Brittany Ferries helps Plymouth to make Big Blue Splash
Britain’s Ocean City’s Big Blue Splash is set to make bigger waves thanks to sponsorship from Brittany Ferries.
The company, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is supporting the marine-focused weekend based on, in, under and around the UK’s first ‘Park in the Sea’ – the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park – on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July.
The weekend will give everyone the chance to explore and discover more about the ocean, its ecosystems and those who make their living from the seas. Free fun and educational activities will be available, including boat and fishing trips, paddleboarding, gig rowing, snorkelling, swimming, yoga and foreshore exploring.
Brittany Ferries has been sailing into Plymouth since 2 January 1973. It was founded a year earlier by determined French farmers as a way to export Breton market garden produce directly into the UK.
The business, which is still run by the Breton farming community as a social enterprise, grew and embraced passenger transport.
The company’s flagship vessel Pont-Aven, makes twice-weekly sailings from Plymouth to Santander in Spain, with both the Armorique and Pont-Aven operating regular sailings from Plymouth to Roscoff in France. Both ships operate projects above and below the water line to support marine health.
ORCA, for example, is a charity committed to the protection of whale-and-dolphins. Pont-Aven’s passage through the Bay of Biscay is perfect for whale and dolphin spotting, passenger education and scientific research, for example projects to prevent ship-strike (cetacean collision with ships).
Scientific equipment is also installed on board ships. Pont-Aven carries a “ferry box” which is used to take real-time measurements and feed studies on the health of the sea. The Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) dragged behind Armorique allows repeat study of plankton type, quantity and any changes over time. Scientific institutions based in Roscoff and Plymouth, the company’s home ports, run each project.
Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure and Sport, Councillor Pat Patel said: “We welcome the news Brittany Ferries has come onboard to support the Big Blue Splash weekend. We hope to see more people accessing our amazing National Marine Park and finding out more about its wildlife, how it’s affecting climate change and the importance it has for our economy.”
Julian Patchett, Partnerships & Events Manager Brittany Ferries, said: “Brittany Ferries and Plymouth City Council are already working closely with Associated British Ports, to help build the ‘blue economy’ at Millbay Docks to create jobs, so this partnership deal fits perfectly with our ongoing strategy to protect the environments in which we operate and to support projects promoting responsible tourism.”
Brittany Ferries is also running a competition on the Visit Plymouth website to win a return sailing from Plymouth to Roscoff for a car and up to 4 passengers, including a standard cabin onboard.
The Big Blue Splash has been funded through the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park Heritage Horizon Award, which has been made possible with a £9.5 million grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.
Local companies supporting the event include its Education Partner the University of Plymouth, Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre, South West SUP, ACE Swimming, Planet Earth Games, the Ocean Conservation Trust and The Rock Pool Project.
To enter the competition and for more information about the Big Blue Splash weekend visit: visitplymouth.co.uk/bigbluesplash