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Everything posted by ac_freeman

  1. Indeed, and important to note that this is a complete and permanent closure, not a suspension. Andy
  2. Stena Line Closes the Oslo-Frederikshavn Route Permanently Coronavirus and travel restrictions imposed by Norway and Denmark created a drastic decline in travel bookings on the Stena Line Oslo - Frederikshavn route. On Thursday 19 March the decision was made to permanently close the route after more than 40 years in operation. The decision means Stena Line will close their office in Oslo which will affect 30 shore-based employees. The 1981-built ferry STENA SAGA is currently in lay up in its port of registry, Gothenburg.
  3. Just heard that DFDS have temporarily suspended the Oslo - Copenhagen service due to coronovirus, probably due to the new border restrictions imposed by both Norway and Denmark. Andy
  4. Stunning video showing the recent life extension refit - well worth a watch. Andy
  5. Honestly, this is the best news that I have read for some time - I took a mini-cruise last week on the King thinking it would be the last time......I was enjoying walking around the decks and sitting at the stern watching the prop-wash and thinking what a shame that I would not be able to experience this in the future, the deck space on the Moby ships looked much more limited with far fewer places to shelter from cold breezes - I am probably in the minority but I see no reason to change the ships, they suit the route perfectly. Andy
  6. New ships on Newcastle Ijmuiden from early next year, press release below - New Amsterdam-Newcastle Ferries To Create More Value For Passengers And Freight Customers DFDS has entered into an agreement with Moby to acquire the two ro-pax ferries MOBY WONDER and MOBY AKI, for the purpose of raising the customer experience and the capacity for both passengers and freight customers on the Amsterdam-Newcastle route. The ferries are built in 2001 and 2005, respectively. Moby will in turn acquire the two passenger ferries currently operating on Amsterdam-Newcastle — KING SEAWAYS and PRINCESS SEAWAYS, built in 1987 and 1986, respectively. “The new ferries are ideally suited for our Amsterdam-Newcastle route. Their modern onboard facilities and higher car-deck capacity will allow us to grow revenue by fulfilling the growing demand from high-yield car passengers. To freight customers, we will be able to offer increased capacity that can remain constant throughout the year”, says Peder Gellert Pedersen, EVP and Head of DFDS’ Ferry Division. The agreement is expected to be completed in the second half of October 2019. DFDS will subsequently bareboat-charter King Seaways and Princess Seaways from Moby until January and February 2020, respectively. Meanwhile, the acquired ferries from Moby will be refurbished to suit the Amsterdam-Newcastle route. This includes commercial and technical investments on board as well as port investments. The refurbished ferries are expected to be deployed on Amsterdam-Newcastle during the first quarter of 2020. The freight capacity will increase around 40% on a full-year basis. The car capacity will increase around 5% on a full-year basis supported by a cabin configuration that is well suited to the requirements of holiday-makers travelling by car. In 2018, Amsterdam-Newcastle carried more than 600,000 passengers, 122,000 passenger vehicles and 350,000 lane metres of freight. The capacity increase will provide an opportunity to accommodate further growth in trade and travel, including a large tourism flow, between UK and Continental Europe. Renewal supports WIN23 strategy and ambitions In June 2019, DFDS launched the WIN23 strategy driven by four strategic pillars. The renewal of Amsterdam-Newcastle is a key part of the fourth pillar: Creating more value for passengers. “I’m very pleased to already be able tick off an important milestone of our WIN23 strategy. We now have a strong set-up to continue to grow the route”, says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS. Revised outlook 2019 The expected completion in October 2019 of the sale of the two ferries is estimated to entail an accounting profit of around DKK 100m to be recognised under Special items in Q4 2019. The full-year outlook for Special items is thus increased to DKK 70m from previously DKK -30m. The investment in the renewal, including proceeds from the sale of Princess Seaways and King Seaways, is expected to amount to around DKK 1.0bn of which DKK 650m is expected to be paid in 2019. The remaining DKK 350m is expected to be paid in 2020. The investment includes a substantial investment in refurbishment. The investment outlook for 2019 is therefore changed to around DKK 3.4bn from previously DKK 2.8bn. (Press release DFDS) MOBY WONDER Built 2001 by Daewoo LOA 174m GT 36,093 Pax 1880 (1190 in cabins) Lane metres 1950 Cars 665 MOBY AKI Built 2005 by Fincantieri LOA 175m GT 36,400 Pax 2080 Lane metres 1950 Cars 710
