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Gareth

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  1. They did indeed, when they were bound for Cherbourg. The daily Southampton - Cherbourg departure was at 1030, so the time you’d have seen them heading out towards the Western Solent after exiting Southampton water would have been about 11am or 1115. In the early 70s there was also a 2100 departure, which you probably wouldn’t have seen. There was also a 1200 departure using FE2, which would have been down at the turn at around 1230-1245 (but she would have looked distinctly unlike a normal TT ferry on the grounds that at the time she was lime green). Both the 1200 and 2100 departures ceased when the Portsmouth route opened, but the 1030 sailing continued until 1981. The Le Havre ships used to head east, past Spithead and the Forts. Strictly speaking, it wouldn’t have been a “right-hand turn” as such, more “straight on”, as the ships heading out of Southampton water are all pretty much pointed out towards the Western Solent when they get to the end of the Thorn Channel. It’s just that the ones heading east do a critical something-like-150-degree left-hand turn around the Bramble Bank to head east past Cowes after exiting the Channel, whereas the ones heading west pretty much carry straight on!
  2. Yes, Thoresen Car Ferries operated to Le Havre from 1964, using Viking I and Viking II (later to be joined by Viking III). The merger with Townsend came in 1968. Normandy Ferries (then a joint P&O/SAGA venture) opened their Le Havre route in 1967, using Dragon and Leopard. They were vastly superior ships to the original Vikings, but were then given a run for their money by the Super Vikings that replaced the original Vikings in the mid-70s.
  3. Thanks - that’s better! They’ve obviously corrected the glitch. On Marine Traffic, until she went out of range, it was showing Piraeus with an ETA of some time in November.
  4. That said, it is also odd that the ETA seems to have her taking 3 months to get there, so the destination might just be an AIS glitch.
  5. Having completed a single passage from Chormanorsk to Poti, Star N is now en route back to Pireaus. Odd!
  6. It’s turning out to be nearer to a 48 hour passage. Can’t be carrying passengers (surely?).
  7. She now seems to have entered service on a route right the way across the Black Sea, from Chormanorsk (in Ukraine) to Poti (in Georgia). Long haul for such a small ship - passage looks like something in the vicinity of 36 hours. I wonder if this is a one-off in some sort of nomadic itinerary, and whether she is carrying passengers. The latter must be unlikely, I’d have thought.
  8. Hhv, do you know whether her bow visor is still operative or if it is welded up? The area around the visor in your last photo looks remarkably rust-free for an operational visor. I guess it might be that it just hasn’t been used (doesn’t really suit most Med berthing), but I know that Viking Viscount’s visor was welded up, so there is previous form for doing that, at least in Greece.
  9. Red Star 1, now re-named Star N, is now in the Black Sea en route to Chornomorsk. Looks like there’s life in her yet, following a lengthy spell at the shipyard in Tuzla.
  10. 1983 was the year DFDS introduced a rather ingenious timetable at Harwich - coinciding with the move of the Tor Line service across the Haven from Felixstowe to Parkeston Quay and the withdrawal of Dana Regina from the Esbjerg route (to move to Copenhagen). Relying on the speed of the Tor twins, DFDS managed to come up with a timetable that provided, using just three ships (the Tors and Dana Anglia), daily sailings to Esbjerg and alternate day sailings to Gothenburg. The main casualty of that timetable change was the Gothenburg-Amsterdam connection, which ceased operation that year. Happy days.
  11. I guess that must also mean you will be one of the first to embark (?).
  12. Doesn’t the car end up facing the wrong way on the car deck?!
  13. Yep, sums it up nicely. Except I’d probably put the decline at a good deal longer than 10 years. Maybe even three or four times that long. Hull aside, I can’t think of a whole lot that is positive that P&O has contributed to the ferry world since....when? I don’t know. Struggling to pin a date on it. Maybe since the Cairnryan twins entered service. Hull has been an undoubted success. No doubt about that. And it’s been a P&O success, all the way. From Norland/Norstar in the mid-70s, to Norsea/Norsun in the mid-80s, through to the current Rotterdam pair. But aside from Hull, what has P&O done? They’ve inherited a whole load of routes from Townsend Thoresen, most of which they’ve shut down. The two exceptions to that are Cairnryan, where they built a couple of decent ships, purpose built for the route. A plus. And Dover-Calais, where they have spent most of two decades surviving on either Townsend Thoresen inherited tonnage or second-rate freighter conversions. The two new builds have been questionable investments. Other than that, they presided over the demise of Pandoro, the demise of Portsmouth, the loss of the Orkney and Shetland contracts, the systematic dismantling of the rest of the Townsend Thoresen network and a general east coast move towards freight-only operations. All the while, the base of the company has been relocated to Dubai, and the fleet systematically re-flagged away from the Red Ensign. I come back to, Hull aside, what was the last really positive thing that P&O really contributed to the ferry world? I don’t have an answer. Whatever it was, it was a very, very long time ago. This is a company that outlived its usefulness many decades ago.
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