The first of 20 new weekly cross-Channel ferry crossings began on Friday as part of a GBP 46.6 million taxpayer-funded no-deal Brexit contract.
The ship of Brittany Ferries departed from Portsmouth to Le Havre at 8 am / GMT. The contract was signed to begin on March 29 and the company said the delay to Brexit had come too late for it to cancel the trips.
Thousands of passengers had bookings amended in January in order to accommodate the extra crossings.
The UK government is not going to use the freight capacity it had reserved for at least the next couple of weeks, which is being offered for sale on the open market.