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Everything posted by Andy

  1. I'm working on it - there is an issue outside of our control at present.
  2. The summer edition of Voyage Magazine also has a nice feature on the Bretagne, pages 70-71. Its not available online yet, but should be soon.
  3. Can’t think of many ferries that would evoke so many memories by their passengers. Bretagne certainly has a following like no other.
  4. The obligatory crew photo, marking 30 years, and her sporting le grand pavois to make the occasion
  5. Happy birthday to the ‘old girl. Feels Iike only yesterday she sailed into Plymouth Sound for the first time - complete with a party on the Hoe! She truly is integral part of generational memories to holidays to France. Here’s to at least a few more years sterling service! 🥂 She turned out pretty true to the original artists impression too! If only the ice-cream bar was still there... ☺️
  6. A useful article for those driving in France this summer: https://uk.motor1.com/news/359418/brits-confused-french-driving-rules/
  7. A quick heads up that the following credit cards are currently not accepted for payment onboard: Marks and Spencer John Lewis Barclays (credit) Seems a bit hit and miss - my M&S card didn't work on Barfleur last week, but was fine on the Bretagne.
  8. I think it's important that at this stage we do not speculate as to the potential cause of the fire. The good news is that no-one was injured, but the investigation process will only just be beginning.
  9. Incident involving Pont-Aven 29 April 2019 Just before 04:00 this morning, crew on board Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven were alerted to a fire in the ship’s engine room. The incident occurred while Pont-Aven was sailing through the Bay of Biscay, on its crossing from Plymouth to Santander with a scheduled arrival time of 11:15 this morning. It took place approximately 100 nautical miles south of Brest at the time. Brittany Ferries crews train regularly to deal with incidents at sea, and the company operates a dedicated fire incident training centre at its St Malo base in France. The crew immediately put this training into action brought the fire under control. The ship is carrying 766 passengers with 142 staff and there were no injuries as a consequence of the incident. The Prefecture Maritime in Brest have been informed and the vessel is now making way - under her own steam - for the port of Brest where comprehensive checks will be carried out. She is expected to arrive at around 16:00 today (29 April 2019). Brittany Ferries would like to apologise to all passengers affected by this morning’s incident – and for the disruption to their onward journeys. Pont-Aven entered service in 2004. She is the largest cruise-ferry in the Brittany Ferries fleet, carrying up to 2,400 passengers. She serves routes between France and the UK, France and Ireland and the UK and Spain.
  10. Royal Navy armada to join D-Day 75 event in Portsmouth in ‘proud salute’ to Normandy landing veterans https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defence/royal-navy-armada-to-join-d-day-75-event-in-portsmouth-in-proud-salute-to-normandy-landing-veterans-1-8899422
  11. I recently had the opportunity to sail on the Connemara between Cork and Roscoff - almost one year since she entered service with Brittany Ferries. The terminal in Ringaskiddy was all but deserted upon arrival at the port. The helpful check-in staff advised that check-in would commence in an hour or so, whilst the ships crew conducted an emergency drill. The terminal itself was spacious and clean, but with facilities limited to just a toilet block. A former cafe/servery was in evidence but looked like it hadn't been in use for some year - the same went for the heating! By the time boarding commenced there was a group of around 20 foot passengers. As the gangway is not compatible with the Connemara we were escorted to the ship by foot, and boarded via the stern door. Here an escalator takes you straight up to deck 5. A long corridor eventually leads you to the reception area where boarding cards were again checked against a boarding list, and directions given to cabins, which were located on decks 6 and 7. At the top of the stairwells crew were again on hand to check boarding cards against cabin lists, and then directed towards your cabins. Mine was located overlooking the bow on deck 6, with a traditional cabin key giving some charm to the usual boarding card! Once settled it was down to the restaurant to grab some well needed food - with most passengers having the same idea. A limited menu was available, but was reasonably priced and service was polite and friendly. Shortly after the scheduled departure time there was an announcement by the (English) captain advising that departure had been delayed by an hour due to a technical problem. We eventually got underway 70 mins behind schedule, but were assured that we would still arrive onetime, despite the adverse weather forecast. The cruise ship Astoria was alongside Cobh as we sailed out of the harbour - but the strong (and cold!) winds quickly curtailed any time out on deck. After a nite cap in the bar it was time to retire for the night. The sailing overnight was relatively smooth, and after a relaxing lie-in an 'Irish Breakfast' was enjoyed, before a brisk walk out on deck. The seas were starting to build as the Breton coast came into sight. The scheduled arrival in Roscoff was somewhat later than usual due to tidal constraints affecting the outbound Armorique. We held outside the harbour until she had cleared the berth, and we had boarded our pilot. The strong winds made berthing somewhat challenging, but before long we were safely alongside. Disembarkation was swift, and the vintage airport shuttle bus transported us from the top of the links pan to the terminal building. All in all a pleasant voyage, with the sailing being very much no-frills, which BF make very clear at the time of booking. The Connemara is almost identical to that of her sister Etretrat, with limited facilities onboard, which include the bar, restaurant and a small shop. There is free wifi available in the public areas and premium wifi was available in cabin areas. The fact that the crew were not French did not affect the onboard experience - they are dressed in full BF uniforms, and were always polite and helpful. Photos below - enjoy.
  12. Apologies all. I have temporarily removed the BF adverts a whilst they are in the process of switching affiliate platforms. Hopefully the links will be back up soon.
  13. Yes, it’s a requirement in Plymouth that a pilot is taken whenever a tug is requested. Le Havre has the same rule.
  14. Andy

