By modern standards, Bretagne is a very attractive vessel. She was designed for the Plymouth/Santander crossing and was delivered in 1989. Her elegant lines were an inspired choice for such a ferry, the first to be purpose built for Brittany Ferries since the Cornouailles of 1977. Her flared bow and distinctively styled funnel made her an imposing sight.

After only four seasons on the Spanish run, larger tonnage in the form of Val de Loire arrived to displace her. Bretagne became a popular fixture on the overnight Portsmouth/St. Malo sailing, generating hugely improved numbers of passengers. Upon the delivery of Pont-Aven in 2004, Bretagne was placed on a new Brittany Ferries service between Portsmouth and Cherbourg. This was a one-season wonder though and she returned to Plymouth the following year to replace the old Duc de Normandie on the Roscoff route. There was a further change of plan in 2006 when she was back on Portsmouth/St. Malo sailings which she continues to operate to date, albeit on a seasonal basis. In recent winters she has hibernated at Dunkerque.

M. S. Bretagne
Builder: Chantiers De l' Atlantique, St Nazaire.
Yard number: 29.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 152.8 x 26 x 6.2 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 24,534, 13,242, 3,249.
Engines: Four 12 cylinder, Wärtsilä-Crepelle diesel.
Power: 17,760 kW.
Speed (knots): 21.
Passenger certificate: 2,056.
Car capacity: 367.

4.2.1989: Launched.
13.7.1989: Delivered to Brittany Ferries, Morlaix.
16.7.1989: Entered service Plymouth/Santander.
29.1.1993: Opened winter Portsmouth/Santander service.
14.6.1993: Transferred to St. Malo/Portsmouth.
4.2004: Launches Brittany Ferries sailings between Portsmouth/Cherbourg.

The elegant Bretagne approaches Portsmouth Harbour on a bright summer evening in June 1993, her first month of service from the port. To starboard two Isle of Wight ferries can been seen (a Hovertravel hovercraft crossing from Ryde to Southsea and a Wightlink catamaran following astern).