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Gareth

BFE Staff
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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. But now that she is effectively undertaking a Roscoff to Portsmouth passage, it will be interesting to see which route she takes. North of Guernsey and through the Casquettes TSS I would imagine but we'll see.
  2. Went down to about 4 nautical miles off Roscoff but now back on course for Portsmouth. Something medical I would imagine.
  3. Yes, the artist impression makes it look as if she is having some accommodation added to the rear of the existing accommodation. In the picture the accommodation looks to go almost as far back as the funnel, which on the Sirena Seaways it never did. Is anyone aware that addition of extra accommodation is actually part of the work taking place on the ship at Gdansk? Or is it just artistic license to make it look more like a passenger ship than it is in reality?
  4. That's what it looks like on AIS this morning. En route quite routinely to Portsmouth on her regular return from Bilbao with an ETA of 1730, but about 40 minutes ago changed course abruptly and is now heading at 21 knots straight to Roscoff (where I am not sure if she has been before?). Has she got a problem?
  5. Poole-Cherbourg, Plymouth-Roscoff, Portsmouth-St Malo and Portsmouth-Le Havre are all routes where continuity has been, to varying extents, erratic over the last couple of years during the winter refit period. So I don't think that Poole is alone. That said, I do agree with a point previously made that it is surprising Barfleur did not go off as soon as Bretagne came back. As it is, Bretagne will have been laid up for 5-6 weeks before Barfleur goes off, by which time we will only be a week or so before she is due to re-enter service to St Malo. As Bretagne is not ideal for Cherbourg, for reasons you gave, seems to me the smart thing to have done (if the aim is to reduce disruption to continuity of service) would have been to put Bretagne onto Armorique's current Portsmouth - St Malo - Plymouth - Roscoff circuit and to have moved Armorique to Poole. However, it was not to be, which means, as you implied, continuity was not considered necessary. Changing the subject slightly, although it might possibly answer my own point, does anyone know where Barfleur is going? If it is to Santander then clearly she could not have gone yet because she will have had to wait until CF had finished. Big trip for the old girl though, wouldn't it be? A trek across Biscay.
  6. Honfleur and Etretat were due to be the names of the Olau twins had the takeover of the Le Havre route from P&O taken place in 2005.
  7. Back to the name....I'm quite surprised they haven't called her Honfleur actually. Nothing wrong with Baie de Seine, just that Honfleur, like Etretat, was previously slated as names BF were going to use to Le Havre. And Honfleur is one of the jewels of the area. So...I wonder if they haven't used it because they are keeping it in reserve for something else down the line?
  8. Have to say I was of the understanding that this was fairly standard (steel hull and aluminium superstructure or similar). Remembering back to early 1983 when European Gateway was righted, having been savaged by a month of gales....superstructure pretty much all washed away, hull completely intact. I'm pretty sure i read at the time that this was due to the superstructure being made of aluminium.
  9. Well, whatever we may all (correctly) think about DFDS, it will be nice to see these two ships operating together once again on the route for which they were built.
  10. Looks like she's under her own engine power too. Amazing.
  11. Looks like DFDS has missed a bit of a trick with the schedules for the two-ship service. Timetables are now available on the website, and there are "night time" departures in both directions, leaving Newhaven at 2300 and Dieppe at 2359. However, despite the next departures not being until 0900 (from Newhaven) and 1230 (from Dieppe), both night time sailings are only scheduled to last 5 hours. Arrivals in Newhaven and Dieppe at 0400 and 0500 respectively will make them really appealing.....! No doubt there will be a reason for these timings determined by freight interests, but it would be nice to see them offer passengers a similar facility to that offered by Stena at Harwich - stay in bed and no need to disembark until 0700. However, I suspect the design of the ships would probably make selective disembarkation of freight in this way problematic.
  12. Ok, perhaps I should have said not purpose-built rather than chartered/second hand.
  13. No, I think Bretagne is back in action to St Malo by the time Barfleur goes off.
  14. Ok sounds to me like it was more to do with weather conditions on the exposed Roscoff berth rather than tidal conditions then. Or actually, maybe a combination of the two. Ordinarily berthing stern-in, perhaps the tidal conditions would not have caused a problem, but with the weather conditions forcing a bow-first berthing they unexpectedly did. That's most likely the explanation isn't it. But yes, agree, better not to dissect the exact wording of the announcements too carefully, especially if it is true that the English versions are a translation of a French original. Still to me the main point of interest is that BF considered it worth sending Armorique on that St-Malo to Plymouth to Roscoff to Portsmouth rotation at all. (Especially with all the weather that has been around for a while). My theory was that the only explanation for this must have been that the overnight Plymouth-Roscoff crossing must have been sufficiently full to make it worth it. Crechbleiz can you confirm whether this was the case? You were on that sailing, was the ship noticeably full?
