The Plymouth-based company was in serious negotiations regarding the proposed new route from Plymouth to Porto but has decided not to press ahead with its plans after all.
Falling Covid cases, combined with the success of the vaccine rollout in Spain, have also contributed to the decision made by Chief Executive Christophe Mathieu this week.
“Technically, we could open a route to Porto, but the game changed rapidly on Friday (21 May) with the announcement from Spanish authorities,” said Mr Mathieu. “It simply wouldn’t make sense to open a new route – and displace passengers already booked on services to Spain, if our second-biggest market is open for business.
“We hope and expect Spain to be placed on the UK’s green list at the first review in early June and for that reason we took the decision to shelve the plan.”
Will ferries sail from Plymouth to Porto in the future?
However, the good news is that the proposed ferry route hasn’t been ruled out, because they have been inundated with encouraging messages from both existing customers and prospective new customers who definitely want the new route to be put on the map.
“We have been overwhelmed by messages of support from existing passengers, new customers and via social media urging us to sail to Porto,” Mr Mathieu explained. “So, while I am sure there will be disappointment, when it comes to Portugal we never say never.”
Spanish authorities confirmed that the country would be open for business from today (May 24) to British tourists amid a rise in vaccination rates and falling Covid cases.
Meanwhile, demand for domestic UK holidays is still high because the cost of overseas travel is expected to soar.
Gus Gardner, Associate Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, said Brits will be desperate to get away, but the staycation will rule again this year. “Domestic operators will be set for a bumper summer as domestic demand will return at a quicker rate than international demand.”