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Everything posted by hhvferry

  1. Here's how it was before the EEC (1968). Of course you also had exchange controls so the ferry companies went into great details about how to conserve your foreign currency - with packed lunches, vouchers to spend on board and camping equipment hire. And the free market hadn't really hit the ferry business so Townsend were part of a fare-fixing cartel back then. You need to go back a bit further to find reference to carnets de passage and tryptiques. It looks like this stuff was abolished in the early 1960s so here the BR car ferry guide of 1958 gives exhaustive details of everything you need to consider. Just reading this is giving me a headache so I'd probably have just taken the train/ship connection instead, no doubt to BR's ultimate satisfaction.
  2. To be fair to BF, is it not just that there are, on paper, four people booked into the cabin - so they cater for the number of people booked? The crew aren't to know that someone booked on a reclining seat is actually staying in a cabin?
  3. The launch of the Settu, the ship which will replace the Stena-bound Yamato at Mitsubishi in Shimonoseki. This is where P&O's European Ambassador, Causeway and Highlander were built. I wouldn't be too keen on placing my tug right underneath a ship being launched but I guess they know what they're doing.
  4. The Nando Murrau has settled down on the Carloforte-Calasetta route whereas the 'Catherine' and 'Helen' operate the Carloforte-Portovesme run. The daytime Calasetta itinerary was previously shared by the old Arbatax and La Maddalena (now Luigi Biggio) - they are fun vintage little ferries which can't have much mileage left in them. I imagine they'll keep one as reserve ship and possibly sell the other unless they have further expansion in mind somewhere. When she first went to Sardinia the St Catherine ran on the Palau-La Maddalena route but Delcomar don't really need anything else there now that have taken over rival Saremar operation with its two purpose-built ships. At both Palau and Calasetta Delcomar continue the practice of having dedicated night ferries - a pair of landing craft things which take over from the day ships in the early evening.
  5. What does it say in the blurb which should give the copyright date of the map itself?
  6. Yes these investment s are never for the long-term. They are at most, medium term investments where they aim to increase the profits and make money on selling them on. These island ferry companies with guaranteed access and de-facto monopolies or near monopolies should be great money earners. In the hands of shipowners they could offer excellent services whilst still making good returns but in PE/vulture capitalist hands they just get squeezed too much for too long and things tend to get away from management. The mind-boggling and ever-increasing amounts of money that Scandlines have been bought and sold for over the years, despite getting smaller and smaller as a business, are an example of what can happen. Most recently sold for almost 2 billion Euros they have almost a billion Euros of debt and the Helsingor-Helsingborg route was sold off to finance a dividend to 3i, the owners, rather than for any particular strategic reason. If BF can get Condor for anything like a reasonable price (tricky) they could bring it back to being a service-oriented operation which is still profitable but where the strategic aims are not entirely focussed on the next exit opportunity and the earnings multiple.
  7. It felt a lot like forever at the time, particularly in France where the network was huge and and still runs in places, over 60 years since it started. Up at Stranraer Harbour station the car loading ramp for the service to London Euston remains in place, rusting away.
  8. The food on BF is rather better quality, as you'd perhaps expect given it will be fresher than typical frozen or pre-prepared, more mass produced cruise ship food. Magellan is a fine ship, but, cabins aside, the interior fitout in Pont-Aven's smaller array of public spaces is of a rather more substantial quality (I imagine the $ per square budget BF had to play with back in the day would make Cruise & Maritime wince). Having sailed on them both it's a tight call, but Pont-Aven would probably get my money. And she definitely would over some of the floating Butlins sailing out there for larger UK-based cruise operators - I'm not sure what would be worse, the kitschness of the ships or the horrors of some of the fellow passengers.
  9. To be even close to economically viable (and I know it won't be even with this) the route and ship would need to sustain a WB Yeats style timetable of being able to do a round trip in 48 hours. So what's the farthest north that would get you from say Cherbourg? Liverpool or Birkenhead? That gives you access to the M62 corridor plus North Wales so would be the best bet by far. You'd need to get access to berths although that might not be impossible. Perhaps an idea for the future deployment of Stena Mersey and Stena Lagan
  10. Would the Condor element of the French market have counted as significant enough in the typical way the CMA assess these things? I suspect not, although if it was the only remaining competition then that may be different. I'm not sure if they can assess as anti-competitive the barriers to entry BF are erecting by sewing up most of the ports a rival would want to use but it's pretty clear to see that's what they're doing.
