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Everything posted by tarbyonline

  1. tarbyonline

    2021 Timetables

    The reason for the extension is future proofing and is part of a bigger project to modernise the port. There are other ports in Europe doing similar - it doesn't necessarily mean new tonnage is imminent, but certainly gives that option should it be required. Stena and Irish Ferries aren't the only users of the berths at Rosslare either remember, and the port is actively looking for new business. The extension of the superstructure on GALACIA is simply additional cabins, as is the removal of the dedicated car deck. From the 3D virtual tour, GALACIA is very much still a Stena ship with the colours changed. There are no plans for Stena to use a "bigger" ship on the Rosslare run that I am aware of, though should they decide not to renew the charter of Horizon I wouldn't be surprised to see a similarly-sized vessel. To justify a larger vessel at Cherbourg over other routes where trailers have been having to queue to get on there would need to be a surge in volumes. Arguably increased frequency may be more desirable should the need arise anyway, especially given the redundancy that would add. Extended Lagan/Mersey will be staying together totally away from Ireland anyway I'm told, unless there is a major change in plan. Regarding my suggestion about BF at Cherbourg, the rail link will have significant capacity and not everything will use it in any case. If there is an opportunity to get a share of any post-Brexit uplift in traffic and a ship available, why wouldn't Brittany Ferries take advantage with a year-round service and offer a total solution? There is little interest in hauliers for seasonal services anyway- what do they do for the rest of the year? OBS opportunities on a standard Visentini-type vessel are also pretty limited in terms of the passenger side of the business, and freight will cover the costs (if the demand is there of course). If the past six months have proved anything it is that companies need to diversify - particularly those more focused on tourism. A more frequent Ireland - France could be a natural progression for Brittany Ferries given there is a market already there (assuming they have the tonnage available), unlike Ireland to Spain for which they had a standing start.
  2. tarbyonline

    2021 Timetables

    Not saying it invalidates anything, just that it shouldn't be taken for granted that plans which were previously floated will happen. There was a lot of rhetoric about GALACIA as well, but to all intents and purposes she looks to be Estrid with the colours changed and a few pictures! The biggest appears to be a smallish extension to the existing Stena shop in the same area that was always intended for that purpose should it be required (duty free returning for example). Oh and a bulkhead in the restaurant! Regarding COTENTIN if and when she does return. Rosslare - Cherbourg anyone? I hear the rail highway from Bayonne - Cherbourg has been given the go ahead by the government, do BF want Stena and IF to take that traffic? One sailing a week over the summer months isn't going to build freight, and she wouldn't need any work really either running as a year-round freighter. For Le Havre it would surely be cheaper to charter something in than go through a costly rebuild exercise. Interestingly, ETRETAT has also been added to the vessel info on the Irish site but not CONNEMARA.
  3. tarbyonline

    2021 Timetables

    Official design capacity for ETRETAT is 800, but that likely is inclusive of crew. Also no activation costs to use CONNEMARA. Plus there's the manning agreement with Stena for KERRY as you allude to. That money likely has to be paid regardless. Factually incorrect. Irish Ferries are also licensed to carry livestock between Ireland and France. The arrival of W.B. YEATS increased this capability. I wouldn't bet on it, especially with a red funnel. Stena RoRo will always do a deal with whoever it makes most commercial sense. Even at the expense of Stena Line if need be. I'd argue that Visentini-style ships are exactly what many operators keen to get their costs down want right now as well. It was a shrewd move snapping so many up when they had the chance. If there aren't any takers, Stena Line would probably take them anyhow given they have chartered examples themselves. If the Lagan/Mersey rebuilds are judged to be a success I wouldn't be surprised to see Stena recall the rest of their FlexBow examples for similar treatment. Its a lot about costs and delivery times. Hauliers live or die on utilisation and margins are tight. In the age of just in time delivery, nearly an entire day on a ferry is rather inconvenient. Especially when you are having to pay the driver to sit on the ferry (unaccompanied doesn't work particularly well with JIT). Theres also the ability to collect and drop of part loads en route, something that is more common than many people realise but is surely now under threat. As a random example, Dublin - Cherbourg is in the region of 18 hours by ferry. Dublin to Paris is about 13 hours using the landbridge (its a little more than that to Cherbourg using landbridge via Portsmouth). Of course breaks need to be included in that, but its a huge difference, plus the long ferry crossing has a cost as well! Send the driver via Belfast or Dublin to Liverpool and the main rest break is already taken onboard so you have a driver with up to 10 hours driving time left. Even with a couple of hours spent in customs, land bridge could still have an advantage - it all depends on what changes there are to trade between the UK and the EU of course. The "increase" in direct capacity between Ireland and Continental Europe isn't all that much when you consider what moves through Holyhead alone on a DAILY basis. To "replace" the landbridge would take an armada of ships. According to the Welsh Government: Of goods carried on Irish registered HGVs from the Republic of Ireland to the continent in 2018, 68.0 per cent went through Wales. Of goods carried on Irish registered HGVs to Ireland from the continent, 82.4 per cent went through Wales From there it's on to Dover, Portsmouth, Harwich, or elsewhere. Of course not everything using the landbridge goes via Holyhead, Belfast (and even Larne) also has its share, though road improvements elsewhere make Scotland an increasingly less attractive option. Should add that the new section for Lagan is already complete and that Mersey's is well underway (over 50% IIRC). A lot of talk about what may or may not be Brittany Ferries plans for various tonnage in the future here. Given the events of the previous six months and the nature of the ferry business as a result (just about everyone is trying to conserve cash/liquid funds), previous plans may be totally out the window. Conversion projects (and delayed newbuild contracts) in particular tie up a lot of cash of course. Christophe Matthieu himself has said BF have a "painful" 5 years ahead.
  4. tarbyonline

