Hawser Trunnion

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About Hawser Trunnion

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  • Birthday 26/10/42
  1. I believe some of the explanations offered for LD's evident failure are over-subtle. I just think they just lost interest and decided to abandon being shipowners in their own name and return to their core business of finance and investment in the worlds of shipping and property. I'm not aware Louis Dreyfus Armateurs continue to operate ships under their own name. They tend to work through others and I seem to recall LD saying they have a culture of working in partnerships. In the case of Gijon-Montoir the partner was supposed to be Grimaldi but they were decidedly unconvinced by it and didn't participate even though the operation was named GLD Atlantique. Thus it's hard to understand why Louis Dreyfus went on with it and even tried to expand it, getting themselves a bad reputation in the process one might guess. The Poole Port management was well aware there were issues over LD's commitment to the service to Spain long before it closed down and even sent a high level delegation to Paris to see the LD CEO. The purpose of this visit was never publicly disclosed that I'm aware of but one would guess it was to try to find put what was going on. It is suspected Trasmediterranea pulled out of their Spanish service because they thought P&O would be quitting the service imminently -- and when they extended the charter of Pride of Bilbao it was apparent P&O were not.
  2. I'm not sure this analysis factors in all the angles. The ports involved cannot be excluded from consideration; they have to justify their own existences and BF doesn't own them. The point about the Channel Tunnel and the Dover crossings is that they both offer short transit times and a very frequent service. These features are very important to many travellers quite apart from the cheapest fares. These are not features of western channel services though at one time there were four daily sailings between Poole and Cherbourg at the peak period. I don't believe that the fact that there are now fewer sailings on this route has anything to do with the intake of the ferries in terms of pax, cars, trucks etc. It's hard to understand LD Lines but I do think they were unlucky -- and BF correspondingly lucky. But I say no more until I've read George Holland's history of LD published by Ferry Publications.
  3. Celtic Link did try to start a Cherbourg-Portsmouth service on two occasions. The first failed because their ship, Celtic Mist, was in an unbelievably bad condition, so much so she was not allowed to operate. The second with Norman Voyager foundered on the issue of the transport of live animals i.e. cattle, pigs, sheep which Portsmouth didn't want but without which it's been suggested CLF would not have been able to make the service pay. I don't know if this would have been an issue with Celtic Mist had she been allowed to operate. Thus I would guess whether or not any rival services to BF's would thrive would depend on what sort of services they chose to operate, high end or more middle-of-road, day ships or with overnight accommodation. As regard to access to ports as far as I am aware all the ports likely to be involved have to operate an "open port" policy. Thus if they can accommodate a new operator they have to. In 1975 the French Govt was prepared to draft in the riot police to ensure Mary Poppins could dock in St Malo with her multinational crew and Cypriot registration despite local objections.
  4. At the moment there does seem to be a bit of a cosy set-up on the Western Channel, the obvious chief beneficiary of which is BF. How long this will continue for I don't know. Maybe ferry operators ought to have their eyes on the various competition authorities lest they start getting suspicious. With this in mind maybe Stena are once again considering a return to the Channel. This was rumoured when they took over Celtic Link Ferries but nothing then happened, other than BF chartering Cotentin to Stena. It would seem from the discussions in this thread that they could have some suitable ships for such services in the not too distant future. Maybe their Superfasts could be used between Poole and Cherbourg. I personally would not advise a direct challenge to BF's dominance at Portsmouth and anyway I have always maintained that Cherbourg is best served from the English south coast from ports west of the Isle of Wight and anyway BF don't seem that interested in Poole.
  5. In the latest edition of "Shippaxinfo" there is a full page advert by Georg Eknes Industrier AS of Norway, manufacturers of reclining seats etc. The products illustrated look exactly like the seats installed in Barfleur's new club class lounge including the yellow colour. Obviously someone other than BF believes yellow is a good colour for items of this kind.
  6. It seems these topics get a bit like "Game of Thrones" with all sorts of forecasts some of which might actually be correct! I just wonder for how much longer BF will have Western Channel and Spanish routes all to themselves and what is going to happen. The most carefully thought out prognostications could be totally thrown out!
  7. I suppose BF could end the charter early but in this event penalties could fall to be paid. However if there is any substance to this rumour that DFDS are planning to revive the UK-Denmark car ferry connection I should have thought they ought to be getting on with it not leaving it for three years when things could be different e.g. some other operator getting in first. Incidentally would they go from Harwich? What about the Humber or even the Tyne? Maybe Great Yarmouth might be worth considering though I don't believe they have a linkspan in their new outer harbour development but that could change. Superfast were supposed to be interested in a Great Yarmouth-Netherlands service -- before they passed from the scene!
  8. I believe BF still own Stena Baltica, ex-Cotentin. Stena just charter. I don't know what BF would do with her if they got her back. Try to arrange another charter, at a guess, as they don't seem that interested in Poole-Cherbourg/Spain, the services for which she was originally built. But then on second thoughts could she take over from MN Pelican?
  9. My previous post was written yesterday but posted only today but I now see there is some confirmation elsewhere on this website that Baie de Seine will indeed be leaving the BF fleet when the present charter expires.
  10. How about Harwich-Hook, then across the Netherlands and Northern Germany to Kiel and then Color Line to Oslo or Stena Line to Gothenburg, or the many other options? Maybe DFDS would eventually like to confine its English Channel involvement to Dover-Calais and Newhaven-Dieppe where there's some element of competition. "Shippaxinfo" has already commented on the "ferry-go-round" involving DFDS, BF and Stena.
  11. Not so surprising really. There is clearly a gap in the market here and many, I'd guess, will find it astonishing there is now no direct car ferry service between the UK and Denmark, Norway and Sweden. However once you get to Denmark I would say you have quite a few options for onward travel.
  12. Maybe it's because of the possibility of damage to the trailers on the open upper deck and subsequent insurance claims etc.
  13. I've always understood that there was an imbalance in seaborne Anglo-Spanish trade I.e. more sailed north from Spain to the UK than sailed south from the UK to Spain. Hence, for example, Transfennica only called at Portsmouth on the northbound leg.
  14. Indeed! While many operators have walked away from UK-Spain services they can also walk back! And actually one has, albeit partially. Macpac used to run their own trailer service to Spain from Southampton, Goya being the name of the ferry involved. Now they've revived their door-to-door trailer service utilising BF's MN Pelican. Acciona Trasmediterranea were hoping to take over from P&O and it's hard to understand LD Lines. But beating off the competition may prove to be BF's biggest challenge in relation to Spanish services in light of the figures and potential expansion of business cited.
  15. Could they not be for other vessels as well? What about MN Pelican? She might be able to use RoRo 2 additionally when South Quay is finished, if not before. And then there is the suggestion Etretat could replace the Pelican when Honfleur enters service. As these vessels are single deck loading and discharging they might be better accommodated at RoRo 2 rather than the double deck RoRo 3.