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About tarbyonline

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  • Birthday 19/05/1982

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  1. Stena replaced all the mattresses onboard with "Dux" branded mattresses a few years back. It really does make a difference. The Visentini pair have been fantastic servants on the Birkenhead route over the years. They will be missed, but having travelled on Estrid I think Edda and Embla will be a big upgrade. Coincidentally, Stena announced that they have taken delivery of Edda earlier today.
  2. We had to do a circuit of Dublin Bay first - Dublin Port wouldn't let us in!!!!
  3. A lot more here now though ;). I was lucky enough to be invited along to the maiden voyage. Also got a bridge visit despite sailing in a storm!! She's a good sea boat, that's for sure. https://www.niferry.co.uk/stena-estrid-first-look/
  4. Should say "hadn't paid all the instalments" of course
  5. They already did a fair few years ago! She's currently owned by Visemar AFAIK. Watling Street was a subsidiary of EPIC shipping who had severe financial difficulties resulting in the Ro-Pax's being sold off. My memory is a bit blurry as this all happened the best part of 10 years ago, but IIRC Visentini (Visemar) took EPIC to court over Scottish Viking as they defaulted on an agreement to purchase her outright. It turned out the reason was because they were broke and eventually their ships were sold off. Stena Flavia, Stena Lagan/Mersey, Etretat are all ex EPIC Shipping controlled vessels. As they paid all the instalments for Scottish Viking she returned to Visentini.
  6. Seems they have to behave now. While the court in Milan threw out the bankruptcy proceedings it has been reported that unless things improve the directors will be held personally responsible for transactions "carried out in conflict of interests". I assume that refers to the recent flogging of anything of value in the fleet! At least they are talking to their creditors now in an attempt to restructure their debt. How long can their collection of vintage old ladies keep going without pulling down margins further?
  7. Sounds a bit like Holyhead. Nothing of note has happened there either. Dublin has customs inspection points and a holding area for them (which has ate in to the marshalling space from what I can gather).
  8. I'm inclined to agree. At the end of the day it will come down to whoever presents the best business case, but I can still see the lengthened E-Flexer's going there too. As I said in another thread, perhaps they'll go to Gdynia while they await the new ships then move on to Ventspils or Liepaja (if they fit). The lengthened Visentini pair could mean the loss of the party/cruise trade of course, but how profitable is that really these days?🤔
  9. We'll see. A lot will depend on what Stena want to do fleet wise over the next few years. "Baltica" could be quite useful elsewhere, perhaps even slotting into a Nordica-like relief ship role? It wouldn't be the first time Stena sold a ship prior to replacement tonnage arriving and had to use something as a stop-gap! Both lengthened Visentini's should be available for 2021 in any case. Some still think the lengthened E-Flexer's will end up at Dublin (which is being redeveloped) but my money is still on Gdynia with the lengthened Visentini's filling in until their arrival. Following that, Urd and Stena Gothica aren't getting any younger and the Ventspils route (currently using two Visentini's) could do with larger tonnage too I believe. That would free up Stena Flavia and allow Scottish Viking to be handed back to whichever Visentini associated company owns her (can't recall of the top of my head), or alternatively, the replacement of Urd and Gothica. All speculation of course and assuming that Stena RoRo don't get an offer from elsewhere that is too good to turn down!
  10. We shall see. I suspect that Brittany Ferries and DFDS will both play things less "safe" than Stena so far as ID is concerned, but there's only so much can be done within a given amount of space at the end of the day. Certainly the Stena pictures so far haven't looked very revolutionary. One of the most interesting aspects of this series will be seeing the differences (and similarities) of course.
  11. I haven't read through the entire topic (apologies), but modifying for passenger service could be as little as reconfiguring the existing accommodation or even adding a small extension. Its not necessarily a full scale rebuild. I don't see Armorique II happening personally (if nothing else they'll want to preserve freight capacity surely?), though perhaps somewhere in between? I guess it depends on where they see the future for the route in a couple of years time. You assume she CAN be recalled prior to the end of her contract (which I assume must end in 2021?).