    2021 Timetables

    Same. The Flex-Bow vessels are known to be "good sea boats".
  5. tarbyonline

    2021 Timetables

    Its back on actually. She's been back in Turkey at the yard since mid-June
  6. Totally agree HONFLEUR is a ship that may not necessarily be needed, especially given how different things are now compared to when she was ordered. A fleet shuffle is the obvious answer. Let's not forget she was supposed to be delivered a year ago - the company doesn't really seem to have missed her much. The €117m loan (to be paid back within 5 years) is bound to mean purse strings need to be tightened and so costs reduced though. €117m is over half the contract price of HONFLEUR to be paid back over just 5 years so lets say for easiness about €24m a year extra to be found. Staff have already been warned that the company has five hard years ahead. Theres also the potential effects post December from that B thing many seem to have forgotten about since March. Of course BF aren't the only company with additional financial obligations due to covid, but liquidity is hugely important as will reducing costs be. Not just at BF but across the industry (and others). The medium to long term effects of COVID are yet to be seen, but at present BF pax bookings for this summer are down some 60%. PONT AVEN on her planned passenger certificate of 850 is surely unsustainable in anything but the short term! Crossings could well be reduced and decisions which six months ago would have been unthinkable may need to be taken. If nothing else, the cancellation of HONFLEUR may have given BF some additional financial breathing space without a hefty final payment to pay on the ship/loan payments to make on the financing. The ferry industry is in survival mode.
  7. Alas I haven't made ARMORIQUE. I expect she's quite different - Estrid is unashamedly a Ro-Pax though very pleasant. Perhaps my gallery will give you a feel for Estrid (though obv Brittany Ferries vessels will be quite different even if using a similar footprint). https://www.niferry.co.uk/stena-estrid-first-look/ ( a new version is in the pipeline) GALICIA and co will be as nice as Brittany Ferries specify them to be. Compared to the former STENA SUPERFAST X, I much preferred Estrid. If for nothing else for the sense of space and airiness. Interior fit out seemed to be to a high standard, but I was on her on day one! I personally don't think BF will end up with a fleet purely of E-Flexers and VIsentinis, but they could certainly supplement a core fleet (which seems to have been the plan anyway). They may just make certain routes viable that otherwise wouldn't be if the demand is of the correct mix.
  8. Yes. Covid and Brexit makes things even more complex than usual. More than ever, liquid funds are important for operators at present. Probably not a popular opinion round here, but I've just polished my hard hat.... Theres a good chance that running those E-Flexers is going to be more cost efficient than much of the current tonnage. Estrid has if anything exceeded efficiency expectations and have much reduced crewing requirements compared to much of the BF fleet. They may not be the last word in luxury, but are perfectly serviceable vessels. If they keep the company afloat then surely that's a good thing. Of course none of us knows what the charter fee is, but the order obviously made financial sense at the time and I'd argue that type of tonnage makes even more sense now!
  9. You assume that passengers have a future on the Zeebrugge route. Thats not necessarily the case on a route with heavy losses and good freight demand.
  10. I've been busy lol The plan is start looking again. Eamonn Rothwell is on record saying something along the lines of that even if they were at the stage where they could place an order they'd be looking 3 years plus before anything is delivered. They are still wanting a new build.
  11. That the German and French media have both picked up on and that neither the yard or BF have made an effort to correct? Even when asked outright? Those that have shippax access will see that the yard has confirmed it to them. Quotes directly from yard management are hardly speculation!!!
  12. Forgot the Le Marin link https://lemarin.ouest-france.fr/secteurs-activites/chantiers-navals/36817-brittany-ferries-annule-la-commande-de-son-honfleur-au-gnl
  13. Would create a very unbalanced route with ships that have totally different operating characteristics and costs. The failed moby deal made a lot of sense - who knows perhaps that could even get resurrected in time. I wouldn't totally rule out this ship ending up with Brittany Ferries eventually anyway. It wouldn't be the first time someone else took a cancelled contract on then sold (or even leased) the completed ship to the original orderer. A lot will depend on where companies see their future post-covid of course, not to mention the attitude of the banks!
  14. For those with access, Shippax also now reporting https://www.shippax.com/en/news/brittany-ferries-cancels-contract-for-honfleur.aspx
