Jump to content

Le Quiberon

BFE Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Le Quiberon

  1. 6 hours ago, jonno said:

    The Jupiter, I sailed on her under four different names and two lengths. The first ship I took to Oslo and the first ship I took to Denmark.

    The Newcastle - Bergen route saw passenger numbers very similar to what BF carry to Spain and the North East economy lost millions in revenue when DFDS shut it down. The route would have worked with a ship that had a larger freight capacity, this was made worse when DFDS decided to switch the fleet around in order to give the Ijmuiden route both Peter Pans, the Queen (Moby Dada)has even less freight capacity.

    Don't know about others but I travelled many times from Newcastle to both Bergen and Gothenburg and the ships were full every time, Even during September 2008 when the Bergen route was closed down the ship was full.

    We used the Esbjerg route too as Hvide Sande is only an hour up the road. Now we have to take a grotty Ryanair flight to Billund and hire a car if time is tight or drive up through Holland & Germany.

    As an observation, the outlet village just up the road from Port of Tyne was built specifically to cater to visiting Scandinavians allowing them to buy goods far cheaper than they could at home and Whitbread built their Premier inn with a pub rather than an inhouse restaurant in order to cater to them as well.

    The newer, larger port carpark is never full anymore either... that suggests to me that it was expanded to cope with the needs of U.K mini-cruisers sailing to both Holland & Scandinavia.

    No one would have troubled to go to all of that expense if there was no money in it.

    For me the problem was DFDS.

    Thanks for the insight that was an interesting read. I am gutted the Newc - Norway/Sweden routes no longer run anymore. Do you think they could return?

  2. Can't believe she is only 3000 GT less than King Seaways! What is the long corridor to her stern, looks like gangway.

    I think she is too young to be scrapped (yes I know younger ships are being scrapped) - maybe she will be utilised as a freight vessel or for relief. I guess its tough given she was specifically designed for her route.

  3. 31 minutes ago, Andy said:

    A preview of this book is now available online, which is due to be published at the end of the month.

    https://www.ferrypubs.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/digitalbooks/BF Creating/BF Creating.html

    I knew BF had toyed with the idea of entering the cruise industry, but I hadnt realised it had progressed as far as the Armorique operating a trial cruise to Portugal, Morocco and the Canaries!

    Will make for an interesting read.

    That is one of the most staggering bit of BF info I ave ever heard.

  4. 2 hours ago, jonno said:

    Thanks Le Q, excellent image of Europa!

    She headed back into dry dock during January for yet another upgrade, new carpets, new ceilings and a total renovation of restaurants and shops. She was also given a technology upgrade too which included the ability to Cold Iron.

    Since she returned from Australia Tallink have invested around €50m on her... BF take note.

    Thats interesting.... I have heard rumours Tallink have her up for sale? It was a shame I could not get on her that evening, hopefully I will be able to this winter! She is an incredible looking vessel.

  5. Apologies for posting this late but I wanted to get it uploaded before I do write up my recent trips.  This is my voyage report for Helsinki-Tallin which I 'did' earlier this year in January with Tallink during pre-covid times.

    Helsinki - Tallin, Fri 10th January 2020.

    On the morning of the trip I had arrived from Stockolm on the overnight service on-board the Silja Symphony. I had a few hours to explore Helsinki on what was (by Baltic standards) a mild winters day at around 1 degrees. I didn't particularly find Helsinki particularly interesting and spent the day walking around the many department stores. I was booked on the evening service from Helsinki on-board the 'Star' for a 2.5 hour crossing. I had tried to book myself on the overnight 22 hour Silja Europa cruise but it was fully booked which seemed strange given the time of year.

    Check-in was typically prompt and I was one of the first people on the vessel and I spent some time exploring the vessel. Star weighs in at just under 37000 tonnes and she has clearly been specifically built for here route, designed for a short crossing with a lot of space given for bars, cafes etc and the large duty free which many passengers make the most of. As we departed at 4pm as the sun was setting and leaving the Europa behind after she arrived from Helsinki it is clear the vessel was absolutely packed. There was nowhere to sit inside the vessel and I spent most of my time sat on a  staircase, sadly deckspace was limited to the rear of the ship which was really frustrating - I have no understanding why operators don't open side deck space anymore.Sea conditions were favourable given the time of year, with no sea ice to break through, however, there was a thick fog and the captain repeatedly blasted the horn for the majority of the crossing which was interesting.

    Once I had walked around the duty free i did not have the patience to queue for food and drink and there was nowhere to sit so I was glad when we arrived in Tallin.

    Tallin - Helsinki, Mon 13th January 2020.

