Brittany Ferries (BAI)FerriesPast and PresentStena LineStena RoRo

MV Cotentin (2007) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 9364978

MV Cotentin

ex Stena Baltica, Cotentin

© Brittany Ferries

© Brittany Ferries

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 2007 by Aker Finnyards (STX Europe), Helsinki, Finland (Yard No 1357) as a Passenger/Ro-Ro cargo ship for Bretagne Angleterre Irlande SA (Brittany Ferries), Roscoff, France 

Technical Data

  • Length: 165 m (overall) 157.5 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 26.8 m
  • Depth: m
  • Draught: 65.5 m
  • Tonnage: 22308 gross/6692 net/6200t deadweight
  • Engines: (2) 4T – 12 cylinder MaK 12M43C diesels
  • Power: 24000 kW/32608 bHP
  • Speed: 23 knots
  • Capacity: 203 passengers/ 2188 lane meters/120 trucks
  • Call Sign: FMLX, 2HAL4, FMLX
  • MMSI Number: 228263800
  • IMO Number: 9364978
  • Register Number: 08301A
  • Port of Registry: Cherbourg/France 🇫🇷, London/United Kingdom 🇬🇧, Cherbourg/France 🇫🇷

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


August 2nd 2005: Ordered at a cost of €80 million for delivery in the spring of 2007.

November 27th 2006: Keel laid.

April 13th 2007: Floated out.



© Aleksi Lindström (Helsinki, 13/04/2007)


© Aleksi Lindström (Helsinki, 01/09/2007)

September 26th 2007 – September 29th 2007: Trials.

© Aker Yards

© Aker Yards

November 9th 2007: Delivered to Brittany Ferries (Bretagne Angleterre Irlande SA), Roscoff, France.

November 11th 2007: Left Helsinki.

November 14th 2007: Arrived in Cherbourg.

©  Chris Hunsicker  ©  Chris Hunsicker

©  Chris Hunsicker (Portsmouth, 14/11/2007)

November 26th 2007: Christened.

November 26th 2007: Maiden voyage Cherbourg – Poole/ Poole – Santander.

© Marko Stampehl  © Marko Stampehl

© Marko Stampehl (Cherbourg, 21/03/2008)

January 7th 2010: Road traffic throughout France was disrupted due to heavy snowfall. Together with a traffic ban, reaching the port of Cherbourg, it was decided to divert her to the port of St-Malo

©  Nicolas Lévy  ©  Nicolas Lévy

©  Nicolas Lévy  ©  Nicolas Lévy

©  Nicolas Lévy (St Malo, 07/01/2010)

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Poole, 01/07/2010)

October 1st 2013: Completed service between Cherbourg – Poole/ Poole – Santander.

October 13th 2013: Left Cherbourg for Gdansk.

October 6th 2013: Arrived at Remontowa Shipyard, Gdansk, Poland.

October 19th 2013: Technical trials.

October 2013: Provisionally chartered to Stena Line for five years.

November 21st 2013: Registered to SNC Cotentin, London, England and renamed STENA BALTICA.

November 24th 2013: Commenced services between Gdynia – Karlskrona.

© Stena Line

© Stena Line

© Stena Line

© Stena Line

© Pekka Jarvinen

© Pekka Jarvinen (Gdynia, 11/10/2019)

October 13th 2020: The British Government signed agreements with four ferry operators to provide capacity equivalent to over 3,000 HGVs per week, mitigating the risk of disruption as the UK and EU adjust to new border processes at the end of the Brexit transition period. The contracts with Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O and Stena Line, collectively worth £77.6 million, will focus on 9 routes serving 8 ports in areas less likely to experience disruption. These include Felixstowe, Harwich, Hull, Newhaven, Poole, Portsmouth, Teesport and Tilbury.

Brittany Ferries statement on Department for Transport (DfT) contract

13 October 2020

“Brittany Ferries is pleased to have won freight contracts with the Department for Transport (DfT). The contracts guarantee space on services connecting Le Havre with Portsmouth and Cherbourg with Poole, starting in January 2021. The company says the news reinforces the value of an extensive and established route network stretching beyond short-sea (Dover-Calais).

It comes as Brittany Ferries strengthens its freight offering welcoming new ship Galicia to Portsmouth for the first time today (13 October). Galicia will enter service in December 2020, serving freight and passenger traffic.”

Source: Brittany Ferries

November 1st 2020: Following completion of her charter she came off service and sailed to Gdansk. She was replaced on the Gdynia – Karlskrona service by the STENA NORDICA.

November 1st 2020: Arrived Gdansk for refit and rebranding prior to being returned to Brittany Ferries.

© Björn Holm  © Björn Holm

© Björn Holm

© Björn Holm

© Wojciech Zielinski  © Wojciech Zielinski

© Wojciech Zielinski  © Wojciech Zielinski

© Wojciech Zielinski  © Wojciech Zielinski

© Wojciech Zielinski  © Wojciech Zielinski

© Wojciech Zieliński (Remontowa Yard)

November 13th 2020: Left Gdansk for Le Havre.

