HSC Normandie Express

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HSC Normandie Express 2009.jpg
  • 2000: Incat Tasmania
  • 2000-2003: The Lynx
  • 2005-present: HSC Normandie Express
Owner: Brittany Ferries
Operator: 2005-present: Brittany Ferries
Port of registry: 2006-present: Caen,  France
Route: Portsmouth - Cherbourg
Ordered: 2004
Builder: Incat, Tasmania, Australia
Yard number: 057
Launched: 2005
Completed: 2000
Identification:IMO number9221358
General characteristics
Tonnage: 6,581 tonnes
Length: 97.22 m (319.0 ft)
Beam: 26.6 m (87.3 ft)
Installed power: Paxman
Speed: 33 knots (2019 service speed) 42 knots (service), 46.5 knots maximum
  • 900 passengers
  • 260 vehicles

HSC Normandie Express is a high-speed catamaran ferry owned and operated by Brittany Ferries. Since being built in 2000, the vessel has borne the names Incat Tasmania and The Lynx. She is designed to travel at speeds of up to 46-and-a-half knots, giving a journey time between Portsmouth and the Brittany ports of about three hours per crossing.


Brittany Ferries purchased the Normandie Express from Incat in 2007 for £30m ($38.9m), having been on charter from them since 2005. She was built as Incat Tasmania at the Incat yards in Tasmania, Australia, her first use was on charter to the Australian Trade Commission as a floating conference centre during the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney. Later that year, she was chartered to Tranz Rail for their Interisland Line service between Picton and Wellington, New Zealand, she was renamed The Lynx for this service and remained on the route until 2003 when she was returned to Incat.


In September 2004, P&O Ferries announced they were to withdraw their services from Portsmouth to France, Brittany Ferries later announced they would run a fastcraft service between Portsmouth and Cherbourg/Caen (Ouistreham) as a replacement and The Lynx was chartered. In January 2005, she was renamed Normandie Express and sailed for France, stopping off in Indonesia to drop off supplies and equipment for the tsunami relief effort.

Also on board for the trip to Europe was the French yacht Sill et Veolia which was being returned to France after being damaged whilst on the Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race. After calling in at Roscoff to drop off the yacht and being shown off to Brittany Ferries management, she undertook berthing trials in Portsmouth, Cherbourg and Ouistreham before starting service in March 2005.

For her first year in service with Brittany Ferries, Normandie Express had a bridge and engine room crew supplied by Northern Marine and was registered in Nassau but protests from French unions meant that from 2006 she would fly the French flag and be registered in Caen with a full French crew.


In mid 2012, Brittany Ferries announced that Normandie Express would no longer operate the Portsmouth to Caen Route in 2013. Instead, a brand new route was officially introduced, sailing from Portsmouth to Le Havre from May until September, but only on Thursdays and Fridays.


Normandie Express is currently in service, sailing between Portsmouth and Cherbourg up until 10 September 2019.


External links[edit]