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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. Yes, before the Portsmouth route was introduced the roster of the ship on the Spanish and Irish run essentially followed the same format, with one tweak, ever since those routes were introduced in 1978 by the original Armorique. Originally, the outbound sailings to Santander were on Mondays and Wednesdays, returning on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a dash across to Roscoff on Friday afternoons and then three trips on Plymouth - Roscoff on Sundays (the last one being an overnight return to Plymouth). The Roscoff-Cork-Roscoff component has been northbound Fridays and southbound on Saturdays ever since 1978. At some point, can't remember when but before PA was introduced, the ordering of the Plymouth sailings changed to allow for the oitbound to Santander on Sunday, returning Monday with a round trip to Roscoff (overnight southbound on Tuesdays) then squeezed in before the next Santander sailing on Wednesday. Back on Thursdays in time for the then-usual afternoon sailing to Roscoff on Fridays. I think this was the pattern followed by Val De Loire before the Pont arrived and Pont Aven took up the schedules. The only difference at that point was that PA's extra speed meant that the crossing times were shorted and that enabled the only tweak to the timings on the Cork service since it was introduced. Pont Aven's speed enabled the diversion of one of the Spanish sailings to Portsmouth, but at that point the second Plymouth-Roscoff sailing was dropped. In theory PA could still probably squeeze one in, but the leeway in her schedules would then be so tight that she would find it impossible to make up any time lost. As it is, on her current schedules, with the drop to one Roscoff sailing, she has plenty of contingency built in during her Friday layovers in Roscoff for crew changes and catch-up time for any delays earlier in the week.
  2. Am I the only one that is thinking this thread has started to get a bit spammy? The last 4 pages seem to have nothing to do with BF's plans for the Le Havre schedules.
  3. Noticed that on her last visit to Ouistreham on Tuesday she berthed stern-in, and this evening she is stern-in at Plymouth. Problems with her bow doors? If so a long time before her scheduled refit to get things fixed.
  4. From the pictures that Colin published it looked like there was ro-ro access to the stern ramp at Rouen. Don't know whether that was the case at Antwerp or not, and the one at Rouen looks like it was probably temporary, but the impression it gave was that customers were able to drive their car off and go for a spin during the middle of their cruise. But if that was not allowed then I guess the loading ramp must have been installed purely for service vehicles. Back on the subject of Pont Aven being off to Brest, she spent a couple of hours on the ro-ro rmap there this morning but has now gone into the dry dock. A quick scrub up and paint I would imagine, before more major work on her next year. But I'm still a bit puzzled as to why this is necessary - she did get a full overhaul last year didn't she (?) and I thought she only needed dry docking every other year.
  5. Thanks Colin. I had no idea people took their cars with them on these cruises.
  6. Well we now have the answer. She is off to Brest.
  7. Looking at the pictures it would seem pretty inconceivable to me that this ship is going to see service again. But they will want too try to keep her afloat if they can because if she goes down the investigation will be significantly compromised. She is starting to look quite low in the water though.
  8. You cannot pair Etretat with the two cruise ferries and market it as one service.
  9. And even when BF comes back to the route later in 2015 it will still not be a daily service.
  10. Has Normandie got a problem with her AIS at the moment? According to the BF website she is now crossing the Plymouth-Roscoff line homebound (I assume to Cherbourg). And yet Marine Traffic is not picking her up. She is not somewhere where she would be out of range to Marine Traffic, and in fact it was even struggling while she was manoeuvring in Santander yesterday.
  11. I'm not sure that's right Andy. Most people these days don't even think about the ferry when travelling to the continent. Whenever we go everyone automatically assumes we are flying, and whe we say we are taking the car on the ferry there is clearly a reaction that conveys that that this is something they hadn't even thought of. As far as cruise ferries are concerned - again, I think they are very much in the minority. Apart from BF, only Stena at Harwich and P&O at Hull really offer a cruise ferry experience (ok, DFDS at Newcastle if you're coming from that far north). The rest is either Ro Pax or the Dover shuttle buses.
  12. Looks from the schedules as if PA is coming off service for a couple of weeks after she gets back from the NY cruise. Presumably for a scrub up and paint (?) although from what has been said she hardly needs it. And she's not due a major overhaul this year as she had one last year - anyone have any idea where she is going? (I presume Gdansk is too far for the time she is off and if it was Santander I would have expected a commercial sailing down there)....
