Brittany Ferries will begin a new weekly roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) crossing between Rosslare and Cherbourg from Monday 18 January.
The ferry will depart from Rosslare on Mondays for Cherbourg, returning on Tuesday. It has 265 en-suite cabins and the garage decks offer nearly 2km of space for freight vehicles.
It is the fastest ship in the fleet, with a top cruising speed of 28 knots.
Originally due to start in two months, the ferry company brought forward the crossing due to Brexit.
A spokesperson for the ferry company said on Saturday: “Brittany Ferries has moved quickly to support the freight sector and to meet the needs of an industry battling Brexit.
“Irish and French hauliers have traditionally relied on the UK landbridge when transporting goods to and from mainland Europe.
“However, since the beginning of the year, more companies have sought an alternative to the additional administration, new formalities, greater costs and potential delays that come from carrying goods though the UK.”
The ferry on the route, the Cap Finistere, will also cover the twice weekly sailing connecting Rosslare and Bilbao, taking over from Connemara until 10 February.
Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO, said the company prides itself on decisive action, based on the flexibility of its fleet and can meet the needs of the marketplace quickly.
“Cap Finistere is our fastest Ro-Ro vessel and she is therefore well suited to opening this new Brexit by-pass, making an additional sailing each week connecting France and Ireland.”
Glenn Carr, general manager, Rosslare Europort said: “All at Rosslare Europort welcome Brittany Ferries’ swift response to the needs of Irish industry in commencing this year’s Rosslare to Cherbourg services two months earlier than planned.
“We have worked closely with Brittany Ferries in ensuring that arrangements for the service were quickly put in place, further cementing Rosslare Europort’s position as Ireland’s gateway to Europe.”