  7. Crumbs, did not intend commenting on the bread roll situation again as I was afraid of coming up with a half-baked joke, so now back to loafing around on my PC and trying to forget that the triangular rolls are now toast. Andy
  8. I was on MSM from Caen last night, she arrived just ahead of us ( we turned at the port entrance ( near to where QE berthed ) to save time while she was turning into the berth), we had to wait for the shore crew to finish with the Cap before they could take of us, we were around 15 - 20 minutes late berthing due to this - glad I was a foot passenger, with Etretat having just arrived from Le Havre, Cap arriving late and MSM all arriving with minutes of each other it was utter chaos for the poor car drivers, just a mass of queuing traffic. Andy
  9. I was a on a day return from Portsmouth to Caen yesterday......the weather changed quite dramatically about an hour or so from Caen, and remained so until about an hour out on the return journey - a strong breeze and quite choppy seas ( remainder of the journey almost flat calm ) Oustreham town was almost obscured by flying sand - perhaps the conditions were similar in Cherbourg, hence the need for tug assistance. Andy
  10. I really think that you should post a video of you singing it to the original tune 😀 Andy
  11. A shame indeed - that means that both the Waverley and Balmoral are now out of service 😟 Andy
  12. Yesterday on arrival at Oustreham on Normandie there was a tug standing by, waited for us to turn and was then helped to nudge us up to the berth.......I was out on deck and it did seem that the bow thruster did not have the same level of thrust when pushing to port, but it was definitely running while the tug was pushing - I am only basing this by comparing the level of wash that I could see when the thruster was used in the initial turn, when pushing to starboard, to what I could see when the thruster was being used to push to port to bring us against the berth. There was quite a strong wind blowing from the East at Oustreham, we did not have tug assistance at Portsmouth. Andy
  13. I was on Normandie for a day return to Caen yesterday ( has to be the best day out possible, £24.00 for a whole day at sea! ) - at breakfast there were round rolls, at lunch triangular and at dinner back to the round ones ( this was in the self-service restaurant ), I tried one of the round ones with my steak at dinner time and it was delicious...AND the raspberry tart was back to it's original quality, still the reduced size though 😀 Andy
  14. Well, not sure about Grand Marnier but the Raspberry sauce used to be ( or certainly seemed to be ) made from pureed fresh raspberries, now it seems to be regular raspberry jam - it is still my automatic dessert choice on each BF crossing and is still very nice indeed.......just not quite what it used to be, they have also trimmed at least an inch off the diameter, but unfortunately this has not been the same effect to my waistline after eating it ( them ) 😀 Andy
  15. Now that we are on a roll ( sorry 🙂 ) - Slightly off topic but while we are on food quality does anyone else think that the raspberry tart is not a patch on what it used to be? Andy
  16. Many people have been saying for some time that the 80s style cruise ferries are dated and should be got rid of in favour of ro-pax ferries, well we have a so-called dated cruise ferry replaced with a ro-pax and people seem not be happy. The Oscar Wilde may have been a tad dated but had a feel of real quality and atmosphere in the public areas.....WB Yeats seems to be a regular cross-channel ro-pax which is being used on a longer route and does not have any charm or atmosphere, this is not so noticeable on a short sailing but will be on a longer sailing, having said that they have knocked a couple of hours off the Dublin/Cherbourg sailing times. I am looking forward to sailing on WB Yeats to see for myself as soon as I can arrange it, the plan will be Barfleur Poole to Cherbourg, WB Yeats Cherbourg to Dublin and then return. To be honest I think that passengers care more about the quality of ship that many would think - when sailing on BF on mini-cruises/crossings I often get chatting to passengers who are travelling on holiday and they are surprisingly knowledgeable about the ships and make comments about which are their favourites etc. - there are, of course, also those who see the sea as an inconvenience in the way of being able to drive to their destinations and just want to get across as quickly and cheaply as possible and do not care about the ship and it's facilities. Andy
