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  2. But would she be bow-in or stern-in when she gets to Marseille? That surely is the real question. Ed.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Perhaps a Mediterranean cruise is more viable? Portsmouth-Santander-Vigo-Porto-Gibraltar-Marseille-Corsica-Sicily-Santander-Portsmouth Could use the car docks for freight - especially new cars.
  5. A new webcam that is believed to have gone live in 2016 but had technical problems, is now back up & running from it's location in West Street, Old Portsmouth. This webcam overlooks the rear of Portsmouth Sailing Club facing Fort Blockhouse in Gosport and the Portsmouth Harbour Entrance. Link:
  6. I hadn't thought of a service lift. Perhaps a small hydraulic one might might work if they could find any fluid to operate it.
  7. It's a matter of design, not organisation. A basement restaurant would easily serve the requirements of the rowers up above. The service lift might need to be of moderate dimensions though.
  8. Surely that's just poor organization, too much space given over to people holding sticks with flat ends and not enough for people with trays. There is no reason why it can't be done after all everything is possible.
  9. People row the Atlantic! No waiter restaurant though....
  10. I was not the advocate of this idea to begin with please don't forget. I just thought it was amusing when I heard it.
  11. Would that be the Marie Celeste or the Titanic? Just because something is possible it doesn't make it practical, sensible or desirable.
  12. Well, as I said to start then... we can agree on it being a very far fetched concept. Others may have different ideas and one day who knows what strange events may take place. Frankly I would like to know where it came from in the first place... I am speaking to the the person who told me again tomorrow (who is still very determined). He is not usually someone who would be considered a ship enthusiast but thought I should know all about it!! (The Americas Cup came to Millbay once don't forget so miracles can happen)
  13. I wouldn't dispute that PA could make the crossing without sinking but I find the thought that BF would contemplate sending her on a direct transatlantic pleasure cruise to be totally ludicrous on so many levels. It would be akin to Wightlink sending St Clare down to Santander through the winter Biscay storms.
  14. I understand your point. But as we are actually discussing this topic - QM2 was custom built for the role. All has been said is that PA could potentially do it, as a one off. Don't forget that many much smaller ships can, have, and do make that crossing!
  15. That doesn't surprise me - can't imagine the ice cream places were doing a roaring trade. Carnac was another favourite when I was younger. As for Benodet, the last time I was there (August 2011) it as at a free concert in the summer evening sun on the Sunday evening, after which people swamped the ice cream place on the front near the Casino. Ice creams at 10pm on a Sunday... why not!
  16. New quayside fendering for Berth 2. Kevin who posted the pic might be able to elaborate! Libby-wise, has she had any work done on her ramp, looks like black panels where her curtained area was. Looks like steel doors? She looks different.
  17. Haven't tried the Langoustines on a BF ship yet , but I love our trips to Guilvinec and watch the Langoustine ships come in and watching the empty trays in the fishermans coop fill up minutes later proper fresh shellfish.
  18. I've found the langoustines on the a la carte buffet are rarely top notch. They always feel like they've been frozen and defrosted.
  19. I don't see Facebook so what new fendering is this? Poole already has the two Yokohama fenders which are used as occasion demands.
  20. Thanks Harry! Definitely - as soon as bookings open I will be booking up! Not to be missed!
  21. Amy Glad you both enjoyed the trip, Bretagne is our favourite ship. Might we be seeing you again at the New Year ? Harry & Janet
  22. Excellent report, brings back a few memories. Last time we went to Mont St Michel you could park near the walls but I understand this is no longer possible.
