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Posts posted by Ryan_H

  1. 39 minutes ago, Timmy said:

    Onboard Stena Nordica as Stena Europe is currently in Turkey for life extension work.

    Despite all the work Stena have done to the interior it is still recognisable as the European Ambassador and very close to how the European Causeway and Highlander now appear.

    That's interesting, they've really sent Stena Europe all the way to Turkey? Do you (or anyone else) know what the work consists of?

  2. 11 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

    As an addendum to the above, I think it is unfortunate that many people's general  willingness to put up with low standards in the interest of 'getting a bargain' is  responsible for the overall lowering of conditions in most forms of travel, particularly 'sardine tin' aircraft and trains. It's not really a bargain, you simply get what you pay for. The introduction of various forms of enhanced economy by some airlines, such as TUI and Thomas Cook on long haul holiday routes is proving to be increasingly popular.

    Same thing is happening in other areas of the economy. Many new houses are so much smaller than older ones that they are fitted with reduced size furniture to disguise it but the builders still insist on top dollar for their brick faced cardboard boxes. The equivalent to my 1960s built house today has only 80% of the floor space.

    I know what you mean regarding houses. Like many parts of the country, new estates are springing up literally everywhere in my area but if I compare the equivalent new-build property nearby with my comparatively modern house built in 1994, the plots are so much smaller today with virtually no gardens and allocated parking, as opposed to an actual driveway, apparently considered a luxury!

  3. Lovely photos. I personally think Bretagne looks good from just about every angle; I think even a Looney-Tunes livery would struggle to detract from those elegant lines. If she is going to be in the fleet a few more years, I really hope that BF don't cutback on her upkeep.

    • Like 2
    • Haha 1

  4. 39 minutes ago, CH1 said:

    A few months ago, I think it was in October 2018, I read in the French maritime newspaper Le Marin that Brittany Ferries had launched studies and surveys to make Cherbourg their freight hub towards Ireland. 


    Maybe this fourth E-Flexer has something to do with this ... 

    The fact that the press release says 'long haul routes' does seem to imply UK-Spain or Ireland-France/ Spain...but no doubt we will find out. It still seems unclear where this leaves replacement of the Bretagne.

    • Like 1

  5. 50 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

    I wonder what Moby would do if they ever got their hands on Bretagne!...

    I am envisaging an enormous Winnie the Pooh scene:)

    There must be at least a fair chance we'll find out within a few years...!

  6. This is still provisional but DFDS have accepted my booking, so hopefully I'll finally get to experience sailing on a freight vessel and take the only scheduled passenger-carrying ferry to Scandinavia in the process. Looking at the current schedule it should be the Selandia Seaways. I would very much welcome any tips/advice from anyone who was done this trip, or any similar journey...!

    • Like 1

  7. 14 hours ago, cvabishop said:

    I would go further than that Gareth. I think referendums are intrinsically bad as they rarely seem to resolve the issue they were called for and simply create grief and unexpected consequences as we are now seeing. They are no substitute for good parliamentary democracy and informed debate (although that seems to be in danger itself now).

    Referendums attempt to reduce complex issues down to simple black and white choices and really life ain't like that. Anyone who claims to have understood the ramifications of Brexit at the time the referendum was held is telling porkies, however much they might insist otherwise.

    I voted remain, not because I thought Britain is better off inside the EU which is a seriously flawed institution but because my career experience clearly indicated to me that the process of extracting ourselves from such a complex embedded situation is likely to be ruinous in the short to medium term.

    Had we never joined the EU the chances are that we might be doing OK in a different international structure but we will never know.

    What I am rather depressingly certain of is that if we do leave without at least a decent deal then I shall probably be dead before the long term benefits (if any) become apparent.

    Having travelled in a number of European countries over the years I do value being a European and if the EU had stuck with being a powerful trading association to mutual advantage instead of aspiring to a supra national federal empire I would have been quite happy with that. A view which I suspect may well be shared by an awful lot of EU citizens and which still may come about at some point given the rise of populism in member countries.

    I really could not put it any better than that if I tried, perfectly summarised in my opinion. If it's okay with you, I might quote from this next time I'm ambushed by some of my leave-supporting friends/family... ;) 

    • Thanks 1

  8. On ‎18‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 20:54, hhvferry said:

    The interior design of the WBY was by Steen Friis, who also did things like the Maersk Ds, Stena's rather nice Killingholme ships, and knocked the Hammerodde and Dueodde into shape to make them vaguely appealing compared to the rather horrible Ben my Chree from which they were derived. The design approach for all those vessels is for them to be modern, quite elegant but distinctly understated which is an approach carried onto the WBY. Closer to home, Steen Friis also did the Dana Sirena in her original DFDS guise, and their masterpiece was supposed to be the Norman Leader where the company was responsible for softening her brutal exterior lines, looking after the entire interior, the graphic design including signage plus developing LD Lines' corporate identity.

