Jump to content


BFE Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Seashore

  1. Without declaring my own opinion on the site, these days the two core things are that a website is FAST and that it works on mobile phones, which is probably where a lot of the traffic comes from and and where speed is critical because many users will be on 3G or 4G. Using Google's own tools:* IS IT FAST? https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.brittany-ferries.co.uk%2F Site scores as 'slow' at 36 out of 100. The French site scores 39 out of 100 which is also very poor for speed, the Irish site fairs better in the average category at 52 out of 100 and the freight site is fastest at 58 out of 100. However, they're all poor scores. So... NO, IT IS NOT FAST Stena Line is 11 out of 100, Irish Ferries is at 56, Ryanair is 51 and Eurotunnel is an horrific 5 out of 100. IS IT MOBILE FRIENDLY? https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.brittany-ferries.co.uk%2F Yes, the page scores as mobile friendly. It's a no for the French site, Irish site and freight site, probably not that many freight customers using it to book though. It's a yes for Stena Line, Irish Ferries and Eurotunnel. So... it's ok then? Well it's better than the Irish site for sure; Google prioritises mobile friendly, probably second after the site being secure (https) and probably ahead of mobile. However, on average Irish Ferries will always outrank the Irish site and probably the UK site too. Stena Line will most likely outrank BF's Irish site in search results. = room for improvement *caveat is that Google penalises sites for speed, yet Google's own scripts that websites use like for Google Analytics. Google Ads, Google Tag Manager and Google Optimize (the latter doesn't even work properly with Analytics) is a bit rich on their part, but Google dominates the internet in Western Europe so sites have no choice but to follow Google's own rules.
  2. Barfleur has 72 cabins. Cotentin has 120 cabins. Why would Brittany Ferries want to add more, and take up a lot of space, on a shorter sea route which usually sails at day? And if it doesn't it still has more cabins than Barfleur.
  3. https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/photos/of/ships/shipid:201103/shipname:STENA BALTICA/mmsi:235102029
  4. 116 + 8 = 124 cabins, if all are 2-berth except the 8 then that’s 264 berths. Where would the extra 100 cabins and 432 berths go? That would give her about as many berths as Normandie or MSM. Sorry if I’m missing something in the calculation.
  5. If Cotentin is being returned to BF in 2021, I’m going to keep my money on the Stena Visentini pair going to Karlskrona-Gydina. The lengthened Visentini pair would carry as many as metres on two ships as the current three (Spirit, Vision, Baltica/Cotentin)
  6. If entertaining speculation... Cotentin: Poole-Cherbourg Barfleur: Plymouth-Roscoff Armorique: Portsmouth-St Malo Bretagne: thank you for 32 years (ducks for cover!)
  7. Does anyone know, is there a difference in the styles of scrubber? I know there’s closed and open loop systems which work differently. I’m not sure which the big ones are (MSM, PA, Arm) and the smaller ones (BDS, CF, Kerry) - but I know engine size has something to do with it hence why PA and MSM have huge ones. Perhaps someone else knows please?
  8. She’s been in the water for quite a long time too, closer to two years than one, having sat around in the yard.
  9. Oh gosh. Thought that was a no-go to mention 🤭
  10. She’s not the only ship in the fleet with one, so has Cap Finistere. I used it as a foot passenger on Portsmouth to Cherbourg in her first BF season, boarding was via a small stern door (except it’s on the port side) and the escalator is behind that running up to the reception area.
  11. Yes, it seems to have. They have also changed the questions about there being a cinema and around food/drink venues: Current restaurant and bar facilities will move to the new ship. The Columbus Club and Navigator's Bar will be upgraded to a two story seaview facility So would be a fair assumption that the a la carte on the Moby ships will become North Sea Bistro, the self service becomes Explorers Kitchen and Coffee Crew/Starbucks goes into the pizza/coffee shop location.
