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Gareth

BFE Staff
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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. With the publication of the 2021 timetables, elements of the 2020-1 winter refit programme are starting to emerge: 2 Nov to 29 Nov: Normandie away on refit, covered at Ouistreham by Armorique. 30 Nov to 3 Jan: MSM away on refit, covered at Ouistreham by Normandie (in turn covered by Armorique). 30 Nov to 26 Jan: CF away on refit, Santander covered by PA, no cover at Bilbao. 4 Jan to 22 March: Armorique off service (presumably some of that time at refit?), Plymouth-Roscoff closed for the winter. No refit appears to be in the schedules for Barfleur, Bretagne, Etretat or Pont Aven. Presumably their extended layups during April-June enabled them to receive sufficient attention to alleviate the need to come off service again so soon.
  2. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Having said that, it might be that BF has decided that they will no longer market the Roscoff to Bilbao leg. Given that (as expected) the Roscoff crew change is moving to the day when there is no arrival in the morning at Roscoff from Plymouth (or Cork), it may be that they have decided it is not worth bringing in the personnel needed to handle the minimal amount of boarding traffic for Bilbao. If so, maybe the omission of Roscoff-Bilbao sailings from the timetables is correct. (In which case I suppose we’d have to conclude the omission of Rosslare-Roscoff and Portsmouth-Le Havre timetables is also correct). Curious though - what will they do with Etretat’s crew change? Will she still sail to France but freight-only? (The freight website is not fully updated with the new sailings yet). Will Le Havre still appear in the freight timetables? Were we expecting both Kerry and Connemara charters to terminate? And if NEX is not appearing in the BF timetables, is there yet a role for her to play in the Condor schedules? Still quite a few unknowns.
  3. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    (And neither have the Roscoff - Bilbao sailings on the French website). We know these must be happening, so it may be premature to infer anything from the absence of Rosslare - Roscoff or Portsmouth - Le Havre sailings. Or, indeed, the absence of NEX from the schedules.
  4. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    One slight surprise is that it looks like Kerry’s Rosslare - Bilbao schdules are being taken over by Etretat (rather than Connemara). So, currently, neither Kerry nor Connemara appear to be in the schedules for next year. (See the Irish website). Rosslare - Roscoff schedules do not seem to have been released yet.
  5. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Well, they’re out. And this was broadly right, within the odd half hour, except that Gaicia’s second departure of the week is Thursdays at 2215 (for 2 nights) rather than 0900 on Friday mornings. (The Saturday return is therefore a couple of hours earlier, at 1500 rather than 1700). Otherwise the timetables are as expected. (GA exclusively to Santander and CF exclusively to Bilbao). St Malo is Bretagne’s normal routine. And nothing to Le Havre next year. Whether that route has (as some of us speculated) now gone, or whether there is a further delay, remains to be seem. The updated timetables are yet to appear on the freight website, so cannot see yet what the plans for Poole-Bilbao are.
  6. Yes, they are definitely the cabins of choice on PA. As has been said, noise is not a problem. And the balcony has probably 3 or 4 times the area. So they are definitely worth going for if you get an opportunity. Shelter and superior views, as has been said. But you can sit outside on them in comfort. And good running around space for young kids. Which is the better one of the two depends on which side of the ship you want to be for your crossing. In particular, do you want the sun to be in front of you or behind you in the morning.
  7. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    I find it curious that Etretat remains in Le Havre and is not recalled to duty. The other Vissentinis are deemed appropriate to operate. So I get the impression BF does not like her much. Will be interesting to see how, if at all, she features in the 2021 schedules.
  8. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Agree with all of that Jonno, apart from CF to Le Havre. I think they’ll continue to want 3 rotations to Spain out of her - as David said a couple of days ago, the whole raison d’etre of the Flexers is because BF wants to expand Spanish services, not cut them back.
  9. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Galicia’s timetable is completely predictable from what has already been published for the Portsmouth-Cherbourg route. The days are not the same as BDS and the crew change port is different, but she will be undertaking two rotations per week to Spain. That’s what BDS did too - one out, one in. Last year’s UK to Spain sailings were undertaken be CF, PA and BDS. Next years’ will be undertaken by PA, CF and Galicia. If that does not equate to Galicia is replacing BDS in the Spanish fleet then I’m not sure what does!
  10. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    It’s a curious one that. I can only think that it was some sort of compromise attempt at servicing the western part of the country at a time when Poole-Cherbourg, Portsmouth-St Malo and Plymouth-Roscoff were suspended. Equally, I am sure that running to Le Havre was also a compromise. I bet BF would have run Connemara to Ouistreham, directly against MSM, if that had been possible.