© Björn Holm  © Björn Holm

© Björn Holm

November 16th 2020: Arrived in Le Havre. Name reverted to COTENTIN and reflagged.

© Pascal Bredel

© Pascal Bredel (Le Havre, 15/12/2020)

December 15th 2020: Sailed to Cherbourg.

Brittany Ferries welcomes Cotentin back to fleet

4th January 2021
After nearly eight years in the Baltic, Cotentin has made a welcome return to the Brittany Ferries family this week. The ship has returned to the route for which she was originally built in 2007, carrying freight from Poole in Dorset to Cherbourg in Normandy. Her first departure took place Friday 1st January, from Cherbourg to Poole at 18:15.

Cotentin becomes the biggest freighter linking the UK to France. Specifically designed for the transport of freight vehicles, the ship’s 2,210 lane metres can carry 120 freight vehicles, with a cabin berth available for every driver. The ship flies the French flag, is registered in Cherbourg, and crewed entirely by French seafarers.

The return of Cotentin is important for two reasons. Firstly, it strengthens Brittany Ferries’ fleet offering, adding freight capacity and preparing for the launch of a multi-modal rail project linking Cherbourg with Bayonne, scheduled for 2022. A strong fleet offering is key to the company’s plan to emerge from the darkness of the current crisis, and Cotentin’s return follows the launch of its brand new vessel Galicia in December.

More immediately however, Cotentin is assisting the UK as it emerges at the end of the Brexit transition period. She operates as part of a contract secured by Brittany Ferries with the UK government’s Department for Transport (DfT) to support the smooth transit of essential freight beyond short sea routes.

The contract guarantees space on two Brittany Ferries routes, for goods like medical supplies leaving the European Union destined for the UK. In addition to Cotentin operating from Poole to Cherbourg, the contracts guarantee freight space for the UK government on the service connecting Portsmouth to Le Havre.

“We are delighted to welcome Cotentin back to the fleet,” commented CEO Christophe Mathieu “Having the right mix of vessels for our fleet gives us a fighting chance of emerging from the current crisis in good health. She returns as we operate services on two routes under a new UK government contract, the third such contract we will have won to provide support.

“These contracts underline the value of a rich western Channel route network, beyond the Dover Straits, to  passengers, freight companies, governments and the regions we serve.”

Cotentin will serve Poole to Cherbourg until the beginning of April, initially in freight-only mode. She will depart from Poole each morning at 08.30 and arrive in Cherbourg at 2.00pm. For the return journey she will depart Cherbourg each evening at 6.15pm except Tuesdays when she will leave at 9.45pm.

In April, Barfleur will take over on the Poole to Cherbourg route. Cotentin will switch to cover the Portsmouth-Le Havre route, replacing Brittany Ferries’ Étretat, which will return to Swedish Stena RoRo as her charter ends.

168m long and 27m wide, Cotentin has 10 decks and can sail at speeds of up to 26 knots thanks to the 32,000 horsepower delivered by two giant engines.  For her drivers she offers a self-service restaurant, spacious TV and rest lounges, a bar, boutique and 116 cabins.

Cotentin left the Brittany Ferries fleet in 2013, and was chartered to Stena Line, for whom she sailed between Gdynia (Poland) and Karlskrona (Sweden) bearing the name Stena Baltica.

Source: Brittany Ferries

January 1st 2021 – April 3rd 2021: Entered service between Cherbourg and Poole (initially Freight Only).

April 3rd 2021: Services Portsmouth – Cherbourg.

June 3rd 2021: Suffered technical problems and taken off service.

June 2021: Returned to service Le Havre – Portsmouth.

November 12th 2021: Together with weekday Portsmouth – Le Havre, commenced weekend services Le Havre – Rosslare.

December 11th 2021: En-route Le- Havre – Rosslare suffered engine problems and returned to Le Havre. Sailings cancelled until repaired.

January 5th 2022: In Le Havre, a fire broke out “on deck 2 of the ship, in the generator room. The fire was located in a compressor”. Local fire fighters attended and the fire was extinguished. There were no injuries.

© Dogan © Dogan

© Dogan (Caen, 17/12/2022)

July 28th 2023: Came off service at Le Havre and sailed to Dunkerque.

July 29th 2023: Arrived Dunkerque East for repairs to “a propeller blade”.

August 3rd 2023: Left Dunkerque.

August 4th 2023: Arrived Le Havre to resume service Le Havre – Rosslare.

2023 (Winter): Services Cherbourg – Rosslare (weekend) Caen – Portsmouth (week days) with a positioning trip each way on Cherbourg – Portsmouth.

December 18th 2023: Came off service at Cherbourg and sailed to Brest for extensive repairs to one of her main engines. Her services being covered by NORMANDIE.

January 25th 2024: Left Brest for trials.

January 25th 2024: Sailed to Cherbourg.

January 26th 2024: Arrived Cherbourg and resumed service.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Pascal Bredel, Dogan, Fotoflite, Chris Hunsicker, Nicolas Lévy, Aleksi Lindström, Pekka Jarvinen, Marko Stampehl, Andreas Wörteler and Wojciech Zielinski for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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