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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. It’s also a useful overflow from Caen when the Ouistreham route is operating at capacity. Plus, it serves a slightly different market when it comes to onward destination. Caen traffic is generally headed south. Le Havre is better suited for traffic heading more in the Paris direction. Plus, in terms of tourism, while Caen is used to market the Normandy beaches, Le Havre opens up a whole different marketing area for BF, in the form of the Alabaster Coast.
  2. I suspect the new ships will all do 2 round trips per week to Spain and the odd trip to somewhere in France in between. But that’s pretty much what we have now anyway.
  3. My confusion is just that there isn’t a single ship that sails on just one route to Spain, so just wasn’t sure why this would be anything new.
  4. Thanks Danim. Wasn’t aware of disruption at Calais due to the strike action. Have the Dover services been affected by this?
  5. It is inconceivable that they will be direct replacements - ie just taking over existing rosters. There will have to be new sailing schedules (because an eflexer will not cope with CF’s existing schedule). So I read into this tweet that BDS and CF will be displaced from their current routes by the new arrivals but not that their schedules will continue as at present. I would imagine there will be a total revamp of all the Spanish timings. (Quite possibly PA may be affected too - I can see her returning full time to Plymouth).
  6. I fixed the title. Everything’s on topic now! 😀
  7. Just realised I’ve answered my own question. She was a prison ship between Starliner and Holyhead, so she must have had another major refit.
  8. Earl William had a major refit to fit her out in circa 1985 for the Sunliner luxury Portsmouth-CI route. Did she then have another one prior to Holyhead? Or was that just a way of making use of a ship they had already refitted? As an aside (another one - why not?! 🤣), it strikes me that Viking II / Earl William had a rather sad and unlucky career. Disposed of early by her original owners (only did around 12 years with TT). Then kept running aground at St Helier when she inaugurated Portsmouth - CI for Sealink. Then the Sunliner fiasco which resulted in the closing of all Sealink CI services. Then her period as a prison ship at Harwich (which included being blown from her moorings in the 1987 hurricane). Then her part in ending the Holyhead-Dun Laogjaire ferry service. Then years of use as a static hotel in Trinidad before being sunk in a storm in the Caribbean as a result of a collision with her towing vessel. Contrast that with the fortunes of her younger sister, still going strong after more than 50 years in service.
  9. The Zeebrugge route was the passenger-carrying one until it went freight-only in 1996. Much of the tonnage that P&O used to operate it as a freight-only route became the tonnage that Ferryways used to open Ipswich-Ostend. In retrospect, this must have been a direct reaction to the closure of Felixstowe-Zeebrugge. The route that Stena acquired from P&O was the Europoort one, which was always (apart from a brief flirtation with passengers in 1979) freight-only. When P&O sold this to Stena I believe it was a profitable going concern. But P&O just decided they wanted out of Felixstowe.
  10. None of those were routes that were acquired through the TT takeover, although Rosslare - Cherbourg was operated throughout its P&O time using displaced former TT ferries.
  11. Thanks Neil. Reading between the lines, this would seem to infer that CF will have a new role in the fleet.
  12. Just realised this is the Sailings Updates thread, and we have got into quite a discussion about Le Havre. Will need to look at breaking this discussion off into its own thread.
  13. Several former TT/P&O routes still exist today, in some evolved form or other, after being taken over by other companies. Jonno mentions Rosslare-Cherbourg. The other big one was Felixstowe-Europoort, which was taken over by Stena and has morphed into their Harwich-Europoort operation today. The only routes still operated by P&O are Dover-Calais and Cairnryan-Larne.
  14. Celtic Link did briefly try incorporating Portsmouth-Cherbourg into their Rosslare ship schedules, but that was some time after P&O closed the route. Several years after - Norman Voyager was involved, so it must have been at least 2007.
  15. Either way, as you say, they formed part of a long pattern of P&O closing routes down. A lot of the problems with the economics of them really harks back to years of failure to invest in appropriate new tonnage. And that goes back to pre-P&O days.
  16. Yes hhv - there was a one year gap between Le Havre and Cherbourg. I agree the initial announcements were made at the same time. I can’t remember whether Le Havre had a stay of execution or whether Cherbourg was brought forward and shelved early.
  17. David - after they announced the closure of the route there was a plan hatched for BF to take it over using the same ferries. But that plan fell through (BF pulled out) for reasons that are a separate discussion.
  18. They stated that the port fees we too high and that port of Le Havre refused to discuss coming to an arrangement. But I’m sure other factors played into the economics not working as well....not least running two very expensive ferries that were not suited to the route. Not sure which other routes you are referring to. Nothing else closed at exactly the same time as Le Havre, but Portsmouth - Le Havre became the last of a string of former TT routes that P&O closed in the preceding decade and a half. Including Portsmouth-Cherbourg, Dover-Boulogne, Dover-Zeebrugge and Felixstowe-Zeebrugge, all of which were already closed by the time P&O pulled the plug on Le Havre.
  19. It is worth remembering that P&O left Le Havre because they felt forced out by the port. (Berthing fees in that case, but it illustrates the importance of ports, in all respects, being welcoming of their customers). And it was the frequency of industrial disruption that was, in the end, the final straw that led to the downfall of Southampton as a ferry port. So, yes, there is only so far that the goodwill of operators can be stretched, and if BF decides that it can do without the hassle of dealing with Le Havre then those causing all this trouble will only have themselves to blame.
  20. I thought about it (and may even have researched / asked about it) once before. I’m pretty sure that one of the issues I discovered was that it would be tricky to achieve a booking for the whole cruise to use the same cabin. And, even if you could get around that problem, you probably wouldn’t be able to keep your stuff in the cabin in any case. At each port there would be a need to fully disembark, with all your stuff, including vacating the cabin.
  21. Agreed. At the time of launch I suspect P&O were hedging against all the fears that Dover would become clogged up to the point where not having to drive there would seem appealing. The general election, and the breaking of the deadlock in parliament, probably alleviated any raison d’etre there was for this route.
  22. What odds on Galicia being in service before Honfleur?!
  23. New advice was issued this week: https://news.sky.com/story/brexit-will-not-affect-your-summer-holiday-to-the-eu-britons-told-11910405
  24. The risk of no deal on 31 Jan has all but passed. The only slight chance would have been if the Lords had decided to be awkward. But the withdrawal agreement completed its committee stage in the Lords last week without amendment. In light of that, the likelihood of the UK not ratifying the agreement is zero. All anxieties about no deal at the end of this month can therefore be cast aside, and the details that matter are those that go with the transition period.
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