  11. Was intrigued by this so just had a pleasant journey down memory lane flicking through some brochures. Sealink after moving to the new port at Dunkerque did indeed take 2h20m - before that it was 3h45m with a longer journey and faffing around at both ends. The Norfolkline route was always scheduled for 2 hours with the racehorses but some very early promotional material suggests the three D class ships would reduce that to 1h45m. But their introductory pack already had this pegged back at 2 hours (Norfolkline were actually very cagey about stating crossing times as it was never going to be a competitive advantage. Only departure times are stated in the timetable but the main blurb regularly states, "Dunkerque, just two hours from Dover".) In summary, 90 minutes was never regularly scheduled; pier to pier it might be about that but it did look like they wanted to trim 15 off it when the D's were introduced but this was never actually built into the schedule once they were delivered.
  12. Overt expressions of nationalism don't really appeal to me at the best of times but maybe, just maybe, this would be OK in British waters. But I cannot comprehend why anyone would want to do it whilst sailing close to the quiet shores of beautiful Norway. s
  13. This video convinces me that going with P&O Cruises may actually be as awful as I'd always imagined.
  14. Yes it was the Gotland of 1973, now the Corsica Victoria. It was in the early days of Ouistreham when the DDN couldn't cope alone. The 1973-built Gotland and her sister were stunning ships, all Swedish designer furniture and shag-pile carpets. All cabins were en-suite and above the waterline which was almost unprecedented. And there was lots and lots of orange - orange carpets, orange seating, orange light fittings. Pictures on board her as built are a sight to behold. As well as a rather lovely lido area (which only the Gotland had because she was intended for out-of-season cruises) they also had a below the car deck nightclub which remains, unused but completely intact, on the two ships today, right down to the original carpets, orange glow lights, button-down red leather seating and framed Swedish prints on the walls. The next generation Visby (and the never-used Gotland) became the Felicity and Peter Wessel and were not quite as swish but still very impressive. Then came the wilderness years when Gotlandsbolaget lost their franchise and the Gotland of 1996 was, and is, an icky and unimaginative budget ro-pax built for the charter market. And now the current generation(s) of fast ro-paxes - very well done but essentially hundreds of reclining seats with a self-service bistro area the only change of scenery. I haven't done the Visborg yet and by all accounts she is rather nicer but the formula is essentially the same as her two predecessors. http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/extra_bilder/gotland_2003_omb_1.htm So whilst the Gotland of 1973 provided an excellent experience for her era, the current ones wouldn't quite pass muster in their current incarnation for the prospective cruise ferry buyer. (And I haven't even mentioned the Gotland of 1964 which briefly operated for Sealink at Weymouth in 1985 and the pictures of whose handover to Moroccan owners in 1987 are the most harrowing thing you'll see on Fakta om Fartyg).
  15. I think there would be riots if the Visborg, Visby or Gotland turned up on the St Malo run 🤣
  16. I don't really see why Mediterranean service would count as "losing" her compared to any of those alternatives, in which she is rather more likely to be less lovingly looked after either by crew or passengers.
  17. She has two full height freight decks which were designed for 1,500lm total so any figures quoting that are just quoting the original spec rather than what she can actually carry in practice. Inter Shipping only ever used the upper freight deck for cars to keep her off her marks.
  18. Polferries haven't done anything significant to the Nova Star apart from removing the grime and decay of a few years of neglect... She was laid up in the shipyard in Gdansk for ages not because they were doing much work on her but because of a sort of corporate inertia between Polferries and the owners. On board she's just a tidied up version of the ship which operated for Inter Shipping. She's a nice ship to travel on though and Polferries do some nice mini-cruise offers but will still never be suitable for a heavy-ish freight route .
