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Lord Cairnryan

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  1. As my pen name implies, I am not without knowledge of the Port of Cairnryan or indeed the ferry industry. Sorry to say the introduction of a long route from either the East Coast ( Hull or North of Hull), or the West Coast (North of Holyhead), is rather more of a fantasy than possible reality. Amongst the comments made there are valid reasons, but sadly the economic argument does not stack up. Bearing in mind that there are already 3 routes operating out of South Shields and Hull, there is currently adequate South Coast avoiding capacity available, in particular on the Hull - Zeebrugge service. Of course the Scottish market was given a choice, sadly the travelling public failed to support the route - Roysth to Zeebrugge. Operating costs which need to be carried across all types of traffic would be too high I think. Also the key business is how much freight content is available all year round. Sadly I doubt if a long route from Normandy or Brittany would generate such freight. On the passenger side, yes traffic would be available during July (Scottish Holidays) and August, but significantly, this would drop off during the rest of the year, thus a large reliance on Booze Cruise Passengers would be needed. The success of the long routes to Spain is that they service a single market - the Iberian Peninsula, and save roughly an 11 t0 15 hour drive. Additionally there is the availability of tonnage. To begin with a RO PAx would be the ideal choice, but again Freight demand is questionable. The one light at the end of the tunnel would be Irish Ferries introducing a Land Bridge Package based on Holyhead and Dublin. To make this viable to the average family IF would need to reduce the Holyhead - Dublin leg by say £100.00., or a selling price of around £100 - £120.00, I doubt if .IF. would go that far. Whilst I sympathise with the long tedious drive to the South Coast, especially South of Preston, I like thousands of others are faced with little or no choice when travelling to Spain with my car, or joining a Cruise Ship at Southampton. It's all down to me.
  2. Another couple of observations. One the next addition to the B/F Fleet, the chartered in Visentini, sadly is a flight 1 vessel, whereas the other currently operated B/F Visentini's are all flight 2. So a bit of a retrograde step. Having said that Stena shrewd operator that they are, have been spending a lot of money on their own operated Visentini's - Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey come to mind immediately. So perhaps the vessel destined for B/F will be similarly upgraded prior to hand over. The notes by Canberra 7 regarding Vigo - current operations, economics etc are indeed spot on, and I totally agree. The key difference between say the 1970's and today in terms of accessability, is the excellent Auto Route network, as mentioned. Whilst totally not pas it, I will admit to travelling twice on P&O's Eagle, and thoroughly enjoyed the round trip mini cruise 6 days to Tangier and back. Unfortunately it was a ship or route well before it's time.
  3. Just picked up an interesting piece of information in that Britanny has signed a one year charter with Stena for another Visentini RO PAX,( same as Connemara etc) to be delivered in November 2019. From information received the ship will replace Connemara on the Cork station, Connemara will be re flagged to France also in November, thus releasing Connemara to operate on the existing French / Spanish routes without any Union interference. Apparently there has been a press release from Britanny noting that this charter will allow flexibility during the Pont Aven engine change etc. The vessel concerned is presently chartered out from Stena, and operating in the Adriatic. I suspect it has not been upgraded and remains in the basic Visinteni, fit, i.e. no carpets, lots of formica etc, pretty hospital ship'ish. So additional capacity for next summer, of course in the first instance as an insurance should Pont Aven's engine change overrun. Having said that perhaps also allow a test run to another Spanish Port - time will tell?.
  4. Interesting rumour, I have been to Vigo on quite a few occasions, as part of a Cruise, Ventura, Oceana, Emerald Princess, Nevasa, but to name a few. The location is an ideal start point for Santiago de Comp., and given the motorway network extremely well situated as a start point for all of Portugal, not with standing Northern Spain. Having said all that, the economics of additional sail time probably at least 30 hrs but could be 35 ish from say Plymouth, and there is the quandary - in all probability higher fares. If I were the B/F Chief Exec would I test the route with an E Flexer - definitely not, any incursion would be a 'risk' - simply a marketing test, to test I need a unit that is cheap to run etc., therefore at the worse - Connemara would be the best test, or perhaps Bretange - although probably too much capacity. At the end of the day would the route be profitable. One final thought the only visible roro berth I have noted is a simple single level ramp, so again back to a ro pax, and Connemara does fit the bill.
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