  11. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Galicia is effectively replacing BDS. Plans for Connemara are currently unknown (unless in the interim she is just going to return to Ireland-Spain). She’s currently on a temporary timetable necessitated by the covid shutdown, and there is no indication that BF intends a permanent replacement for this. (Portsmouth-Cherbourg timetables have been published and do not indicate that Connemara’s schedule will be sustained when things get “back to normal”).
  12. Don't stay there through the top of the tide though - the end of the pier covers! I agree, they are great photos. Second one looks like there is a chap on the shore with a boat hook fending her off the rocks! 🤣
  13. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    I'd have thought that any interplay between St Malo and Spanish sailings that could link their timetable issues would have the potential to be positive rather than negative for St Malo. For example, in the unlikely event of the thinking being to send CF to St Malo for a crew change visit then I'd have thought that would be additional to Bretagne's normal service.
  14. I don't think risk of contraction is the issue when it comes to going abroad. The issue is the increased complexity of the situation you would find yourself in if you do happen to contract it. In the U.K., getting home is relatively straightforward, and dealing with the NHS is a known quantity. Overseas, you have the concern about will ferries / planes be running, will they carry you if they are, and issue of potentially being hospitalised in a foreign country (with unknown financial implications and protocols). It probably all works through in the wash, but worry about all those factors is something you don't need if you are unlucky enough to contract the virus. Then add in the fact that either government could close the border between where you are and your own country at no notice...then what it adds up to is risk and sources of anxiety that some people will consider they don't need to have hanging over their holiday.
  15. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Nothing wrong with speculation (and nowhere have I said there is) provided it is on-topic (and consistent with the known facts that have already been published). The two sequences of posts that I removed were off-topic. One that was a rehash of a well-rehearsed discussion that has already taken place several times in the forum about the philosophy of how BF should view Le Havre against Ouistreham in its network (and that contradicted what has already been published about plans for Ouistreham). The other that was an increasingly political discussion about the culpability for industrial relations at Le Havre and St Malo. In both cases the sequences of posts had nothing to do with the 2021 timetables (and what is already known about them).
  16. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Yes, I get that vibe too. I agree it feels like there is something radically different in the pipeline for those routes that is the reason for the delay. Don't forget there is also the Rosslare route in the Spain mix, and what the plans are for that. There are good indications that that may ultimately be where CF is destined, but that was not thought to be until all the Flexers had arrived.
  17. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    She’s not in the published schedules for Poole-Cherbourg. Are you thinking they may use her to Le Havre? (In which case - here’s a twist - is it possible Le Havre may become freight-only?). Food for thought (and would make sense).
  18. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Don’t worry - the Honfleur thread is well on the way. Which will be good going for a member of the fleet that doesn’t even exist! 🤣
  19. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    “The Union”, capital U, is normally taken to refer to the Union of the four nations of the United Kingdom, and it is difficult to see how that can be linked to reliability of sailings to Le Havre. If you mean “unions” then I am not sure I agree. There are plenty of reasons why BF may stop sailing to Le Havre, but I am not sure that union difficulties will be one of them. They have faced problems dealing with the unions at many of their ports, notably St Malo and Ouistreham, but it has never been a reason to pull out. At Le Havre it could be a contributory factor, but only if there are other reasons to stop sailing there. We’ll see next week. Difficult to know what their intentions re Le Havre are, but I am not sure we should be surprised either way. As hhv said, BF’s commitment to the route is very peripheral.
  20. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    I’ve removed another sequence of off-topic posts.
  21. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    I thought you said they told you that wasn’t going to happen? (What you quoted was that we “don’t have a date for publishing 2021 schedules on this route” or something like that. It was that information that they gave you that caused me to wonder whether they are planning on continuing with the route.)
  22. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    And ultimately probably better that it doesn’t. Le Havre would ultimately stand a better chance of having a proper ferry service if it were left to someone else to step in and provide some competition for BF in the Western Channel. Someone for whom it would be the priority and who can give it more than token attention. I agree it is not BF’s priority and never will be.
  23. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    Possible. Though - if you wanted to travel from Portsmouth to Jersey overnight, wouldn’t it be easier just to get on Clipper?
  24. Gareth

    2021 Timetables

    I think they’re undecided as to whether Le Havre is going to continue. That was a very noncommittal reply - and they are clearly (from that) not intending to release Le Havre schedules at the time when they’ve promised Spain and St Malo.
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