MS Barfleur (1992)

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MS Barfleur at Cherbourg
  • Barfleur (2012 onwards)
  • Deal Seaways (2012)
  • Barfleur (1992-2012)
Port of registry: Cherbourg,  France
Route: Poole - Cherbourg
Ordered: 1990
Builder: Kvaerner Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Launched: 26 July 1991
Completed: 1992
In service: 1992
Identification: IMO number: 9007130
Status: In Service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 20,133 GT
Length: 158.7 m (520.7 ft)
Beam: 23.3 m (76.4 ft)
Installed power: 4 × 8-cyl Wärtsilä Vasa 8R32 diesels, 4,020bhp each geared to two controllable pitch propellers
Speed: 19.5 knots (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)
  • 1,212 passengers
  • 590 cars; or
  • 304 cars and 66 freight vehicles.
Crew: 185

MV Barfleur is a ferry operated by Brittany Ferries on the route between Poole on the south coast of England and Cherbourg, France. She was built at Masa Yards Turku New Shipyard in Finland for the Brittany Ferries subsidiary Truckline and entered service in 1992. In 1999 she was repainted in Brittany Ferries standard livery. Barfleur was the last ship to carry the 1983-2002 version of the Brittany Ferries logo and livery which was replaced by the post-2002 version in March 2009. She sails under the French flag and is registered in Cherbourg.

From 27 April 2012 until December that year, she was in service with DFDS Seaways who had renamed her as Deal Seaways to ensure she had the same initials as their other ships, all DS. She was used on their joint DoverCalais route with LD Lines.

Withdrawal and temporary return to service, 2010-2011[edit]

On the 19 December 2009 Brittany Ferries announced that they would be withdrawing Barfleur from its service between Poole and Cherbourg.[1] They claimed to have been losing money on the service for quite some time.[1] After completing her last trip in February 2010 Barfleur was laid up in the canal near to Caen. For many months there was much speculation as to the future of the vessel with many believing it was to be chartered to another operator. On the 16 December 2010, almost a year after the announcement of withdrawal, Brittany Ferries made a statement that Barfleur would resume service on the Poole to Cherbourg route commencing on 27 February 2011.[2] However, the service was to be aimed at freight traffic as well as passengers.

On 11 July 2011, Brittany Ferries further announced that Barfleur would again be withdrawn from service between Poole and Cherbourg with effect from 3 October 2011, citing ongoing profitability concerns.[3] The company further commented that the service 'may be reintroduced for the Summer 2012 season'.

It was announced on 10 February 2012 that Barfleur would not resume service in 2012 due to the ongoing difficult economic situation. She would remain laid up at Caen for the foreseeable future.

Transfer to Dover-Calais under DFDS[edit]

The French press reported on 23 March 2012 that she had been acquired by LD Lines/DFDS Seaways for their joint DoverCalais service where she will be put into service starting on 27 April.[4] Announcements from Brittany Ferries [5] and DFDS [6] confirmed that Barfleur was to be chartered by the DFDS/LD Lines joint venture.

On 1 November 2012 Deal Seaways went for a survey at Le Havre shortly before her withdrawal from service. Two weeks later the other DFDS/LD Lines vessel went.

Deal Seaways's charter was scheduled to end in February 2013 and Brittany Ferries announced that would be renaming her Barfleur bringing her back into service. This meant the DFDS/LD Lines would be on a hunt for a new vessel. DFDS Seaways managed to charter ex MS SeaFrance Moliere (Molière after SeaFrance's liquidation) from Scapino Shipping Ltd. Molière has not been acquired by Eurotunnel for MyFerryLink and had been sold to Scapino Shipping Ltd, then laid up in Tilbury. DFDS Seaways chartered her and renamed her MS Dieppe Seaways. Dieppe Seaways joined the Dover/Calais fleet on 7th November 2012 leaving Deal Seaways out of service. Deal Seaways left the route on 7 November and that evening proceeded to Dunkerque for lay-up and de-storing. She was not used to cover refits for DFDS Seaways before her livery was changed back to that of Brittany Ferries.

Return to Poole-Cherbourg route[edit]

The Barfleur returned to the Poole—Cherbourg route on 19 March 2013, running alongside MV Cotentin which inaugurated a new route between Poole and Bilbao, also starting on the same date. It has recently been announced that the Barfleur will be re-commencing overnight services between Cherbourg and Poole in November 2013, on a Tuesday and a Wednesday in place of the usual evening service. These overnight sailings will also be repeated in 2014 except during the peak summer period.[7] The Barfleur will be laid up for the winter period with the last sailing from Poole being on Sunday 5 January 2014. The ship will re-enter service on Thursday 27 March.

