Tribune. Hit hard by the two successive waves of Brexit and the pandemic, Brittany Ferries is now in serious and imminent danger. She sends out distress messages, but to date the answers have not been obtained. Are we going to leave this institution behind us, and with it these generations of visionaries? What then would remain of the soul and the pride of being a coastal country?
When the storm turns into a hurricane, neither passengers nor crew are abandoned. Brittany Ferries is today a Breton village of more than 2,500 souls. With 20% of the workforce of the French merchant navy, it is indeed the leading employer of French sailors. It is, in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Normandy landings, the transport of the largest contingent of military vehicles since June 6, 1944 and, twice, that of the Tour de France. Brittany Ferries is also, in a way, the French reserve transport fleet.
Brittany Ferries’ slogan, “Another idea of travel”, has made her one of the symbols of Europe. Almost fifty years of living together with England. Permanent round trips to Great Britain, Ireland and Spain, like a European public service. Some days, with a little imagination, one can see behind the Île de Batz, in the cool of a morning mist, the sun reflecting off the steel curves of the Guggenheim Museum. Another idea of the trip, indeed. A lighthouse, but also an example.
The first French start-up
The story of Brittany Ferries is a bit of the story of all of us. A French story. In 1972, the Breton peasants, avant-garde, created from scratch a port and bought a ship in order to export their vegetable production in England. In doing so, they gave birth to the first French start-up. But they didn’t just invent an economic model, they also gave life to ports, ships, proud and valiant crews and cruises. A human adventure. A common future and the institution above all the rest. The one of which women and men forge the keystone.
Nowadays, while the flagships of our economy are relocating their
production abroad, Brittany Ferries continues to fly the French flag. His
More and more ships are environmentally friendly, and they serve French sailors trained in our merchant marine schools and our maritime high schools. “They didn’t know what was impossible, so they did. “ This is exactly what happened on the north side of Brittany, in 1972, and the Breton peasants have never lowered their flag since.
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