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  2. Calmac is owned by the Scottish Government.
  3. Calmac has no resilience in the fleet and the RMT scuppered a recent attempt to charter Pentalina.
  4. I did a crossing on the Normandie, and one of the nicest features was the way that the sommaliers sampling point is round the corner from the till and the staff there can't see whats going on over there. So when they had a whisky sampling and the somalier cleared off for his dinner. There I was Unsupervised With all these bottles of whisky. It was a nice hour. Rhys
  5. This is absolutely nothing to do with ‘Voyage Reports’ or things like that. Thought that I ‘d put it on here in order not to interrupt the other (more important) threads. This is the panorama down here in the Gard just now. The lavender has been magnificent for the last 6 weeks, but (as normal) was all cut during the last week. As in “open sesame”, these sunflowers came out immediately. Sorry that so few of you will see them.
  6. When Rapide replaced Condor 10 from St Malo to Jersey I asked one of the onboard team why she was called Rapide when in fact she took around 10 minutes longer to do the run. Her answer was that I should ask head office for an explanation and suggested that I wasn't the first person to pose the question. Hence perhaps Liberation as there was no underlying message in her name. Ed
  7. Take Normandie and offer to touch up some of her many rusty spots in that case. 😂 Ed
  8. “Hence the logic of converting Contentin for the Poole route when, wash my mouth out, Barfleur sails to India. perhaps you miss read your cryatal ball re Contentin 😁” It was cloudy that day…😁
  9. With regard to cars, I often see supercars outside the nearby Hilton. Every day there is a Lamborghini or a Ferrari parked outside or nearby. They do nothing for me, much rather see a mint condition classic/vintage vehicle. Watched today as some bloke came out of the hotel, lifted the bonnet of a white McLaren and put his cases in it - under the BONNET, those cars have spaces for the golf clubs don’t they? Bet that takes more than a spanner if it goes wrong.
  10. They say if you can remember the 60s then you weren't doing it properly!
  11. Generally, I like the Pont Aven, and have travelled to Spain on her many times. She is not the best sea-keeper, but her interior space, facilities and decor more than compensate and I have met a surprising number of passengers who plan their holidays around the PA's schedule to avoid travelling on other ships. I do agree about the strange plastic ice/waterfall feature by the lifts though - it's pretty naff!
  12. I think I may understand why I don't like the longer crossings. I don't do sitting around I always seem to be doing something. On holiday we are out and about exploring at home I usually have a project on. (This morning I have been painting the render on the front of the house) So I am not happy just sitting so I quickly exhaust the activities on a Ferry and then get bored
  13. This is absolutely right. And the problem is compounded by ferry operators’ current policy of running ferries as near capacity as they can manage (‘sweating the assets’) by cutting out the less lucrative crossings. This means that when cancellations do happen it takes a very long time for the remaining ship or ships to deal with the backlog. When VoW was off with its engine trouble, people with bookings at reasonable times of day found themselves transferred to sailings at totally impractical sailings in the early hours. The policy of course allows them to charge high fares (very few cheap promotional offers are available these days), but also has the very harmful consequence, at least as far as the IW and its residents are concerned, that for large parts of the time it becomes impossible to book a crossing at all, at any price, except for a long time ahead.
  14. I like travelling on a ferry but for me 24 hours is more than enough Cap Fin Saturday sailing bored me to tears all day on the boat looking at grey clouds and grey seas knowing I had a 4 hour plus drive once I got out of the port. Sorry to me it's a nice means to an end which I suggest applies to the majority based on the rush to get off once the ferry gets any where near the dock . Pre Pont Aven we could only afford to go once every three years so I only crossed once before that Plymouth to Santander haven't a clue which ferry. No chance of me doing 36 hours on the POB, That would have cost me two extra days off work I guess I want to much but as is often said if it ain't broke don't fix it. Bookings for Galicia seem to be doing well so I wish them luck but its not for me and I hope that the people who have booked like the extra time available on the Ferry. If not new customers will need to be attracted next year
  15. Although not having been able to sit on a ferry awaiting departure from Millbay for nearly a year, it did seem a waste to see a row of several white minibuses parked up at Stonehouse, which would never go to battle. It would be far cheaper for the Royal Marines MTO (don't ever forget to add the "Royal"!) to pick up the phone and hire a double decker from Citybus. Out of hours a troop carrying 4 tonner could do the job just as well.
  16. Do I detect that you may be deserting the love of your life Brigitte and now considering dumping the aging Barfy for a younger, sleeker and more attractive model? 😪 Joking apart I do agree however that the reasons why Armorique is the ideal ship for the 5-6 hour day crossing to Roscoff and the short overnighter are the same as would suit Poole-Cherbourg. Hence the logic of converting Contentin for the Poole route when, wash my mouth out, Barfleur sails to India. perhaps you miss read your cryatal ball re Contentin 😁
  17. I agree with much of what you say Barry, the only thing when the state ran things service also gradually went, the Workers and the Management all thought I'm alright there was no incentive to improve. With privatisation it's gradually gone the same way, a few mega "services" firms, Serco etc, get all the contracts there's no real competition and they squeeze the smaller firms who actually do the work, like Supermarkets squeeze suppliers. As for the armed forces it's only when something goes wrong that people realise that they need them, example when that dam was collapsing a couple of years ago who was called in? The Army Engineers.
