Thousands of Brittany Ferry passengers are facing disruption over the next few weeks after repairs to the company’s flagship cruise-ferry overran.
The Pont-Aven, which is the largest ship in the Brittany Ferries fleet, has been out of action since an on-board fault was discovered two weeks ago.
It comes after a fire broke out in the ship's engine room at the end of April.
Brittany Ferries had hoped the vessel would return to service by the start of June but passengers have now been warned of further delays.
The French shipping company - which operates crossings between Plymouth, Roscoff and Santander - said the Pont-Aven will not be fully repaired until at least June 14.
In a statement, Brittany Ferries apologised to customers and promised to refund those with bookings.
Regretfully we have been advised Pont-Aven will not resume service before June 14. As a consequence, we are in the process of contacting affected clients in departure date order - prioritising those with the most imminent departures and offering them a choice between a reroute when available or full cancellation.
The extended repair period has resulted in cancellations of Pont-Aven’s sailings on both the Plymouth to Santander and Plymouth to Roscoff routes, affecting an estimated 10,000 ferry passengers.
The company said “every effort” was being made to get the faulty ferry back in service as soon as possible.
Following investigation, it was found that damage to the starboard side steering gear was more extensive than originally suspected. This has meant a longer lay-over in Brest than originally planned to source replacement parts and carry out a comprehensive repair. Every effort is being made to get Pont-Aven back in service as soon as possible, we are liaising closely with the shipyard. >