  13. This is the ferry that operated the Rosslare - St Nazaire and most sailings on the St Nazaire - Gijon routes
  14. The published schedules show Etretat taking four overnight sailings from Portsmouth to Le Havre per week, teatime return similar to the old LD/DFDS schedule, fitting around her weekly Santander crossing. No sign of anything else.
  15. What a great picture. I wasn't aware that Irish Ferries operated for a while from the former Townsend Thoresen terminal before closing their Le Havre operation. I thought they went from their original berth up at the old Normandy Ferries terminal right to the end. You live and learn!
  16. Does this mean that, outside the peak season, two ships are being used to provide two sailings per day in each direction? This sounds a bit strange to me....unless, that is, the opportunity is being taken to introduce an overnight sailing concept to the route? If......if.......the operation of two ships on the route means that there is going to be a proper overnight service in each direction, and then one (two in peak season) daytime sailings in each direction at sensible times then.....just possibly.....this route might suddenly start to become quite attractive? If, on the other hand, the idea is to basically use one ship on something like the current schedules, with the second one wheeled out in peak season to add an extra daily round trip for a third of the year with the other two thirds being laid up in Dieppe then....yes, probably the final year of operation for the route. Will be interesting to see the schedules and to find out what the thinking is.
  17. Re: LD Lines Poole to Santander/Gijon (was Norman Asturais to Santander) Ouch.
  18. Re: Demise of LD Lines Or Rosslare - Le Havre. Or Rosslare - Cherbourg. Or Newhaven - Le Havre. Or Dover - Dieppe. Or Ramsgate - Ostend. Or Dover - Boulogne. Dover - Calais judgement is out on. In fact, only really Portsmouth - Le Havre could qualify for a route that LD were ever really serious about. And all the potential of that route was squandered when they removed the originally configured Norman Spirit from it.
  19. Re: LD Lines Poole to Santander/Gijon (was Norman Asturais to Santander) LDO - Yes, thanks for all you've contributed, and we're all sorry things have worked out the way they have. We all wish you well and hope that you stay around. As regards the wider variety of opinions on the way LD does things - please don't be offended by the perspectives that various enthusiasts have expressed - we are only enthusiasts, and enthusiasts who have become frustrated at business patterns that admittedly we may not fully understand. You yourself have done LD proud and are a credit to them - and I hope the future is ok for you. Take care.
  20. Re: ETRETAT: Brittany Ferries Economie I've seen Etretat take the inshore route through Raz de Seine on a couple of occasions, she does do it.
  21. Re: LD Lines Poole to Santander/Gijon (was Norman Asturais to Santander) Isn't the fact that St Nazaire to Gijon has to close the underlying reason why the whole lot is closing in the first place?
  22. Re: PEGASIS: New vessel for 2017 The only ships in the fleet capable of operating the Portsmouth-Caen schedules are MSM, Normandie and Armorique. The short turn-round times on this route are predicated on twin-level loading at both ends, which only these ships are capable of. I also believe MSM is the maximum length for performing the turn at Ouistreham and that PA and CF would certainly be too long for that port.
  23. Re: ETRETAT: Brittany Ferries Economie It's not just about having the requisite pilotage certificate. Even with that, the ships need permission from the French authorities and only the BF ships have this permission.
  24. Re: ETRETAT: Brittany Ferries Economie Most ships are not allowed to take the short cut through Ushant, and in fact until fairly recently (last couple of years) the BF ships were not allowed to either. This ban was lifted at BF's request for a reason I am not entirely clear about, but it was probably to do with something along the lines of the French authorities being pressurised to give the French company a competitive edge. I suspect the 24 hour passage time from Portsmouth would not have been commercially possible without the ban being lifted. When they first lifted the ban, you used to see a lot of the BF ships zigzagging back and forth and up and down around that area whilst they got their pilotage certificated, and CF still does this fairly often on her slow Monday passage from Roscoff down to Bilbao, presumably in order to get new skippers up to speed with their PECs.
  25. Re: Demise of LD Lines Except that would just complete a full circle within the space of little more than a year. It was taking Cotentin off the Poole route that led to LD stepping in in the first place. In my view, the only future for Cotentin within the BF fleet is if she is converted along similar lines to Armorique to carry passengers.
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