  18. The advantage of BF is that it gives a choice of routes and crossing times to allow us to pick what suits us, we all have different requirements. I did Plymouth / Santander this year, however as I live in London we chose to spend a night on the way to Devon, I would not do that to Portsmouth. BF publish the timetables and costs and we select what we want (or not). I was actually unimpressed with the Pont Aven, the glass lift looks a very cheap version of one in a cruise liner and the paddling pool looked out of place., however I did like the Nespresso machine in the Commodore lounge.
  19. Does this mean that pre Pont Aven you wouldn't have considered sailing to Spain from Portsmouth? There will still be a sub 24 hour sailing from Plymouth which ever ship is used plus in regards to driving time there's not much in it from the north between the two ports. Longer Euro sea routes aren't really looked upon is the same way, many if not most passengers don't simply treat them as a means to an end. Ian, this is a ferry enthusiasts forum afterall... by definition members like travelling on ferries?
  20. I’ve just been looking into my infamous crystal ball, which predicted Barfleur to return from DFDS, predicted Liberation, when she was still in Melbourne, to serve Poole as a BF ship. Albeit that is a sort of as BF now have shares in Condor, so she is partly a BF ship. And predicted Cotentin to return to BF. That’s a hat-trick, we shall see...😁😁😁😁
  21. To serve Plymouth as what? In the state of build she still seems to be in at the moment perhaps the current owners could cut their losses and she could be scuttled in the Sound as an atificial reef 😄🤿🎣
  22. It is amazing how modern transport is susceptible to technology problems, how many container ships have wiped out cranes while trying to dock and the problem has been explained as a computer failure or software problem. In my honest opinion it all boils down to virtually every company being run with the main aim of maximising profit for shareholders. Prior to the 1980's so much was state owned, not just the UK but most of the world was the same, and the focus was service. Then came the great mantra ' Private ownership is better than state. Nations cannot afford investment but shareholders can.' The pendulum has swung too far towards profit and accountability, and now need to move back with the aim of balancing profit with service. It is like the armed forces, all the non-combat vehicles were sold to hire companies and the next time we go to fight the private companies will have to support them. So no Army buses that can act as emergency ambulances and staff cars driven by civilians, will they join in any combat? Sorry, I'm an old codger who cam remember the 60's with happy memories.
  23. Sad that we say modern ships breakdown more, same as cars, I think it's more a case that when something goes wrong it needs a computer engineer instead of a man with a spanner. Lack of resilience comes from having less larger vessels, which cuts down the frequency of service as well but looks good on paper, less running expenses.
  24. I can just hear the phone calls to Condor in a few years "Were you been miss sold a high speed ferry". In all seriousness though,NEX was laid up for so long only moved a couple of ship lengths to allow the other members of the BF fleet to access to "Lockdown ship hotel". When she went to Cherbourg, she never made it above 36 knots, the same when she went to Dunkirk for her 2019 refit. She hasn't operated in passenger service at her full 42 knots for a number of years, she has had a nice easy life of plodding to and from Portsmouth/Cherbourg at 9 knots off her full speed. Condor come along and immediately push her to her 42 knots again (although from what I've seen shes only ever made 40.8knots). To do that straight out of her not doing anything is bound to leave to troubles. It's like a bus company leaving a bus to stand for a year and then a driver taking it into service and thrashing it, it's going to break easily. What Condor should have done, is run her at 33 knots to begin with, then increase her to 36 knots and then if she was comfortable, push her to her 42 maximum. They need to remember that she isn't a brand new HSC like they wanted. She is only three years younger than Rapide.. Like Paul Luxon said on an interview one day "The company didn't invest enough time into sea trials with Liberation. There were tests that could have been completed but wern't. Our next ship will have more time invested in sea trials and we wont make as much hype as we did with Liberation." They haven't learnt by this. NEX wasn't given enough time to trial the Islands ports. They immediately went out and posted that she was faster than Rapide and that journey times would be shorter. They still caused a hype with all the info they posted and look whats happened! It has to be a Condor thing... Express, Vitessse and Rapide all had issues in her first year. Lets not mention Liberation and her problems. NEX comes along and shock she has problems as well!
  25. Ships do break down, especially the modern ones crammed with electronics. Ferries are worked hard usually. The problem comes with lack of resilience in the service. If St Clare or VoW go out of service then capacity on the route is immediately halved and an instant backlog is generated. It then takes time to mobilise St Faith so the backlog grows and St Faith has only limited capacity to clear it at busy times so you get an ongoing knock on effect until the situation can be stabilised. When there were four Saints on the route and one broke down, the chances were that the other three could rapidly compensate with extra sailings if necessary.
  26. …and to add further comment, it is a coincidence that Libby travelled all the way from the Philippines without trouble, yet the minute she entered service she started messing about. People blamed her - but was all the abuse directed at her really to do with any shortcomings she had or was it more to do with her new operators? It just seems a coincidence, that is all, not laying any blame on Condor but Libby was impeccable on a very long delivery journey. Don’t want to cast aspersions but is very coincidental.
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