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Gareth

BFE Staff
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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. Don’t think that’s new is it - I don’t think they ever stopped.
  2. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Well that seems to answer one question then - there is going to be a service of some sort. Will be interesting to see what it is.
  3. It’s a gamble, and it may or may not pay off. Back in the days of CF and PA joining the fleet, BF had competition on the Spain routes. It was their 24 USP that saw off the competition. Now there is no competition - and the gamble is that a rival does not emerge assuming the mantle of the 24 hour passage. Unlikely in the current circumstances I suspect, so the gamble may pay off. On the other hand....in many ways, the real competition for the Spanish routes has always been the shorter crossing to France and driving down through France. Back in the Western Channel heyday, the France option prevailed. If its demise was partly due to traffic choosing to take advantage of the 24 hour crossing to Spain, then it may be that the shorter French routes make something of a return, taking traffic away from the direct Spain routes. However, the limits on driving time for lorry drivers mean that this argument would not apply to freight. So BF is probably safe taking the gamble at the moment. Among tourist traffic, I expect that PA’s service from Plymouth will prove to be the most popular.
  4. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Gosh, this is all so exciting. I wonder what the next instalment will be! 😉😃
  5. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    I’m sure there will be people thinking that large parts of this thread have strayed quite a long way from the 2021 schedules. When I get a moment I’ll split off all the posts speculating about the longer term and put them into their own thread. It will take a while though, so until I get round to it, best to keep both 2021 and future timetable posts here. Then they’ll all be in one place to deal with.
  6. Yes, the 2-nighter is probably the least problematic sailing in this respect. Even CF has one, and it has advantages as you say. The problem is the 28+ hour 1-nighters.
  7. Although that’s not new - it was the case when BF started operating Portsmouth-Spain.
  8. Completely agree Ian. I think this is a retrograde step (and compromises the USP on which BF’s success to Spain, where others failed, was built).
  9. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    No, it would need to be a multiple of 3. On the daily sailing model, each ship would do a round trip to Spain every 3 days.
  10. I seem to have been misunderstood. I was not suggesting closure was likely, merely that it was a theoretical possibility and that I hoped the absence of holiday booking availability currently for next year was not indicative. In terms of all the arguments for having the business, you’re preaching to the converted! 😉
  11. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Even with 3 Flexers, I suspect it would be more likely that they will go for daily sailings to Spain than 6 to Spain and 6 to Cherbourg. I’m not sure that Pompey-Cherbourg will be a priority for them (unless perhaps it goes in to replace the Poole route). Daily departures to Spain, at 0900 or 2200, and daily returns at either 1500 or 1700, would be a very neat use of 3 Flexers. But they’d need a different crewing cycle than 7 days.
  12. I’m sure you’re right, both, and also that the delayed release is normal. But equally we are in uncertain times and BF is going to have to go into recovery of losses mode. The holiday business would be one candidate to close if it runs at a loss (I have no idea whether it does) as they restructure the business. But I agree it is less likely that they will do this than more. The point about its role in filling ships is also a good one.
  13. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Yep - and maybe 2 is all there will ever be (if Jonno is right and the third Flexer goes to Rosslare). That’s a different scenario, and there is probably a way they could get 5 weekly sailings to and from Spain out of them, but that would be at the expense of any Cherbourg rotations. (There would still need to be a Cherbourg call for crew change, but that would be its only purpose).