Routes served[edit]


As of 19 March 2017 le Barfleur is still running between Poole and Cherbourg


Due to a massive increase in passenger numbers on the Poole—Cherbourg route in 1991 Barfleur was lengthened by 19 metres during construction. This increased passenger and freight capacity as well as adding a number of additional cabins.
Until 27 February 2007 Barfleur was the largest ship ever to use Poole Harbour. MV Bretagne held this title until the arrival of the MV Cotentin after covering for Barfleur's unscheduled 2007 refit.
Barfleur operated one round trip Tuesday to Sunday in 2005 in place a Poole round trip. This regular Portsmouth conventional service was unsuccessful and has not been repeated.

Barfleur has also served on PortsmouthCaen (Ouistreham) where she acted as refit cover for MV Normandie and MV Val de Loire. During the winter seasons of 1997 and 1998 Barfleur operated between Poole and Santander at weekends and made the crossing in 28 hours.

As a result of major engine problems with Val de Loire in September 2000, Barfleur operated between Plymouth and Roscoff for two round trips before moving to PortsmouthCaen (Ouistreham) in place of MV Duc de Normandie. Barfleur's place at Poole was taken by MV Purbeck.

On rare occasions Barfleur has also operated routes not usually undertaken by Brittany Ferries:-

Barfleur has sailed on this route as a positioning move to provide refit cover but also as a result of strike action by French dockworkers in October 2002.

As a result of the previously mentioned strike a round trip to Roscoff was undertaken in October 2002 to facilitate a crew change. This route was repeated between 23 and 26 May 2008 due to a blockade of Cherbourg by French fishermen.

In December 2005 Barfleur was chartered by Victor Treacy International for a one off freight-only crossing to help clear a build up of freight caused by a strike at Irish Ferries.

Onboard facilities[edit]

Bars and Restaurants

  • Self Service Restaurant 'Turquoise' - Deck 7.
  • Les Alizés Bar - Deck 7.
  • Le Café - Deck 7

Barfleur was previously fitted with an á la carte restaurant known as 'Les Dunes', this was removed during her 2009 refit and replaced with a 'Games Planet' area and additional seating for 'Le Cafe'. The self-service restaurant was refurbished and expanded during the 2009 refit, retaining its name, 'Turquoise', though the fittings and neon lights in a matching colour were replaced by orange coloured fittings making the name somewhat inappropriate. The cafe 'Arc en Ciel' was subsequently closed before Barfleur re-entered service in February 2011. As of Summer 2013, it has been re-opened again as the route enjoys a high demand.


  • La Boutique - Deck 7.

'Le Kiosque' on deck 7 was closed before Barfleur re-entered service in February 2011. It remains closed to this day.

Other Facilities

  • Children's Playroom - Deck 7.
  • Games Planet - Deck 7.
  • Chance Planet - Deck 7.
  • 72 Four Berth Cabins - Decks 5, 6 and 8.
  • 295 Reclining Seats - Decks 5 and 6.

The gaming arcade 'Games Planet' was opened after the 2009 refit, replacing the 'Les Dunes' waitered restaurant, as the route was being geared towards families with children.


On 16 July 2014 at 6:26am the ferry collided with a chain of the chain-ferry crossing Poole harbour entrance, snapping the chain and causing the chain-ferry to be out of action for 2 days.[8] This happened on a previous occasion (believed to be around 1996) when damage to the rudder/propellers occurred.


  1. ^ a b Diana Henderson (2009-12-18). "Poole to lose Barfleur ferry link with France (From Bournemouth Echo)". Retrieved 2016-11-26. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Diana Henderson. "Last sailing of Barfleur ferry (From Bournemouth Echo)". Retrieved 2016-11-26. 
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3][dead link]
  6. ^ "News | News and Media". DFDS Group. Retrieved 2016-11-26. 
  7. ^ "Poole to Cherbourg ferry timetable". Brittany Ferries. Retrieved 2016-11-26. 
  8. ^ Jim Durkin (2014-07-16). "UPDATE: Sandbanks ferry: tests today but service hoping to run again on Friday after chain snapped (From Bournemouth Echo)". Retrieved 2016-11-26. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Mitchell, Kevin (April 2017), "Barfleur: 25 years of service with Brittany Ferries", Ships Monthly: 33–38 

External links[edit]