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tarbyonline

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  • Birthday 19/05/1982

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  1. Can’t comment on crewing numbers as I don’t know them or what they are certified for at each capacity level. Seaway is about the maximum Larne can handle (she even overhangs slightly at Cairnryan IIRC), and afaik that is only on one berth. Stena Lagan/Mersey is the biggest ferry to visit but that was for an IWS in calm weather and not on the berths normally used for ferries. An attempt to bring a Superfast in for an IWS was aborted as it was judged unsafe. They’ve tried to work the problems out for at least the past 19 years and not made a penny on the route. Personally I think they should be applauded for sticking with it for nearly two decades! Perhaps they could have done more, but there’s only so much you can do in a declining market. If the route is viable someone else will pick it up, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. P&O look to be keeping most of the freight and airlines and the like will be desperate to fill seats and repair the Industry reputation. When DFDS dropped their Harwich route many said someone else would take it over. We are still waiting. Operators rarely close a route without examining all of their options first, not least because they don’t want to strengthen the competition either. One of the lessons learned from Covid is that passengers alone can’t be relied on to sustain a ferry operation. Freight volumes on the other hand bounced back incredibly quickly! If it was my cash I know what type of operation I would be investing in.
  2. If they want to make it an even longer crossing and lose money York or Bruges might work. They are neither fast or cheap to run! UP TO 125 drivers in individual cabins. The company has been misquoted quite a bit. KERRY only has something like 72 cabins from memory so it’s going to be very difficult to have 125 drivers in individual cabins! VISBY has 119, again that’s not 125 either. It’s all very well having all this additional capacity. Even with a rates war his is still capacity that will need filled, and the operators will still need to be making money. Some people seem to think everything passing through Holyhead is using the landbridge- it isn’t. Great Britain needs to get its food from somewhere for instance! There’s a reason so many places advertise the fact that they only use “British and Irish beef” for instance. It’s a bit of a novelty at the Moy Park outlet purchasing Waitrose branded chicken (Waitrose doesn’t exist in Northern Ireland). From memory the landbridge accounts for around 150,000 movements per annum total (that’s inwards and outwards). Holyhead alone as over 450,000 movements per year (coincidentally, that’s similar volume to what Stena puts through Belfast on an annual basis). We also need to remember that a decent amount of landbridge traffic uses Dublin - Liverpool due to driver hours. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of the traffic that has shifted to Dublin from Larne and Belfast moving back if things are as bad as some predict. Important to remember as well that nothing is settled and nobody knows what’s going to happen come January. Any initial disruption will surely be reduced as everyone gets used to the new processes and procedures. Whether that will be enough remains to be seen, but we are probably looking at double digit hour delays before a 24 hour crossing (and it’s cost) becomes seriously attractive to hauliers working on tight margins.
  3. Exactly. It’s the same space, just as the C-club is the same as Stena Plus and Plaza Mayor the same as The Sky Bar The pet cabins ARE on deck 7 . Towards the forward end of the cabin block. The plans based on the GA that @jonno shared and ferry shipping summit has also published look to be relatively old and modified from the original E-Flexer plans. Note the “taste” servery for instance. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the small names in those plans, more I’d use them as a handy reference as to the layout. The passenger information leaflet will be online any day now. The plans on it are very similar to the ones published on NI Ferry. As for the decor, personally I think I prefer the Brittany Ferries version. Tbh it’s all very well sitting here behind screens commenting on the ship, but until we actually experience her for ourselves there’s not really much point IMO!
  4. Larne - Cairnryan is the only Irish Sea route suitable without reconfiguring the ships. While seaway works as relief (she’s not a perfect fit at the ports), Burgundy wouldn’t necessarily. Windage for instance could be a big issue. The current purpose-built ships have grounded before and they aren’t on the limits the way these larger ships are. It makes sense to retain a pair of ships as crew can simply move between them without retraining, all procedures are the same, etc.
  5. Yup, Shippax (and others) have said that Visentini was one of the options looked at by Stena. I suspect it could have been something not unlike the more recent visentini builds which have very similar capacity to the E-Flexer. In the end it seems it was a case of China or nothing though due to cost and capacity/volume, not to mention getting a truly new product. How many European yards would be able to put out so many ships to differing specifications within the same timeframe? Bespoke is all very well, but from a ship ownership point of view could cost more in the long run when it comes to resale or redeployment/flexibility. The E-Flexers have been designed with future reconfiguration in mind. Of course the E-Flexer’s will share characteristics with the Visentini’s - they are a bit of a benchmark when it comes to efficiency. In that regard, I believe Estrid and Edda have actually exceeded the lofty expectations placed on them! For those criticising what they seem to be implying is an inferior ship, would you rather have no ferry service at all? The world has changed and ferry companies are in the business of staying in business! Flexibility is now more important that ever and looks like it could become even more important in future. There are very unpredictable times ahead for the ferry industry.
  6. Ramp issues are quite common on new builds and are often just a case of crew getting to know the ship. TTS supplied them - they know what they are doing. There was a bit of an issue with the upper bow door on the maiden voyage of Estrid - that doesn't mean it has happened on every sailing! The cabins are similar in size to any other modern ferry - I cant see how the commodore cabin could be "tiny" given the space they take up, but I guess it depends what you are comparing to. Double beds take up a lot of space mind. Tarted up Ro-Pax? Perhaps they should take a trip on EPSILON between Ireland and France? Unfortunately sometimes people don't like anything that isn't exactly the same as what they experienced before. Personally, like @Fine Whine,I wouldn't pay too much attention to social media. Especially from the maiden voyage. Best way to find out what she is really like is to experience her for ourselves!