  12. We've seen Stena do it before - put the current much longer Stena Germanica and Stena Scandinavica from Harwich - Hoek van Holland onto the Kiel - Goteborg route, taking extra freight and closing down Travemunde - Goteborg at the same time, which of course is what enabled the shorter Vision & Spirit to be rebuilt as double deck loaders and put on the Gdynia - Karlskrona route. Stena often refer to Sweden-Poland as being one of their star performers, currently in the hands of two quite old ships (although Stena do operate much older) and chartered tonnage (ie, a ship from Brittany Ferries). However, market conditions are quite different when travelling from Sweden to Germany compared to the Poland where the prices on shop shelves (especially alcohol which is what fuels a lot of the traffic on the Viking/Tallink/Silja/Eckero ships) are much lower than they are in Sweden. Since NI Ferry shows the two longer ones coming into service in 2022 https://www.niferry.co.uk/stena-e-flexer-overview/ and if traffic is simply continuing to outpace the current ships, then it may be that Stena feel they can't wait. Whilst they lead Polferries on product now, it doesn't mean they will in the future, and it doesn't mean a new freight-orientated entrant couldn't come in. 2022 is a long way away, the E-flexers might be needed elsewhere by then or even go out to charter, I think Stena have always taken a more pragmatic view. "Cruise" might be a lot of work for not a lot of return plus a customer who is transient, as opposed to freight which is generally year round and more regular. BF's own Spain services are undoubtedly much more about freight now than cruise. Same on Harwich - Hoek (although ever since the HSS) and same on Kiel - Goteborg.
  13. I’d happily put money on them going on Karlskrona to Gdynia. Traffic on the route seems to be constantly growing, both ports have double deck loading, each ship does 2x 10-hour crossings a day so needs cabins for overnight. Rumour is the last two enlarged E-Flexers are for the route but nothing has been announced.
  14. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Newcastle, but is it perpetually dark there? Amsterdam is on about the same latitude as Birmingham. Would have thought apart from the deepest winter from Nov to Jan, the big windows are perfect for a 5pm departure and 9.15am arrival, especially sailing up the Tyne.
  15. Azipods are very common on cruise ships, not universally used (for example almost all the P&O Cruises and Princess fleets don't have them, except for P&O's Arcadia as it is a different design class and the new Iona). According to the press release there are 2 at each end making a total of 4x azipods. No bow thrusters and no stern thrusters, they're not needed with azipods plus these new ships won't have to do 180-degree turns on the leg from Calais to Dover. Azipods are much more expensive than a normal propeller/shaft/rudder set up and the internal configuration of the engine spaces is totally different. If you've seen the Red Funnel Raptors with (lorry) engines directly connected to the Voith Schneider units then that configuration is not what these new ferries will have. You have to think of the engines as generators, cruise ships run their engine configurations like power plants generating electricity rather than any sort of drive propulsion. Instead the electricity is what powers the azipods as well as the rest of the ship. By using batteries, they can run the engines at constant speed with the batteries taking any excess load the azipods need for example when they turn or push the ship sideways encountering more resistance. Engines when performing as generators no longer need to be lined up to provide drive to the propellers so can be placed differently within the ship to balance centres of gravity and hydrodynamics. There seems to be a lot of clever stuff on there, yes Honfleur does sound like it will be eclipsed already when it eventually comes into service, but that's a good thing as technology moves forward and emissions come down. The only thing they don't mention is the air cushion that ships like Royal Caribbean's Quantum-class and Celebrity Cruises' Edge-class glide on to reduce resistance, but I think the hull shape has something to do with it. As for the look, my initial thought was it looked like Pride of Hampshire post-Jumboisation. Otherwise known as a ghastly mess. But on reflection it probably ticks all the boxes for lots of light and seeing a "connection to the sea", and probably all that deck space the press release talks about is at each end - I would hazard a guess that the top area is in front of the crew cabins so they won't have passengers walking around there like on their other ships. In terms of photos, people will want the view from one end of the White Cliffs and from the other the Calais beaches so my guess is going to be the lower of the two outside decks are going to be public, the deck above I'm going to guess one end is Club Lounge and the other is Freight Lounge each with their own private decks as the Spirits have now. Thinking about other ships at Dover, which actually looks good from the back? The Pride of Burgundy certainly is about the worst, but none of them are what could be described as photogenic. The ends of the new P&O ships would be an improvement. There's no foot passenger gangway designed in for Dover in that mock-up, maybe it'll be buses, maybe another alternative...
  16. To add, P&O Princess the company (now Carnival Plc) was the demerged cruise business from the rest of P&O, including the ferries. Originally it was created to merge the cruise business with Royal Caribbean, instead it merged with rival Carnival.