  12. Looking at Irish Ferries passenger figures via Shippax though they have held up very well, especially considering there has been no huge jump elsewhere (that's before even considering Irish Ferries sold two ships worth of bookings last year which they had to try and squeeze on to one)! How things will be next year though remains to be seen, but Dublin IS very convenient for a lot of people. Some "improvements" have already been made on board based on passenger (and crew) feedback. W.B YEATS was never going to be another OSCAR WILDE. That was a very deliberate choice on the part of Irish Continental. Someone said somewhere above that Irish Ferries might realise they have got it wrong. They would perhaps disagree with that considering Yeats was about securing the France connection by bringing in a more modern and efficient vessel which can be mostly closed down during quiet crossings. She was a very deliberate choice, and her freight capacity compared to her predecessor says it all - its freight that will secure the year round viability of the route. The next vessel for them is expected to be very similar but with a lot more freight capacity instead of so many cabins. Perhaps we should think of Yeats as less of a downgrade from Oscar and more of an upgrade from EPSILON? 🤔
  13. It's more a painted out Adria Ferries livery with the Brittany Ferries logo added than a full livery. Same as was done with Connemara which still has red at her waterline. For a short charter its not worth doing any more since it will be Brittany Ferries (and not Stena RoRo) paying for a full repaint. With regard to the "Economie livery". Will there ever be such a thing and would it be worth the expense? Etretat looks like she is in LD Lines livery with the red band removed and a Brittany Ferries logo slapped on. BDS looks like she's had some of her DFDS blue hull painted over to look a bit like Etretat (the swooshy wave thing isn't even in the same place). As above, Connemara and Kerry retain their previous colours with a Brittany Ferries logo added! All are chartered and likely on borrowed time As for the E-Flexers, while they may be an upgrade on your regular Visentini they are unlikely to be the height of luxury either. They are still very much a Ro-Pax design and no matter how much interior design you do there's only so much can be done within the existing constraints. If BF had wanted "cruise ferries" (I hate that term) then they'd have ordered them. One of the alternatives considered was apparently an order with Visentini after all (mind you Balearia's latests look very nice)! Still, it may be unfair to brand the E-Flexer's as economie, especially given how the whole Northern European ferry market seems to be moving in the same direction.
  14. Quoting you here Jonno but this is only partially a reply to that quote as such "Ferry" trade at Cork doesn't appear to be big business. The port is busy with plenty of other trade though (including trade cars, of course). It doesn't make sense for them to invest money in something they aren't making a lot out of at the expense of things they are. Compared to Rosslare and Dublin, which have multiple passenger and freight sailings daily, they are a bit of an also ran I suppose. A big change from their historical position! If your Ireland to France sailing is cancelled, it is relatively simple to do a landbridge from Rosslare or Dublin. A bit of a pain, but not as much as having to drive to a different port to do the same as is the case with Cork. Freight likes reliability and the Cork-Spain service needs to prove it can deliver. Dublin is by far the biggest population centre in Ireland (and by extension destination and origin of goods), and especially with road improvements Rosslare is just as close as Cork but already has the infrastructure in place (and the ferry trade is big business for that port compared to Cork). Some predicted by moving to Dublin from Rosslare Irish Ferries would lose trade, but from the figures I've seen that's anything but the case. Everything I hear about the enlarged Visentini's seems to point to them going to The Baltic. For Stena to start a service to Spain it would need to make commercial sense versus using the tonnage elsewhere. Operators aren't exactly clamouring to set up new services from Ireland to Spain (or France for that matter). I'd suggest there is already over capacity given much of what trade does go to Spain passes through France - BF are having to build up direct Ireland to Spain trade from scratch after all, and from a haulage perspective the direct route removes all possibility of picking up or dropping additional loads en route as well. Thats before you even consider one cancellation puts you back half a week or having to take a lengthy detour! Margins don't appear to be huge either (remember LD Lines who carried good loads but couldn't survive without subsidy, though obviously the routing was different and they did have a lot of bad luck with regards weather and reliability). It's worth remembering that much of what moves between Ireland and France (including via the land bridge) isn't going to or originating from France but the countries further east. On a related note, the proposed competing Cork to Spain service from Vigo seems to be just that - a proposal. Reading the interviews with the company concerned (the port management company...) it seems to be mostly about poaching Uk-Spain trade from Santander. In any case, the company supposedly providing the tonnage (Grimaldi) say they have never heard of this proposal!!! Nor does it seem they have even approached the Port of Cork . Theres also been some talk of a Rosslare to Le Havre service, but that seems to be more of an idea to perhaps extract EU subsidy and increase votes in local elections than something that is going to happen any time soon. Who knows what the future holds mind, but I can't see Stena or anyone else starting an Ireland to Spain only service unless Brittany Ferries are consistently achieving high load factors. EDIT: Apologies for continuing the off-topic discussion. Admin please move if there is somewhere more appropriate.
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