Brittany Ferries this week celebrates 40 years of continuous operations between the UK and Santander in Spain.

More than 4,000 calls have been made in Spain, with around 5.5 million passengers carried since 1978 as more routes were added including services to Bilbao.

More than 1.5 million cars, motorhomes and bikes have also made the journey across the Bay of Biscay alongside around 6.5 million tonnes of commercial produce.

Passenger numbers have grown 79% in the past decade from less than 184,000 in 2008 to 328,680 last year.

The ferry company’s CEO Christophe Mathieu said: “From humble beginnings in 1973, Brittany Ferries grew quickly into a service connecting four countries.

“Today, services to Spain in the summer are among our most popular crossings.

“Passengers know that Spain without the plane means freedom to explore, taking everything you need in your own car, motorhome or bike, and it starts with a fantastic voyage by sea.”