    BF Refits 2018-19

    Bad weather has cancelled Cap's return to service tomorrow... we'll have to wait until Friday (at present) to see her new colours in the flesh!
  15. Another stormy week ahead... Cap Finistere's sailings have also been affected (but the sailing updates page has the sailing legs listed the wrong way around at present... hopefully BF will correct soon!).
  16. Brittany Ferries publishes 2018 results and urges French authorities to keep goods, passengers and wealth flowing freely post-Brexit Brittany Ferries today reveals passenger, freight and financial results for 2018. The company carried 2.6 million passengers on all routes last year, an increase of 1.4 percent (see table below for breakdown by route). It made a profit of €8 million on a total turnover of €442m. The encouraging results come despite the pound being worth around 15 percent less than it was two years ago. That has proved challenging for a company whose income is generated in pounds sterling, with a cost-base in euros. Further challenges have come from on-going Brexit uncertainty and the effect this is having on summer 2019 bookings. Full press release and figures available here: https://brittanyferriesnewsroom.com/brittany-ferries-publishes-2018-results-and-urges-french-authorities-to-keep-goods-passengers-and-wealth-flowing-freely-post-brexit/
  17. A message from BF (we told you they were watching...)
  18. This is one of the first reviews I have seen of the W D Yeats. https://m.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/first-look-inside-the-w-b-yeats-irish-ferries-150m-cruise-ferry-37860334.html
  19. Andy

    Barfleur departing Poole

  20. Andy

    BF Refits 2018-19

    Some Superfast red lives on to see another day too
  21. Andy

    BF Refits 2018-19

    The Normandie’s recent refit saw the addition of pet friendly cabins. These are located on deck 5, port side forward, and were previously 4-berth cabins. A small outside promenade area has also been created on deck 9 forward, adjacent to the stores gantry. Photos below.
  22. Pont-Aven appears to be heading back to Portsmouth, having departed at 20:15.
  23. Brittany Ferries and Repsol pave the way for UK/Spain LNG ferry operations Brittany Ferries has signed an agreement with Spanish energy company Repsol for the delivery of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to its Spanish operations. A letter of intent between the two companies provides the basis for the long-term supply of LNG-fuel and key shoreside infrastructure to the new LNG-powered cruise-ferry Salamanca, which is scheduled to enter service in 2022. Under the agreement—which follows an extensive tender process during 2018—Repsol will install a fixed quayside LNG storage and supply system in one of Brittany Ferries’ two Spanish ports, Santander or Bilbao. Repsol will then supply LNG bunker fuel to Brittany Ferries’ Salamanca during the ship’s regular visits on routes linking Portsmouth, UK and northern Spain. A final decision on the location of the terminal will be made later in 2019. Frédéric Pouget, Brittany Ferries’ Fleet and Operations Director comments: “Liquefied natural gas offers major environmental advantages compared to traditional maritime fuels, and we’re extremely satisfied to be working with Repsol on LNG bunkering arrangements for our Spanish ferry operations,” “Salamanca will be our second LNG-powered ship, but the first to operate to and from Spain. Repsol’s competence in the field of LNG bunkering technology and environmentally-friendly fuels along with its capacity to deliver to us makes it an obvious partner for us. This new terminal will allow for regular, flexible and reliable deliveries whilst Salamanca is alongside, benefiting our operations and scheduling. Meanwhile the use of LNG will offer much wider benefits to the environment.” Repsol’s Wholesale & Gas Trading Director, Laura Rejón-Pérez said: “We are delighted to enter into this long term agreement with Brittany Ferries, a company clearly engaged with innovation and the improvement in its environmental footprint by using LNG as bunker fuel. We are leaders in providing alternative, greener, fuels for maritime, air and road transport and this agreement is an exciting milestone for our growing LNG bunkering business.” Salamanca follows Honfleur (currently under construction in Germany and due to enter service late 2019) as the second LNG-powered ship in Brittany Ferries’ fleet. LNG provides major environmental advantages, reducing carbon dioxide, and cutting sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate emissions to almost zero. Construction of the new ship is planned at the Avic International Weihai shipyard in China. Under the agreement between Brittany Ferries and Repsol, the supply of LNG will begin in 2022, coinciding with Salamanca’s entry into service.
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