  19. They'll need to look at whether BF are erecting significant enough barriers to entry into the entire western channel market that it's anti competitive. In past CMA enquiries, such as the Irish and Dover P&O/Stena ones and the Stena/DFDS one they've looked at the market being served and what competition there is. In that respect apart from a negligible bit of UK to France traffic there's not really much overlap between BF and Condor. However if they consider that BF are trying to deter new entrants into the entire western channel market they may take more interest - although that would be a much more difficult case to assess and judge.
  20. The contracts were to ensure continuity of supply of critical things, drugs etc which would be priority loads. The problem in a no deal scenario isn't capacity as such (there will probably be a notable fall in demand) it's challenges of port throughput with the customs inspections etc which are required by default to both protect the integrity of the single market for the EU and to respect the rules of the WTO. Switching on a supply of ferry crossings isn't like a tap, you need tonnage and crews and administrative capacity. At least sourcing ships at short notice would be easier in October than March but which available ships fit which ports. And of the available ships which ones will be detained the moment they land a mooring rope in a UK port.
  21. There are no such industry definitions though, they are categories into which journalists and enthusiasts categorise ships. But each ship is built to do a specific job, sometimes that involves large vehicle decks and perfunctory accommodation. But sometimes, like Mont St Michel, it's high quality accommodation. If we must categorise, Shippax's 'ro-cruise' term is better for MSM and, hopefully, Honfleur.
  22. Don't look too hard, there's nothing there, zero transactions. Market intelligence analysts S&P Global who Bloomberg use have never found anything. It's a shell. No, the consolidated figures not the single entity ones which may well not have any transactions (although given Guernsey companies don't have to publically declare results its doubtful anyone external knows). The holding company is still the group as far as Condor are concerned and their consolidated figures will bring together all the bits including Condor Limited (the CI company (not the UK one) which owns/operates the ships) as well as the UK subsidiaries. That's the set of figures BF will need to due their DD on as all the inter-company stuff will be stripped out and you'll be left with the trading results and the structure of whatever debt they have. The previous company I worked for was owned by private equity (TPG, and what a barrell of laughs they weren't). They were as clueless about our business as I imagine Macquarie are about ferries. We routed it through a CI holding entity for myriad reasons with things becoming very opaque about five layers up from the operating entity.
  23. These companies like Condor and the Steam Packet should be a licence to print decent money if managed properly. That's why they end up in the hands of people like Macquarie who are happy with polishing them and turning up the returns over time to, at some point, get an exit at a good multiple. But the real long term strategy may not be their thing, hence Condor have been buying in the bargain basement bin. l'd be a little nervous buying like this as there's potentially deferred preventative maintenance and certainly deferred investment there. I'm sure BF know that even without any due diligence work. Bringing the Channel Islands services back in the hands of a proper shipowner who does it because that's what they do has to be a good thing. The amount of debt BF would need to take on is big at a time they're making a lot of other commitments but the rewards of further tying up the Western Channel must be worth it. How much security of tenure do Condor have/what's left on any licenses to operate? That's what BF are buying after all not so much the physical/floating assets which BF management will probably not be particularly impressed with and largely reflect the sort of mindset you'd like to think they would seek to change. In terms of financials the ones I'd like to see are the consolidated accounts for MEIF II Channel Islands Transport Holdings Limited, registered in Guernsey. That's Macquarie's overall vehicle for their Condor investment and presumably what BF would seek to buy. The UK entities appear to be just agency companies, don't own the ships, don't hold the debt and don't show the profits so anything taken from their financial statements isn't too much use.
  24. AF Michela has had quite a career and is probably more interesting than the bog standard Visentini. She's also from the earlier generation so rather different in some ways. Adria Ferries hadn't been clear about their plans as it was thought the new purchase could replace the old AF Francesca which is, or was supposed to be, on her way out. Most of the internal images on the company's website are of the Francesca but this is her:
  25. It's not really clear. I haven't trawled through the Armas/Trasme schedules to see if she remains but she's not listed in any of the published Seajets itineraries for this summer yet. I lose track as Seajets chop and change every year but at one point she was doing the Heraklion-based itinerary which is down for the CJ 2 this year whilst her sister's old route on the core Piraeus-Mykonos-Santorini run is in turn being taken over by the new WorldChampion Jet.
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