  17. According to BBC News BF have said that they will not change the revised schedule even if Brexit is delayed, apparently the Government did not make any provision for a possible delay in their contract with BF so will have to pay from the 29th. If there is a delay then will be some very pleasant lightly loaded sailings to enjoy between Poole and Cherbourg........and the good thing is that BF should not be out of pocket 🙂 Andy
  18. Poole Cherbourg timetable now updated for April - presumably the expected delay in Brexit will not change anything. For those who like days out at sea there are some nice possibilities - out from Poole at 08:30 arrive Cherbourg 14:00.....off and then get straight back on to leave at 15:30 arriving back at a nice time of 19:00, or out from Poole at 13:45 arriving into Cherbourg at 19:15.....quick drink in the bar and then back onboard for a 22:15 departure and a nice overnighter ( assuming cabin availability ) arriving in Poole at 07:00. Andy
  19. I just arrived back from a mini-cruise on the King this morning, there were a couple of outside areas taped off, presumably due to wet paint......and the forward areas of Deck 10 were taped off overnight due to the winds. Be sure to go and see the troubadour in Navigators, he is superb....the band in the main show bar were also excellent. Enjoy the trip. Andy
  20. I wonder if they are going after the mini-cruise trade to offset some of the predicted reduction in regular holidaymaker traffic next year? This is the type of thing that will help attact mini-cruisers. I remember the entertainment on Pride Of Bilbao ( P&O Players I think they were called? ) It was West End Musical type entertainment, not normally my cup of tea but was superbly staged and included a cast who really could sing. Andy
  21. It is repeat from 2 or 3 years ago but very interesting and well worth watching - I recorded it when it was on originally and still enjoy an occasional repeat viewing. Andy
  22. Yes, I second what Jonno says - I did the Kiel/Oslo mini-cruise some years ago, the ships are amazing - when I sailed they had an ice rink which came up from that hole in the floor with a couple of ice skaters, there were 2 shows and you had to pre-book to get a seat but once the 2 shows had been completed it became a free-seating show bar with an excellent live band. There is a bar above the bridge with panoramic views, a good choice of eateries......but it is not cheap on-board, one of those trips where you save up beforehand and don't think about the prices when you get there 🙂 I still have my Color Fantasy mug which sits on my desk, looking at it right now................. Andy
  23. Just in case this is useful for anybody I have booked a night at the Seaview Hotel on the front at Fishguard rather than drive 4 hours home late at night, £45 with a full English breakfast seems good value ( mainly good reviews on TripAdvisor ) and they allow guests free parking if using the ferry ie. if you let them know in advance you can leave you car there while you are away. It does look to be quite a long walk though and a bit bleak if raining but might be useful information for others......I think I will park at the terminal and drive to the hotel to enjoy the bar facilities at the hotel, apparently they keep the bar open for people who arrive on the evening ferry 🙂 Andy
  24. I wonder if this is why Stena Europe's sailings have been cancelled today ( Storm Ali ) whereas Isle Of Inishmore is still sailing, albeit with major delays? Andy
  25. Thanks for the replies, just completed the booking - I will be sailing Fisguard/Rosslare - Rosslare/Cherbourg and return as a "ferry adventure".....I know that the Stena Horizon will be a bit of a "come down" after the Oscar Wilde but the timings work well for ship spotting and I will be sailing on a couple of ferries that I have never sailed on before, I did sail on the Stena Europe many years ago when she was on the Harwich/Hook route but I'm sure that she is now a totally different ship having undergone various changes. I will use the long stay car park, sounds quite easy to find. Andy
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