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Cork..end of season.

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Great photos! B|

Just where has the season gone? It will be interesting to see how BF will respond to the increased challenge of Irish Ferries next year on the Ireland/France routes. 

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There have been many opinions expressed on here over the IF ‘advances’ and the extent to which they might affect BF’s weekly Cork run.

Unless I’m badly mistaken, most of the views have been from ‘GB’  or French residents, as opposed to ‘the island of Ireland’ (no offense intended to anybody & hopefully none taken) customers.  I’d be very interested in their views.

My impression, albeit as a Brit living in France, but with family (and me) which from time to time wants travel between Ireland & France, is that increased competition is good and that there’s an untapped market out there.  Competition = lower prices, eh?

 

 

 

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I was on the  28th Oct sailing to France & back on the last sailing to Ireland on Friday 3rd. The Pont Aven was very lightly loaded both ways due in no small part to the effects  of the previous weeks cancellation because of storm Brian. Looking at the vehicle registrations there was a high proportion of Cork registered cars and French vehicles  with a smattering of UK & Northern Ireland as well.

I would say that the French & people living around Cork would continue to use BF in preference to Irish Ferries but that the Northern Irish that travelled down to Cork would probably opt for the new Dublin -Cherbourg route  as it cuts miles off their journey to the ferry.

There maybe price competition that will have an effect with IF currently offering 10 % off 2018 prices but what I think will have  a greater effect is the flexibility that IF can provide with daily sailings. BF 's one sailing a week is very inflexible and the timetable suits them rather than the customer with a very early arrival into Roscoff at 6:00 am. 

If you want a short break in France and use BF you only get 5 nights in France & if you wish to extend that to say 10 days you have to use another carrier for one leg of the journey and the danger is now that with a smart new ship they may find the IF offering  more attractive & use them in the future.

It has to be said that you cannot fault the BF offering in general  with the dining in La Flora & they way they maintain the PA - we as pet owners have issues with them that they won't address. The Kennel card to open the door has not been working properly since the end of August so their solution is to leave the 2 doors to the kennels tied open which is not secure for the dogs & would on a busy sailing allow anyone who wanted to go in & let the animals loose. They also on the early morning arrival into Roscoff do not open the car deck 1 hour in advance to allow easy transfer of pets back to their vehicles and it causes stress on the pet owners & those customers who are trying to get down to the vehicle deck on the one lift that is available. They are not enforcing the Muzzle rule consistantly and someone or some child is going to get bitten by a nervous dog when they are packed into an overcrowded lift.

2018 will certainly be an interesting year  .....

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They could also put a notice at the stairs leading to the kennels that it is for dogs and owners only , there is a constant stream of people with children  heading up to the kennel area as if  the  kennels are a petting zoo .

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BF's cork route is fairly safe I would think - BF have actually been doing TV adverts here in Ireland this year - so they're their doing their bit at least.

IF, for all their low fares talk, are usually fairly similar in price.

There's something lovely about sitting in the Cafe on the PA listening to the announcements in Fench whilst still docked in Ringaskiddy.

For next year,  I booked direct with BF's Cork office rather than online - I found it a good way to book as those working there have an indept knowledge of France.

 

 

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The onslaught has begun.

Ireland's Sunday newspapers had a fair few IF advertisements with "daily sailings" to France. Their email campaign has also started again talking of "daily sailings". Interestingly, their press adverts did not mention the new ship at all.

But, IF certainly don't have the Ireland-Continent routes to themselves. There is Stena of course but also operators like CldN of Luxembourg snapping at their heals in the freight market. The latter using the world's largest ro-ro ship:

https://afloat.ie/port-news/dublin-port/item/37562-world-s-largest-ro-ro-freight-ferry-completes-maiden-voyage-from-continental-europe-to-dublin-port

 

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