  7. Putting a lock on a toilet door I would say is a snagging issue and one relatively easily solved by the onboard handyman or equivalent. On a large project such as this it’s easy to miss such details. The allocation of cabins could be another snagging issue too. Stena’s freight driver cabins have four berths I believe, but there should only be two drivers allocated to each in normal circumstances. Queues for restaurants are a common issue and will always be an issue when people want to eat at exactly the same time! With regard to driver cabins, their employers pay for a berth. I am sure Brittany Ferries like others would gladly allow their employer to top up the fare to provide a 4-berth cabin just for one driver. The problem is that would either eat into already tight margins or mean they charge a higher rate to their customers who may just go elsewhere as a result. Overnight drivers should be pretty used to sharing facilities on dry land I would assume, it’s not like they stay in five star hotels every night! I’d bet the facilities onboard this ship are a lot more modern and cleaner than those in some service areas and truck stops! It does seem a rather bold move by Brittany Ferries to specify this accommodation (these cabins are actually in the extended part of the superstructure the Stena ships don’t have from what I can see), but I doubt they didn’t at least try to consult with their customers (that’s the haulage companies, not the drivers themselves) beforehand. On the plus side, surely sharing with one person for much of 24 hours is better than with another three, and the bunks do look like they provide a degree of privacy. Perhaps it will be the case that each driver will get an individual cabin on quieter crossings, or at least share with someone from the same company, too. It’s an interesting move and one I was a bit surprised by when I first heard of it if I’m honest. As someone posted above, it’s not uncommon for there to be “feedback” from drivers. Much of this on various routes is about being forced to share with three strangers and eat inferior food. On Galicia they share with one person (albeit with communal facilities) and eat the same food in the same surroundings as everyone else. Unfortunately, for better or worse, that means other compromises have had to be made. Someone mentioned kennels. They are the same as the Stena vessels AFAIK. All shiny stainless steel, heated and ventilated. Accessed from the outside deck on deck 7. I believe they can even pipe in music!
  8. “Well appointed bars and entertainment” cost money to run. Galicia carries 85 crew while Cap Finistere carries 107 according to BF. That’s a lot of additional cost given that crewing along with fuel one of the biggest running costs on a ferry! As I commented elsewhere, ferries with “cruise-style” facilities are falling out of favour with operators. Enjoy them while they last. Survival is surely the most important thing at the moment? Galicia should be a much cheaper ship to run - Estrid and Edda have exceeded expectations I believe. I imagine it would cost a lot more to go back on the long term charter arrangement with Stena RoRo in any case! At least they don’t have the added expense of a still not completed Honfleur hanging around their necks as well.
  9. No RoRo schedule for freight yet though, just lolo . Ro-Ro schedule for the other routes though. I’m not sure what benefit there would be to DFDS taking over the Zeebrugge route (would the authorities even allow it?). P&O have been clear they are retaining a freight service of some kind, and some of their big customers are switching to multimodal. Lo-Lo fits in quite well with their integrated transport solutions focus and they’ve invested heavily in rail freight. It would seem silly to hand their customers to a competitor! Yes. P&O contacted me to strongly deny so I thought it best to remove the story. All I can say is watch this space - some crew have already said their goodbyes to Burg publicly on Facebook! We will have to wait and see. It would seem to make sense to retain one ship for refit cover given the remaining ships are apparently moving to a new food service format.
  10. I believe this is geared around a disabled person and a carer travelling. Disabled hotel rooms tend to be the same in my experience, though many holiday inns (in the UK at least) offer a complementary second adjacent room if you ask. Regulations for new ships may also be different than for older tonnage 🤔. On the E-Flexer's the disabled cabins are actually two single beds (not bunks but standalone beds) - much harder to bump your head transferring between wheelchair and berth! The older Visentini's had 4-berth disabled cabins but from what I understand much of the time only two berths were occupied! The disabled toilet facilities on Stena Estrid are first class btw, and the ships are spaciously laid out enough that even my father in his large electric wheelchair could move around with ease. The lifts are also roomy, and there isn't the large step into the lifts/stairwell on the upper vehicle deck that there usually is. He was very impressed.
  11. This was updated this morning with some higher resolution deck plans following feedback. I have also added vehicle decks 5 and the mezzanine deck 6 for completeness. EDIT: BF has confirmed these are the plans displayed on the ship. A different version in the corporate style will be produced for leaflets, etc. @jonno im hoping to have the Stena Embla page later this week. Thank you for your kind words. For those commenting on the facilities, this is a 1000 passenger 3000 lane metre ship. Like most modern ferries the focus is shifting more and more towards freight, and to be fair this class is much better appointed (and quieter) than the Visentini alternative. All indications are this will continue to be the trend going forward, and that it might actually accelerate. Even the likes of Moby who in the past have given many an elderly ferry a home are saying the future is Ro-Pax. Ferry companies have to make money at the end of the day!
  12. Safe Return to Port. Its there in the hope it never has to be used!
  13. Limited outside space? Two promenade decks, three balcony style decks aft, and a large sun deck. By modern day standards that’s loads for 1000 passengers! It’s a helipad and there are reasons why full length sun decks aren’t practical. There’s a lot of equipment up there on a modern ferry (and a backup bridge too in this case)
  14. There’s some info here https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/10/15/ships-get-free-pass-emissions-2030-compromise-proposal/ There have been suggestions that some ferries could meet their demise prematurely as a result - it just won’t be worthwhile to retrofit versus ordering new given the limited time for payback.
  15. All ships will be subject to the new limits, not just ferries. Afaik we are still at the proposals stage, but the EU and others are keen
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