BOOKINGS for the returned Barfleur ferry are “encouraging” but still down on pre-Covid levels, Brittany Ferries has confirmed.

The popular ferry returned to Poole after two years, to continue its route to and from Cherbourg.

Operator Brittany Ferries described her return as a “welcome sight”.

A spokesperson said: “We’re delighted to welcome Barfleur back to the Poole-Cherbourg route.

“After two long years, her first arrival back into Poole Harbour this morning was a welcome sight for colleagues, crewmembers and customers alike.

“Her return means that all our routes are now operational and all our ships are back in service at last.

“It’s been a tough time for everyone, but it’s great to see Barfleur going back to work, and back where she belongs here in Poole and serving Dorset.

“Forward bookings are looking encouraging both for spring and summer, although they’re still around 20 per cent down on pre-Covid levels.

“So we still have some work to do. But now that travel restrictions are lifting, we’re confident that Barfleur’s loyal customers will return, and she’ll enjoy a successful 2022 season linking Dorset and Normandy.”