  15. They will likely want sister-ships. Makes life a lot easier. Unfortunately a very valid point. Freight volumes have been good in the past, but like many BF routes the route (and the ships which sail on it) need passengers as well. Those ships weren't designed to be freighters!
  16. As are Le Marin. That the yard have released quotes tells me all I need to know really - they are hardly going to say its been cancelled if it hasn't! Having contacted BF directly, they aren't denying it... A statement is on its way. With regard to BF's future plans, who knows. Several operators have opted for life extension on ships older than NORMANDIE. With the ship already a year late and possibly another year (or more away) its not really surprising BF have taken the decision not to continue throwing money at the project. Nobody's finances are great at the moment and BF are evidently suffering. There was a report from Germany a few weeks ago that the yard were still trying to raise the finance to complete the ship! Prior to the ICG statement it was reported that FSG's voluntary insolvency was to get out of the contract because ICG wouldn't negotiate. As HHV points out though, ships cancelled late into the build often end up with the original owner (Scandlines pair are the most recent examples I can think of from the top of my head). This could be via an auction process mind. With regard to fuel, her Wartsila engines are dual fuel ready afaik. I imagine its not a great deal of work to put some diesel tanks in there if they aren't already present as a backup solution, especially on a ship that isn't finished yet. Had she something like the RR Bergen engines it would be a different story. LNG may not be the ideal solution it was thought to be a few years ago anyway. Probably no coincidence that we are a year away from the original June 2019 delivery date.
  17. Estrid off service much of the day yesterday and cruising the Irish coast. X and Yeats sailed on. Suggestions her length combined with the tight turn into Dublin’s berth was is an issue in the weather conditions. She took a break at Irish Ferries berth 49 for a while which would seem to support the theory.
  18. Originally 626 berths in 179 cabins I believe so not quite the same.
  19. I just avoid the White Rose now lol Sounds like you've both seen more of my "home" city than me! I'd argue Titanic Belfast (the worlds top tourist attraction apparently) is more of an experience than a museum. I imagine the alert status is a bit higher than usual due to the risk of dissident activity with the whole Brexit thing. Hopefully things stay calm as I haven't heard anyone that has visited say a bad word and we want your tourist money 😜. Seriously though, the risk here has been lower than much of the UK if anything for a good while, as we haven't had the Islamic extremist element for example. Like everywhere, we have good and bad areas (except we often put up flags and paint the kerb stones to warn you) . Personally I find it reassuring that the police are armed and trained to respond.
  20. Sounds like a Saturday afternoon in the White Rose Centre in Leeds! All police are armed here, some admittedly more than others. I think they bring out the heavy stuff sometimes to "reassure" tourists... Also if they are looking for something or someone. If you ask nicely next time they might let you see inside the armoured land-rover Did you do Nomadic as well as Titanic Belfast?
  21. I was in Belfast and nowhere near Lurgan 😜
  22. For it to happen they are missing three critical components. An operator, a ship, and a port agreement! Grimaldi and GNV (the two operators linked) have both publicly stated they know nothing about this project. It appears this is just the Vigo port management company trying to drum up some business and some over enthusiastic reporters. If Brittany Ferries, a well established operator, can't even half fill a ship what hope does an upstart have? The GB to IE component is interesting though - I know LD were looking to expand their Rosslare to GB service to three weekly but couldn't secure the tonnage. The demand was there though, such is the value of sailing into ports with other services!
  23. Turns out it was actually quite a small device. More designed to concentrate minds than actually go off? All police in Northern Ireland are armed and likely will continue to be so despite there not being much threat above what there is in GB (in a way less actually). Not armed to the extent I have seen in some shopping centres in England though!!!
  24. Just to confirm the "balconies" are more like balcony access. The outside deck's aft of deck 8 and 9 are accessible to everyone. Bit of a trek mind if you don't have a cabin. They are also connected to the sun deck above by steps. Would probably be simple enough to make them private though unless there is some sort of health and safety reason not to (evacuation?).
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