    I quite like the Yeats - although she could do with a bit more colour, the approach is rather more sophisticated than the absolute monocrhome applied to things like the DFDS North Shields ships in their most recent guises. Certainly dispensing with things like the awful, vast Irish pub on the Ulysses is a step forward. But the compromises between her short sea and long-distance modes present themselves in things like the absence of a proper show bar, a place for entertainment or a proper kids play area. She's quite nice for three or four hours but a long crossing to France...? Perhaps less so.

    I've only sailed on the Ulysses the once and was distinctly under-whelmed, but I have to say I thought the large 'Irish pub' overlooking the bow was probably her best feature...!

  9. Based on my experience to Honfleur, I'd happily book again for next NYE. I'd be more than happy with Rouen since I've never experienced the trip up the Seine. I thought BF did a great job and Pont-Aven suited her role as "cruise" ship perfectly; as I've said previously it was much more civilised than being ordered off the ship first thing each morning.

  10. 6 hours ago, Singapore Ship Watcher said:

    The new DFDS Gothia Seaways is at anchor in the Singapore Strait. It's been there since early morning (about 12 hours). I believe this is one of two ro-ro ships of the same class.


    The design of the hull reminds me of the new generation ACL container ships. I presume it has been designed with maximum fuel efficiency in mind...

  11. 2 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

    The thing with Bretagne is you can only do so much economically, you can’t increase headroom,size of the portholes, car decks , it just isn’t worth it , I think if BF had expected to keep her for 30 + years they might have improved the cabin layout, restaurant and shops , but the fact is it isn’t going to happen now and BF would ideally have sold her by now and put the money into a more efficient ship and one that is more acceptable to modern day travelers needs.

    Well I'm certainly no expert here, but I would have thought that if the likes of Viking Line & DFDS can work wonders with their older tonnage, then BF could have done more to modernise Bretagne.

    I take the points about wanting to replace her etc, but they haven't. It's been a while since I last sailed on Bretagne so I can't really comment directly on how she is today, but I would have thought the worst thing they could do is to allow things to stagnate.

  12. I've only sailed on Armorique once, quite deliberately, back from Roscoff because I wanted to see for myself. I like her, nice cabin, nice bar, more than adequate for the crossing. And she has clearly proved her worth by being able to deputise on all of the other routes and no doubt being more economical to run than some others in the fleet.

    I do take issue with these comments about the Bretagne being too old and 'past it'. As myself and others have pointed out, there are plenty of ferries from the same era sailing in northern Europe today which have been brought right up to date internally and which I dare say most of their passengers would have no idea as to the fact they were built in the 1980s. These ferries are still doing a good job. I think the issue with Bretagne is that her owners have not invested enough to bring her fully up to date, rather than the fact she was built in 1989.

    Look what DFDS have done with Val De Loire since she left BF, you'd hardly recognise her as the same ship today...

    • Like 4

  13. 15 minutes ago, jonno said:

    Every ferry crossing the Bay of Biscay should have one or something similar rather than the snub nosed monstrosity someone had the audacity to weld onto the front of Pont Aven... an awful bow, historically it's no wonder her clamshells need attention especially on vessel with a 30+ metre beam which smashes through waves rather than ride them... Should have built her 200m and given her a decent bow.

    Perhaps stating the obvious here but is this why Cap Finistere (according to some) copes better with the Spanish routes than Pont-Aven? Despite being a second-hand purchase rather than a purpose-built flagship?

    It's a source of some regret to me that I've never managed to sail to Spain on Bretagne, I doubt I will get the chance now but should a crossing appear in the timetable I'd jump at it.

    • Like 2

  14. 3 hours ago, hhvferry said:

    By Stena standards the ships are great in my view and the overnight crossing not too bad with timings. Day crossings can drag a bit without a cabin.

    Being purpose built and still in essentially their original configuration helps when compared to the somewhat butchered look and feel of some other Stena ships, especially their predecessors.

    Breakfast in the self service is a bun fight, the purser on the Hollandica told us once that she couldn't bear to be in the place during and after if the crossing was remotely busy.

    The a la carte is generally fine but again that's Stena standards not BF. As said above though the cabins are great.

    Personally, I rarely bother with Breakfast on any overnight crossing any more, apart from to Spain where you actually have time to eat and enjoy it. I've tried it on all the North Sea routes, and have found it far from the best way to start the day. I took one look at the buffet on the Stena Hollandica and instantly decided I'd rather eat when I got off...

    • Like 1

  15. 3 minutes ago, jonno said:

    Hollandica runs on European time, Brittanica on U.K. time. Limited passenger space both inside & out as her first 8 decks are for vehicles. Food is the standard stuff with a small bar. self service and an A la Carte all crammed in together over looking the bow.

    They'll allow you to "sleep" for an extra hour or so after arrival in Harwich although I doubt you will as the thrusters vibrate the ship like an earthquake when docking at around 0430.

    Not a fan of either ship or the overnight crossing. I boarded her after a long drive from Kiel, one of the worst travel decisions I've made. Personally I'd do what I've done since, book a room at the Kuiperduin which is good enough for 1 night & 5 mins around the corner then travel back in the morning... or change your mind and head to Hull.

    They do have arguably the nicest cabins on any ferry to the UK though...

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