  23. Booked via the Bournemouth Echo promotion sailed from Portsmouth to St Malo on Bretagne on Friday evening. After a pleasant drive down the A3, arrived at PIP about 7.15 and after checking we were straight through security and parked up by the berth for no more than 5 minutes. So on board in about 15 mins from arriving at PIP. We had a twin inside on deck 8 so dropped bags before exploring. It was a cool grey evening so didn't linger but had time to see NEX berthed for the evening and Etretat in the adjacent berth as well as Commodore Goodwill's departure for the CI. We slipped moorings at 8pm about 20 mins early. We took dinner in Les Abers which was excellent and try as I might I couldn't resisting loading up at the hors d'oeuvre table, the pate and terrine being delicious, although the langoustines weren't at their best. A bottle of red between us meant a sound nights sleep too! My companion isn't a regular sea traveller and was a little anxious about mal de mer, fortunately the channel was dead calm with only the gentle engine vibration to remind us we were at sea. Despite a rock hard pillow slept well waking just before the piped celtic music started in the cabin. Being on deck 5 disembarkation took a few minutes but we were soon on our way to Mont St Michel. It was a beautiful and calm day and we got there before the crowds so the streets were calm and no queue for abbey tickets. We took it easy up all the stairs as my companion gets breathless and I'm still sore post surgery. The views from the courtyard were stunning in warm sunshine. After leaving the Mont we headed to St Malo using the coast road from Dol, a first for me and I enjoyed seeing the resort villages to the east of Cancale. We checked into the Ibis by the seafront close to Intra Muros, amazed that the receptionist humoured my poor French with no temptation to use English. The hotel was clean and well presented and our room recently refurbished and decorated. I've stayed there before and love its location and comfort. With the tide out we set off on the beach to explore the town and ate our sandwiches a l'emporter by the harbour catching Condor Rapide on the berth. After some recovery time back at the hotel it was dinner in St Malo in a neat Bistro built into the walls towards the harbour gate. Very pleasant and good value with more agreeable red drunk! We took Sunday breakfast at the hotel intrigued by the French TV election coverage - cameras in polling stations, filming voters! At the port Condor Rapide was berthed alongside Bretagne leaving first on a beautiful morning. Bretagne took a pilot and we watched the pilot boat shadow us out past the last lighthouse on the easterly rocks out of the port. It was a beautiful day with a flat calm sea so we took up position on the sun deck behind the bar on deck 8, normally reserved for smokers, to catch some rays and read. Lunch followed in Les Abers and I was a little more restrained at the buffet table and enjoyed the mushroom omelette. Back to deck 8 for more sunbathing prior to arrival. The Solent was busy with plenty of commercial traffic heading out of Southampton and a container loaded Geest ship heading for PIP as well as all the usual IOW traffic. On berthing we were told the gangway was faulty so foot passengers had to wait for a bus to arrive on deck 3 to take them to the terminal. Unloading was speedy even from deck 5 and as we were straight through passport control we were on our way quickly and home about 65 mins from leaving Bretagne. With both crossings and cabins both ways for £128 plus the hotel B&B for £92 the weekend was a bargain although budgets were dented by food and drink! Bretagne was a comfortable and welcoming as ever. Cabins clean and all in order. The crew were attentive and pleasant - a great advert for BF service. Now planning the next one!
  24. Some figures: Gross Tonnage: QM2 149,000; Pont Aven 41,700. QM2 3.5 times as much. Displacement Tonnage: QM2 79,000; Pont Aven about 25,000. QM2 over three times as much Draught: QM2 10m Pont Aven 6.8, QM2 1.5 times as much. Not much comparison really.... Sometimes size really does matter!
  25. The QM2 has a draft of 10m. PA is 7m. Not a lot of difference considering her being much smaller in other dimensions?
  26. Could I just point out that even the proper cruise ship companies rarely sail directly to New York from the UK and those are usually positioning voyages Those that do invariably take the more benign (and longer) southern route. On the sides of ships you will usually see a Plimsoll lading line painted. It has several indicated maximum draught levels, the lowest of these, denoting the possibility of extreme weather conditions is marked WNA (Winter North Atlantic). Granted this applies to ships not exceeding 300m in length but it is indicative of the particularly rough conditions experienced in the region. Pont Aven is a shallow draught ferry and BF tend to substitute her on the Spanish run with Bretagne during the winter months as she is the better seakeeper. Being on board PA in a winter atlantic gale would be terrifyingly uncomfortable at the very least and potentially dangerous with her 'cab forward' design with the bridge very close to the bow and thus vulnerable to plunging seas as we have already seen once. Even the old Queens have had solid water over their bridges in the past and they were designed for the conditions. Of course we could enter into the spirit of the thing and arrange return flights in a restored Lockheed Constellation which would be an appropriate match. I appreciate that there are some people on here who like to pretend that BF vessels are cruise ships in disguise but they are not, they are mid range vehicle ferries, nothing more, nothing less. They do a good job on the routes they are designed for (although you might doubt that from some of the moans sometimes). As for driving your car off at the other end, well good luck with that one. Assuming you get past the customs you would be the only right hand drive car in sight. And if you have ever tried to drive in New York..... It's April 25th not April 1st!
  27. That is a good point. I was wondering what else the car decks could be used from. But perfect, instead of being on foot and having to navigate your way to a car rental place in the 'Grand Pomme' and pay, you could just drive straight off and go upstate a little!
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