  14. I notice no inclusive holidays are available to book yet. I think (?) that is normal, and that they become available later in the year (?), and that this is not a clue that the holiday business is going to close. 🤞
  15. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Sorry about the delay in replying to this Matt - been pondering it! Yes, it would be possible. The itinerary would have to switch the Spain 2-nighter to the northbound crossing and work to something like the following schedule: Day 1: 2000 arr Portsmouth; 2230 dep Portsmouth Day 2: 0700 arr Cherbourg; 0900 dep Cherbourg; 1230 arr Portsmouth; 1500 dep Portsmouth Day 3: 2000 arr Santander; 2300 dep Santander Day 4: At Sea Day 5: 0700 arr Portsmouth; 1000 dep Portsmouth; 1530 arr Cherbourg; 2200 dep Cherbourg Day 6: 0600 arr Portsmouth; 0900 dep Portsmouth Day 7: 1400 arr Santander; 1700 dep Santander If Ship 1 slotted into the schedule with Day 1 on Mondays, Ship 2 with Day 1 on Saturdays and Ship 3 with Day 1 on Sundays, then the following schedules would operate: Portsmouth-Cherbourg: Mon 2230, Weds 1000, Thurs 1000, Fri 1000, Sat 2230, Sun 2230 Cherbourg-Portsmouth: Mon 0900, Tues 0900, Weds 2200, Thurs 2200, Fri 2200, Sun 0900 Portsmouth-Santander: Mon 1500, Tues 1500, Thurs 0900, Fri 0900, Sat 0900, Sun 1500 Santander-Portsmouth: Mon 2300, Tues 2300, Weds 2300, Fri 1700, Sat 1700, Sun 1700 Obviously, the days could all be shunted forwards or backwards by the same amount, but the above arranges for the days on which there are no sailings to and from Spain to be Wednesdays and Thursdays respectively, coinciding with days when PA is sailing from/to Plymouth. Each ship has several opportunities in the week to catch up lost time, with the 2-nighter from Santander, the overnights to/from Cherbourg, and the extended (crew change) layover in Cherbourg on Day 5 (which is obviously different for each ship).
  16. I once bought a bottle of Cote de Provence rose from the Super U. (Well more than one actually, but this particular bottle was memorable). When I screwed in the cork screw to remove the cork, the whole top of the bottle shattered! 😬
  17. Nothing new there. Most of that is nearly a month old (apart from the photo which is considerably older! 🤣).
  18. That’s quite a difference in outbound and inbound crossing! Trying to experience both ends of BF’s offering in the same holiday? 😁
  19. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    LHC - the Portsmouth-Caen timetables have been published. It has both MSM and Normandie in them. I can send you a link if you like 😉.
  20. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Depends where the third Flexer goes. If, as you think, she is Rosslare-bound then that only leaves 2 at Portsmouth. Assuming CF is then released from Portsmouth, the Plymouth contribution to freight capacity becomes more important.
  21. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    (The line that says “Armorique is new to Ireland” rather lends weight to the scenario that the press office is in a bit of a muddle with its facts).
  22. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Timetables still show it as Etretat. So, either there was a late change to the plans between the press release being put together and the timetables being published, or there is a late change since the timetable publication yet to filter through, or the press room is in a bit of a muddle, one of the bits of information is simply wrong. Intriguing!
  23. She’s spending a few months operating Galicia’s timetable before Galicia arrives. Once that happens she’ll be off back to her original and new home of Plymouth, where normal service will be resumed. As far as Portsmouth is concerned, I’m afraid this is an indication of the future. With the new Flexers, BF has abandoned its 24 hour offering to Spain. (But it part lives on for as long as Cap Finistere remains on the route).
  24. Probably explains the stagger. (If it does then that indicates they clearly know their website is not up to it).
  25. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Very limited passenger capacity (though maybe within what is needed at the current time). Her achilles heel in current configuration, for passenger operation, is shared bathroom facilities. Seems to have been ok in the Baltic, but UK tourist expectations these days are for en suite facilities in cabins. So, in that respect, even a Vissentini is probably better. But I reckon freight-only will be enough to keep the route ticking over. So the idea of Cotentin appearing on it is not a daft one. (Assuming, that is, that she really is coming back to BF. I know there was a lot of excitement a while back about a story that somebody stumbled across to indicate she might be, but we’ve heard precious little else (and certainly nothing official) to corroborate it.) If she does come back, however, you’d think the first call on her would be Poole-Bilbao. (Essentially the route, apart from Spanish port, for which she was built). No indication as yet of what the plans are for that route when Pelican’s charter is up.
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