,181 GT||Sunk in Java Sea, 2011|
|Cornouailles||1977||1977||6,918 GT||Scrapped in Turkey, 2013|
|MV Reine Mathilde||1970||1978||7,747 GT||Scrapped in India, 2005|
|MV Breizh Izel||1970||1980||6,576 GT||Scrapped in Turkey, 2014|
|MV Tregastel||1971||1985||8,696 GT||Since 2011, Noor with Baaboud Shipping|
|MV Coutances||1970||1985||6,507 GT||Sank in Puerto la Cruz, 2018|
|MV Purbeck||1978||1985||6,507 GT||Since 2006, Maria Rosario with Conferry|
|MV Quiberon||1975||1982||11,813 GT||Renamed D'Abundo and sent to Alang for scrapping|
|MV Duc de Normandie||1978||1986||13,505 GT||Since 2013, Vronskiy with Acciona Trasmediterránea|
|MV Duchesse Anne||1979||1988||9,795 GT||Since 1996, Dubrovnik with Jadrolinija|
|MV Val de Loire||1986||1992||31,564 GT||Since 2006, King seaways with DFDS Seaways|
|MV Pont L'Abbe||1976||2006||17,564 GT||Since 2009, Moby course with Moby Lines|
|MV Cotentin||2007||2007||22,252 GT||Since 2013, on charter to Stena Line|
|Cork ⇄ Roscoff||MV Pont-Aven and MV Connemara|
|Portsmouth ⇄ Cherbourg||HSC Normandie Express|
|Plymouth ⇄ Roscoff||MV Armorique and MV Pont-Aven|
|Portsmouth ⇄ Bilbao||MV Cap Finistere and MV Baie de Seine|
|Plymouth ⇄ Santander||MV Pont-Aven|
|Poole ⇄ Cherbourg||MV Barfleur|
|Portsmouth ⇄ Saint Malo||MV Bretagne and MV Pont-Aven (Winter Service)|
|Portsmouth ⇄ Caen||MV Mont St Michel and MV Normandie|
|Portsmouth ⇄ Le Havre||MV Etretat and MV Baie de Seine|
|Portsmouth ⇄ Santander||MV Pont-Aven, MV Cap Finistere and MV Baie de Seine|
|Cork ⇄ Santander||MV Connemara|
|Poole ⇄ Bilbao||MN Pelican (Freight only)|
During the 'refit season' (roughly early January until before the Easter break), many ships undergo major maintenance and refurbishment. It is not uncommon, as a positioning move, to operate a service from Plymouth - St Malo - Portsmouth, or vice versa. These services are generally noted in the printed and on-line timetables and are open to passengers.
In previous years during the Christmas and New Year period, Brittany Ferries chartered Pont-Aven to Mistral Holidays, who operate cruises to Rouen and Antwerp. The cruise generally leaves Portsmouth International Port and spends two days in the Continental port. Pont-Aven is therefore the only ship which operates on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Brittany Ferries parted company with Mistral Holidays in 2015.
In 2016, Brittany Ferries announced that they would be solely operating a New Year cruise to Rouen on Pont-Aven.
Brittany Ferries vessels have a variety of onboard facilities. These include shops, self-service and à la carte restaurants, bars and cafes. All vessels used to have their own bureau de change but now most have ATMs instead. Most vessels have a cinema and children's game zones. There was often a photography shop on board with film developing and printing facilities; these shops have been removed due to the rise in digital photography. In late 2009 Brittany Ferries installed a WiFi service across its fleet of traditional ferries, and in April 2013 this became free in public areas, there is a paid for premium WiFi service available on most of the ferries which now includes for the first time WiFi in cabins.In July 2012, spa treatment areas were added to Pont-Aven and Cap Finistère.
Normandie Express has more limited facilities, such as a smaller shop and a bar/café with WiFi throughout the vessel.
- "Brittany Ferries Bilan Consolidé (Balance Sheet), including employee numbers" (PDF). Brittany Ferries Corporate.
- Hoyle, B S; Pinder, David, eds. (1992). European Port Cities in Transition. London: Belhaven Press in association with the British Association for the Advancement of Science. p. 92. ISBN 9780470219263.
- Cruising Monthly, newsletter of Coastal Cruising Association, and other contemporary journals, 1973
- "Brittany Ferries saves Portsmouth-Bilbao route". Travel News UK. 27 September 2010. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- "Brittany Ferries services halted 'until further notice'". BBC News. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Portsmouth-based Brittany Ferries expands its route network in 2018".
- "Brittany Ferries invests in two new cruise-ferries for long-haul Spanish routes".
- "Brittany Ferries names new ships Galicia and Salamanca".
- Cowsill, Miles (1993). Brittany Ferries: From the Land to the Sea / De la Terre a la Mer (in English and French). Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire: Ferry Publications. ISBN 1871947170.
- Cowsill, Miles (2007). Brittany Ferries: 1973–2007. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 1871947898.
- Cowsill, Miles (2013). Brittany Ferries: 40 memorable years of service, hospitality and holidays. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 9781906608521.
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