BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITOR
PETS and their owners can travel with confidence in 2020, with no additional checks or administration.
That’s because the prime minister’s deal has been passed by parliament and should become law in January.
A transition period will follow until the end of next year, during which borders can be crossed as normal and pet passports will continue to apply.
Pets carried by year:
- 2012 51,500
- 2013 60,114
- 2014 66,321
- 2015 78,938
- 2016 88,602
- 2017 91,289
- 2018 96,062
- 2019 88,100
Brittany Ferries says thousands of owners held back due to worries about taking Fido or Felix abroad. Pet vaccinations, additional checks upon arrival abroad and the validity of the pet passport scheme were concerns raised throughout the year. Thanks to the Brexit deal, these concerns will not apply during the Brexit transition year ahead.
“Passengers with pets rely on Brittany Ferries to carry them seamlessly across the channel, sometimes many times a year,” said Christophe Mathieu Brittany Ferries CEO. “Throughout 2019 we did our best to offer reassurance, but many people were confused and concerned, so chose to stay at home rather than take to the seas. Today however, turbulent waters have calmed for the next twelve months at least. Nothing should change during the Brexit transition year. And that means you can book a 2020 trip with confidence, whether you own a pet or not.”
This year Brittany Ferries’ summer period (July to September) was hit by an overall 6.6% downturn in passenger numbers. Routes linking Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth with destinations in France suffered the most. However, the company believes passengers will return in 2020 and wishes all those operating in the travel sector a brighter year ahead.
As the busiest period for holiday reservations begins, customers are being urged to book early to get the best deals. A new-year sale has just been launched with every sail-and-stay holiday booked before 11th February benefiting from a 20% discount. The offer includes holidays taken during the Easter and school summer holiday periods. For more visit: https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/offers/
In 1967 a farmer from Finistère in Brittany, Alexis Gourvennec, succeeded in bringing together a variety of organisations from the region to embark on an ambitious project: the aim was to open up the region, to improve its infrastructure and to enrich its people by turning to traditional partners such as Ireland and the UK.
In 1972 BAI (Brittany-England-Ireland) was born. The first cross-Channel link was inaugurated in January 1973, when a converted Israeli tank-carrier called Kerisnel left the port of Roscoff for Plymouth carrying trucks loaded with Breton vegetables such as cauliflowers and artichokes. The story therefore begins on 2 January 1973, 24 hours after Great Britain’s entry into the Common Market (EEC). From these humble beginnings however Brittany Ferries as the company was re-named quickly opened up to passenger transport, then became a tour operator.
Today, Brittany Ferries has established itself as the national leader in French maritime transport: an atypical leader, under private ownership, still owned by a Breton agricultural cooperative. Eighty five percent of the company’s passengers are British. Around 210,000 freight units are carried each year.