    My return trip was initially booked on the Europa but I had to be on-board the Helsinki-Stockholm service that evening and there was limited time for me as the Stockholm vessels depart from another dock in Helsinki. It was easy to re-book my crossing and I was booked on the 13:00 service on board Megastar. Megastar is a newer and larger vessel in comparison to the Star and you do feel this on-board Check-in was typically quick and the vessel was nowhere near as busy, meaning  there was time and space for me to eat, drink and enjoy the crossing. Deck space again was limited to the rear of the ship however it was larger and more open in comparison to the Star. The . Sea conditions once again were hospitable and the being daylight I could enjoy the views as I spent most of my time relaxing in the lounge. We overtook the Europa, she does the crossing at a slower pace and departs earlier and arrives later than Star/Megstar. Disembarkation again was quick and I got my ridiculously expensive taxi to the other part of Helsinki for the return trip to Stockholm on the Serenade. A voyage report is on this forum.


    In all I have to say that the Helsinki-Tallin services from Tallink are excellent value for money. Ekeroo and Viking Link offer cheaper fares but I wanted to stay loyal to Tallink particuarly with the points scheme. These services are a completely different a offering to the long-distance services out of Stockholm - they serve a purpose from what it seems mostly to commuters, freight or people making the most of the duty free. In the future I would try to avoid the busier sailings as the Friday service was uncomfortably busy, and also the Megsastar is a superior vessel to the Star so if I do the route again I will make sure It is on her.

    • Like 2
  6. 1 minute ago, Seashore said:

    It’s quite a different market though, the UK vs Scandinavia.

    Perhaps BF could do it? If the based it on the number of posts it would have to be on Barfleur or Honfleur though.

    It really is a good idea, can someone not mention it to BF.

    Day cruises at sea around the Channel Islandsfor example, for even cuises in the UK where disembarkation is allowed to Ireland or Northern Ireland.

    Literally salivating at doing the Pont on a Portsmouth - Dublin/Belfast.

  7. I don’t know why UK based operators aren’t doing what Tallink and Viking are doing and offering UK based cruises. DFDS have done them in the past however with no stay over - up the Tyne for the airship etc. There are some fascinating trips that could be done....

  8. 4 hours ago, Ryan_H said:

    After my last mini-cruise on this route (which was NYE 2017) I said I probably wouldn't bother with the bus to Amsterdam again but just spend a day in Ijmuiden instead, which I think might be more relaxing. It looks like there's more than enough to kill a few hours there from what I can see. 

    It depends what your interests are I guess but it’s not a particularly exciting Place to spend an afternoon. However nearby Zandvoort has more to offer, especially in high season.

  9. According to reports Stenaare going to push her and try to arrive in Harwich before 4am to beat the quarintine deadline for passengers. Should be doable, as many of you know she arrives earlier than her designated destination time anyway (around 04:30). Keep a track on her on AIS! It had caused some controversy amongst enthusiasts but I am all for it. Fingers crossed for all involved.

  10. The company makes money and with 3 new vessels on the way has a bright future. As with all businesses, especially in hospitality they (the majority) will ride it out and bounce back. On a side note I have been very impressed with Tallink and the way they diversified and have handled the situation with various new routes and special cruises. Although BF is an entirely different company people should look at them and what they have done it has been impressive. Stay positive. L’Q.

    • Like 1
  11. Absolute shambles of a booking system.

    Tried to book a crossing last night for today - the website crashed after proessing my card details. They tool the money out of my account but did not confirm the booking.

    The contact centre is closed so you have to contact them by e-mail. 

    I was told they would call me urgently so I tied to book a crossing on my mobile instead - that crashed as well!!!

    Truly shambolic operation. I know I am booking last minute but this should never be an issue.


  12. 1 hour ago, jonno said:

    I have a 500 euro voucher for Tallink which I'll hang on to until next year now.

    I have 27092 points which need to redeemed by mid January. I am going to wait till later in the year when hopefully restrictions will be lifted upon entering Finland and Sweden. December in Scandinavia and Baltic’s sound amazing, those points should cover a return long haul crossing and a 22h Europa cruise.

    • Like 1

  14. Yes, you are right - I was only planning on doing a mini cruise, eg/Riga-Helsinki or Tallin-Helsinki Silja Europa and not disembark as such.

    It is probably better to save the Baltics till winter again.

    Kiel-Oslo in summer will be great.

  15. I intend to travel again in the next few weeks and initially thought about dong Kiel-Oslo as both countries are on travel coridoors.

    I have looked at the Baltic's and you have to quarantine on arrival in Sweden and Finland for 14 days from UK.

    However, if I was to enter those Finland or Sweden from a country that has travel corridors with no quarantine set up from for example Estonia or Latvia or Germany or anywhere else would I have to quarantine?

  16. I have to say its the fact that an economie ship are used on the Rosslare - France run that puts me off in all honesty. If a 'proper' cruise ferry as used I would do the route. Lets hope they are introduced in the future. 

  • Create New...