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Gareth

BFE Staff
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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Thanks Neil. Reading between the lines, this would seem to infer that CF will have a new role in the fleet.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. What odds on Galicia being in service before Honfleur?!
  15. New advice was issued this week: https://news.sky.com/story/brexit-will-not-affect-your-summer-holiday-to-the-eu-britons-told-11910405
  16. 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.
  17. According to information published by HMG last week, there should be no changes to.... Passport validity EHIC Mobile roaming charges ....during the transition period. I’ve not seen whether driving license validity is included in this, but I assume that it is.
  18. I wouldn’t put my hand that close to the propellors! 😀
  19. Thinking about it, the two nicest mains I’ve had in the buffet restaurants were both in Les Romantiques on MSM. The buffet itself is smaller, and not a patch on Les Abers or Le Flora. But I wonder whether the smaller volumes for lunch on the Ouistreham route may mean that there is more chance of the dish being well cooked to order. Or it may just be a coincidence. But I remember both of those dishes being absolutely delicious.
  20. I tend to agree. The buffet is always great in the restaurants, but the cooked-to-order mains are hit or miss. Often because they are not actually cooked to order, but batch cooked and sometimes sit around a bit, being kept warm, before being brought to you. Hence they are often over-cooked (both fish and meat courses).
  21. The knock-on effects on fleet deployment are, as yet, a complete unknown.
  22. Usually about 70 - 80 minutes before sailing, if the sailings are running to time. What time any particular vehicle gets boarded is, however, a complete lottery.
  23. That’s a curious one as, to my knowledge (but hhv will correct me if I’m wrong), twin level loading is almost non-existent in the Med. Then again, there is precedent for ferries built as twin-level loaders (and in practice not viable to operate otherwise) moving to the Med. Off-hand, I can think of ships like the Sealink Saints and PoFE/Oleander that have operated successfully in the Med. With those examples, what did they do with their upper vehicle decks? Install accommodation? I guess if they were able to do it then there is no reason why Normandie couldn’t carve out a life in the Med. On the other hand.....in those days, Mediterranean ferries being second-hand discards from Northern Europe was the norm. Now they bulld their own to order. So it may not be that easy.
  24. The use of the word “likely”, in relation to plans for Normandie, is interesting.
  25. A difference of note between the TT/DFDS pair and the Olau/P&O pair is that the former had sliding clam bow doors, and the latter had bow visors.
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