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Jean Bart

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About Jean Bart

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  • Birthday 04/03/1962

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  1. Others may know of other reasons, but I would imagine they use both ports to prevent another ferry operator from establishing a rival service to/from that port. Also having 2 active ports means that an alternative port is usually available in case of any port operating problems, strike action, etc. and gives more leeway to arrival/departure slots, turn-around times, etc. I'm not sure whether the respective local governments or councils provide any financial incentives to maintain the services.... Santander has also become a regular port destination for P&O Cruises, using the current ferry berth, in addition to Bilbao (Gexto) (maybe I should say 'had become....'?
  2. I was very fortunate one year, I think it was in 2012 or 2013, I was able to book as a footie from Zierbena to Portsmouth on the Cap, leaving on a Friday night (it was Good Friday in fact). I caught the metro from the city centre to Santurtzi and then a bus which skirted round quite near the ferry terminal but higher up on the cliffs/headland overlooking the estuary. The driver had no idea where to drop me off (he didn't seem to even know that there was a ferry terminal) but we could see the Cap at her berth so he just stopped and let me get off and I made my own way on foot, pulling my wheeled suitcase, down a rough track leading from the verge down towards the perimeter fence, found the entrance used by lorries and (as others have said) just walked along the vehicle lanes to the very small terminal building, where there was just a check-in desk and a vending machine. I was the only footie there until about 20 mins before boarding when a taxi pulled up with a Spanish family who also checked in. There were no announcements or any of the usual tourist info/leaflets (etc.) and I began to worry that we had been forgotten about. About 30 mins before departure a BF on-board hostess appeared and escorted us out onto the dockside and up the vehicle ramp and onto the escalators on board. The crossing was quite eventful as it turned out, I noticed on the Saturday morning when I went out on deck that we weren't moving; I asked a deckhand and he said that they had plenty of time to use a lower speed and check the engines(ETA Portsmouth was 1700hrs Sat, but he said 'No, it's much later than that, nearer midnight') which I thought seemed odd. By midday we seemed to be off Roscoff and were still crawling along and then stopped. There seemed to be a problem restarting the engines - lots of thick black smoke from the funnels. About an hour later there was announcement that our arrival would be delayed, due to problems with the engines. Further announcements followed, saying that our ETA would be 23.00hrs! The Reception desk was besieged with mostly Spaniards asking about their hotel accommodation in London, seemed to be an organised mini-cruise type affair. The few English passengers who didn't speak French were addressed by the entertainer (magician) who was apparently the only English-speaking crew member! I had to book myself a hotel in Portsmouth as I missed the last train home to London and beyond, and had to buy a new train ticket, and missed most of Easter Sunday with my family, and BF NEVER offered me a refund or an apology, using the usual check with your travel insurance line. I was always puzzled by the whole event, no real reason was given, though. Anyway, apols for the long story there, but Yes indeed it WAS possible to sail from Zierbena as a footie. I have never been able to repeat it though!...
  3. When the Val de Loire operated the Roscoff/Plymouth/Santander/Plymouth/Roscoff/Cork/Roscoff rotations you could book one of two "Stages de navigation en mer", a one week hands-on cruise learning about either technical/engine room operations or navagation/safety. The price included all meals, accommodation and a certificate of competence. I did email BF about whether this was still available when PA entered service, but never received an answer. Also, I often do a quick trip to Le Havre, Cherbourg or Ouistreham (and indeed Hoek Van Holland) and have always been allowed to keep my belongings in my cabin during the turn-around. On some BF ships they put a sticker on the cabin door saying "Mini-Croisiere" so the cleaners know not to bother going in. I've noticed this on PA in Santander too.
  4. I emailed BF customer support and received this by way of explanation. CF still on the berth when MSM arrived back this morning at 6.45. Another 'diverted' passenger told me that she had been told by someone at BF that it was because Le Havre is a difficult port in bad weather, hence the cancellation. Thank you for your email. It is the captains decision to make re cancelling a sailing due to the poor weather and the wave/wind situation. They have to look at all the reports given to them and make the decision if it is safe to sail or not when the weather forecast/shipping reports have been issued. Regards, Dean
  5. Sorry; I meant MSM , not CAP! Sorry to excite everyone!!
  6. On board Cap now, passed Pont-Aven at about 3.30pm inbound (from St-Malo? What time did she leave?). Agree, very interesting course past the IOW this afternoon.
  7. Hi I was booked on a round trip on Cap Finistere today, coming back tonight, taking advantage of her presence on the Le Havre route, but the sailings have been cancelled due to severe weather. I have re-booked onto MSM instead, but according to the BF website Live Ship Positions, Cap F is in Portsmouth right now. I'm wondering, if that's the case, why her sailings are cancelled, due to the weather?
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