  17. Absolutely nothing. However, P&O Cruises flies the P&O houseflag under licence from P&O Ferries which owns the brand. It’s a risk for both brands; in the last week was a Daily Express typical sloppy journalism online report talking about ferry mini cruises from Hull and use a photo of Britannia, P&O Cruises’ flagship and the combined size of Prides of Hull, Rotterdam and York together. So if something happened to one it affects the other. To confuse it even more, P&O Cruises Australia is operated by Carnival Australia which is part of Carnival Corporation. It has absolutely nothing to do with P&O Cruises (in the U.K.) which is owned and operated by Carnival PLC - the continuation of P&O Princess - which is the British part of the dual listed company that has its own CEO and Chairman separate (to an extent!) from Carnival Corp in the US. Even the branding is different, although the Australian ships is registered in London whilst the British ones are registered in Hamilton, Bermuda except for Britannia. It’s all very complex!
  18. Often you can test these things and plan for what you think is every eventuality, then you put the public on it and they do all sorts of things you never imagined. Between techies who tend to be quite precise in their thinking and marketeers who think something will sell; it’s usually somewhere in between. Frequently the issue is the sales people who have the most balanced view are too busy selling and keeping the cash coming in whilst projects like new websites go on, whether dragged out or turned around fast it’s always an age to somewhere in sales, to have sufficient impact mostly because they lack the time and have the pressures of achieving targets that the posh coffee cup holding marketeers and strong coffee supping developers don’t have. Surprised really BF bother with an accommodation booking element, they’re a ferry company so focus on what you do best. Partnering with a commission share with accommodation rental specialists would seem on the face of it to be more commercially successful like Home Away or Booking - even with Airbnb or Accor (given the percentage of families Premier Inn say use their budget hotels for 3-7 night holidays) - and with the right terms is a win/win for all.
  19. And the day trip one - first ever ferry crossing was on Pride of Calais using one of those, non landing return.
  20. The issue with devices is a big one, especially with iPads, and true it's not usually the site provider's fault... but customers don't see it that way because it could never be their hardware or software that has an issue. The issue is biggest with iPads, and older iPhones, and it is real. Because Apple products are so damn expensive right now and there's been some real jumps in price - a few years ago you could get the top iPhone for £599 and now it's £999 just for the starting top model - people are holding on to their devices longer. In the case of iPads, and tablets as a whole in fairness, there has been next to no innovation in the sector and they're now the white elephants of the tech world (yes, even more of a flop than the Apple Watch). In the same context, phones have got faster, screens have got bigger and people are more comfortable purchasing on them, so high speed is one user demand and the other is high quality large image-led sites of which the two are not necessarily happy bedfellows. What web site providers have to content with in the tablet environment is two extremes: Old technology like most iPads. After the "Apple downgrades battery life" scandal, they fixed that but in doing so have been continually downgrading the RAM available in Safari on older devices which is then trigger for further downgrades within the device itself according to how much of the memory is taken up, so low memory status cuts down the RAM further in Safari. This causes sites which are image-lead to not always render properly and in some cases websites are now so fast at delivering content that the device's browser simply can't cope with it. It's the reverse of the battery scandal, it's discussed in many tech and developer forums but just hasn't hit the headlines yet. Rock and a hard place... people are holding onto their devices so no need to innovate with new product, no new product means people don't replace, saving battery life on dying lithium ion batteries means reducing the processing power needed. You can't win! Newer throw away technology, like Kindles and other "cheap" tablets. Kindles are simply not up to the job of being a web browsing device in the same way that other mobile devices are. The OS is a "lite" version of Android, tech forums are stuffed with connection issues on Kindles and the like, and the issue is that perhaps those who buy them are either less tech savvy in the first place (either don't know what they're buying and/or don't understand why it doesn't meet their expectation) whilst they may harbour unrealistic expectations of what the device is capable of. You want the power of a new iPad? Buy a new iPad, not a cheap Android device. You want a luxury crossing to Spain? Pay for a Commodore cabin on Pont-Aven, not a reclining seat on Etretat. You get what you pay for. Don't get me started on people not updating their OS and browser, not installing AV so their device is littered with malware and spyware, and people who wonder why responsive websites moves things around and collapse menus down because you're comparing that honking great 26-inch PC screen on your desk with a tiny phone in your hand. The result it it's never the customer's fault... just a long never ending battle that website owners and developers have to grin and bear... "yes sir, we'll look into it" through gritted teeth.
  21. I'm not Bretagne's biggest fan, but she doesn't deserve to be scrapped yet, surely she has plenty of life left in her for what she is, a 30-year old overnight ferry with cabins running a budget service. What she does deserve is to have the cruise ferry name scraped off her, she gives people a bad impression of what a cruise ship actually is.
  22. MSM would be sponsored by EDF surely? More chimneys than a power station?
  23. Etretat, sponsored by Poundland
  24. I’m missing something, but can’t figure out what?
  • Create New...