  15. Just a thought. Assuming this rumour materialises into something, we will then have a BF fleet getting on for 50% chartered or second-hand. When was the last time this was the case? Probably not since MSM arrived I would guess.
  16. Good thought Colin. The timing is about right too, isn't it, with the end of Cotentin's charter to Stena?
  17. Back on topic, there is another aspect of this that is worthy of mention. Back when the future of DFDS on the route, and the future of Sirena Seaways, was being discussed at length, there was a lot of speculation that Sirena Seaways was too long for the berth at Le Havre and that this may be the reason why DFDS will not put her on the route. This latest development answers that question definitively - she clearly will fit the berth. So....this cannot have been the reason for DFDS not moving her and I share all the sentiments that have already been expressed about the demise of both DFDS and P&O. A very sad reflection of what those companies used to be in their heyday. In fact, of all the ferry companies that graced out shores back in the 70s and 80s, BF stands pretty much high and alone in not only surviving but also becoming an even more impressive operation than it was back in those days. What a contrast and long may they continue.
  18. They nearly did. They were all set to take over the Pride of Portsmouth and Pride of Le Havre, which were going to be called Etretat and Honfleur. But then, yes, it was referred to the monopolies commission. I think the general expectation was that the commission was going to clear the way for the takeover of the route, but before it reported BF pulled out of the deal. Speculation was that they re-did the maths and had second thoughts. My own suspicion was that after doing the maths they will have concluded not only that this was going to be a loss-maker for them but also that they did not need to worry about someone else taking the route over either. And also that they were worried about diluting their own Caen route. As a footnote, it is worth noting that because of what happened 10 years ago, everyone will be very surprised if Sirena Seaways is renamed anything other than Honfleur.
  19. A high tide in Roscoff making it impossible to load would make sense. However, in those circumstances I'd have expected the announcement to say something like "Due to tidal conditions delaying the departure from Roscoff..." or something like that. Also, high and low tides do not normally take BF by surprise (they are highly predictable) and timings of St Malo sailings, for instance, are shown adapted in the published schedules as far as a year ahead. There will have been no high spring tide that suddenly materlaiised after they published the departure time for the Roscoff-Portsmouth sailing that was not known about beforehand. It is true that actual tides can be slightly different from predicted ones in their actual heights (but not their times) as a result of variations in atmospheric pressure - but is anyone aware that Armorique was actually a couple of hours late leaving the berth? The way the announcement reads was that high tides had delayed the ship on passage, and if that is how it was actually intended to read then...yes...I'm afraid that is rather far-fetched.
  20. High tidal conditions in the Channel. Yeah, right. Nothing to do with scheduling the crossing for 9 hours at all then. Obviously it was because there was too much water in the Channel.
  21. Armorique is now well on her way from Roscoff to Portsmouth. Interestingly she is following the same route as was followed by Pont Aven on Monday, north of Guernsey. When ships are sailing the other way, from Portsmouth to Roscoff, such as CF's weekly call, they invariably pass south of Guernsey. I always thought that must be the most direct route, but looking at the route taken by the two north-bound vessels I am now wondering whether the southbound route is necessary to avoid contravening the Casquettes TSS.
  22. One can only conclude that the Thursday night sailing from Plymouth to Roscoff must be pretty busy. To make a St Malo-Plymouth sailing (which must only ever have a token booking I'd have thought, as it's essentially a positional sailing) as well as a one-off non-scheduled Roscoff-Portsmouth crossing worthwhile to enable it to happen, loadings on the Thursday night sailing must be very encouraging. Maybe with all the cancelled sailings last weekend and this there must be quite a backlog of traffic wanting to sail into and out of Roscoff.
  23. Yes, the end of an era and another port to add to the fast-growing list of former ferry ports that have closed down.
  24. Perhaps more significantly, this means this is the first time that there have been more weekly sailings to Bilbao than to Santander. I hope this is not indicative of a gradual trend away from Santander and towards Bilbao.
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