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Everything posted by jonno

  1. Yes I know however once in full production they'll be powered by Chinese turbines designed by Comac using Rolls Royce blueprints. They opted for the newer debugged LEAP 1C due to their tie in with GE who also placed a large airframe order but now the launch has been delayed until around 2022, when the 1000AX will be in production, the 919 will be sold in standard form with these particularly as unlike the LEAP they'll have STOL capability... an advantage when giving the likes of Ryan Air and other budget airlines their sales pitch. Customers will still be able to have any plant they choose but it's more likely that the 3rd gen LEAP will only be fitted to the extended range variant.
  2. Vlissingen is absurd, it's 3 hours south of Amsterdam and is closer to Antwerp plus they'd need to build a ferry terminal & linkspan. Nor will they switch to Rotterdam. The kudos for DFDS is that they're the ones who actually sail to the capital cities port, it's this feature which attracts the very lucrative mini cruisers. it's not a freight route. The modern day problem is that all or most ferry companies are more concerned with freight, if they can't fill 2 decks full of trailers they no longer want to know really. It's not about linking passenger routes with neighbouring countries it's about goods to market.Take a look at the modern ferry, the may have 10 or 11 decks but 75% of that is taken up by lane metres. It's why they're getting longer, outside passenger deck space is minimal and they have predominantly windowless slab sides. The Esbjerg route is a prime example. DFDS still sail there only now it's a freight service from Immingham... Passengers got in the way at Harwich. Newcastle - Ijmuiden is the opposite, any operator will have the same conundrum as BF have at St Malo.
  3. Nooooo, don't call her an old girl Gareth, she's the youngest in the fleet. It's a shame you can't book straight through from the U.K. site I have a feeling that there's a few members who may have changed their weekend plans for that trip.
  4. They've done a lot of work along the route. The M5 was clear at the end of March, we had a pleasant trip south to the Tiverton turn off. We're off on the Broads this weekend and have to go via Liverpool, I'm dreading the M6 on Friday morning... typical now that the M1 & A1 are clear. I feel a strategic maccy's breakfast coming on at Sandbach.
  5. Agreed, I know the A38 and it's issues but there's something about driving down the M5 through Somerset & Devon, seeing directions to Teignmouth, Torquay & Paignton creates a holiday feel I has as a kid, Poole is the same. Southampton and Portsmouth cunjure images of industry, places I associate with more as an adult.
  6. The government own 47% of the St Nazaire yard, 2% is owned by workers and 51% by Fincantieri. That deal is all about a Franco - Italian naval alliance. Macron did the same with Alstom and their 50/50 deal with Siemens. The AVIC group - Aviation Industry Corporation of China are state owned and have buckets of money. The obstacle in China is that normal banking lines of credit are forbidden to cover overseas orders as 90% of overseas companies looking to borrow have no capital or credit history in China. They want the west to stay and invest, to build business there, not just turn up in the short term and treat them like Wish or Ali Express. The likes of Weihai can't ask their bank to lend them 100m to build an E-Flexer for Stena or a RoRo for DFDS as neither of these shipping companies have any offices or headquarters there. On the other hand in the four years since Jinling under the now defunct SINOTRANS has been under the control of CMB they've not had any obstacles. The Chinese Merchant Bank have a specific offshore department designed to facilitate this and is why we're seeing their name as new owners of many of the yards due to the influx of overseas orders. AVIC won't lose out, CMB facilitate their overseas aerospace business as a gateway for western airlines to buy their aircraft in the future. It was they who structured the deal for their C919 to be powered by General Electric... it's a classy bird and will easily rival the A320 neo or boeing 737 Max (minus crap LEAP engines and crap software of course)
  7. They've two on order from GSI ready for 2021, these will sail in the Baltic. The problem they have with Ijmuiden is that modern RoPax are too long and loading is bow only.
  8. Health and safety plus SOLAS regs tend to be strictly adhered to particularly in northern waters, waste and oil saturated lagging in the machinery spaces is quite rare and I know that the BF engineers I've met are proud of how shipshape their engine rooms are. Fire is always a risk, it's a hot enclosed space with flammable liquids and stuff wears out and it breaks, it's the way of things. The trick is to cut down the risk as much as is practicably possible and have an alert, well drilled response for when the worst may happen. I think this incident proves that BF have good practice in both.
  9. I can see that in terms of Spain but that would mean losing the Roscoff rotation Connemara fulfils now. It's why I feel if it were to be the case it would be a fourth AVIC build used as a dedicated Irish - Spanish link. The third E-flexer effectively frees up Cap Finistere to run from Roscoff to Ireland adding another Plymouth visit too if needs be on a permanent basis and having a hybrid fuel system will allow BF to run her scrubber free whilst still meeting emission regs. Stena said that 8 of the 215m vessels would be built, so far 7 have been announced. Off course Stena may well use No8 to replace Horizon and sail her to Cherbourg.
  10. Ah but the trains will improve, it's part of the deal. The beaches can be quite windswept in the autumn & winter which brings it's own interest I suppose but this keeps them clean, they're excellent in the summer. Rosslare town itself is an ok visit, reminds me of a small Pembrokeshire coastal place. Good beach, good parking and a few decent cafe's. Again Wexford is worth a visit too and nipping up there from Rosslare on the train is easy enough... a nice little pootle along the coast with the train going along the sea front. Linking the trains to say an overnight mini cruise package especially for footies would offer a decent day excursion to either town especially if it was a vessel more equipped than a Visentini. From the business end of things, many of the hauliers have gravitated that way over the years, a few of the high profile names have congregate around Rosslare which makes the port attractive for freight.
  11. Rosslare is about to have massive investment. New port infrastructure and facilities, improved road and rail links. The port certainly has the berths and the draft... berth 1 can accommodate an E-Flexer & Berth 2 a Superfast. Could this be an option for BF, fully relocating their Irish links to Rosslare...Port of Cork certainly aren't planning any passenger ferry improvements, It's not on their agenda, what you see is what you get with zero scope for improvement or expansion. Rosslare could leave them in their wake? A fourth E-flexer could serve Spain & Cherbourg whilst Cap Finistere could off a year round dedicated service to Roscoff.
  12. Reading the stuff Shane Ross and Wexford's Minister for State said after I.F's announcement I think they're more concerned that I.F cut their Rosslare ties with Cherbourg, Roscoff has never been mentioned. OK... devils advocate. As a port what unique selling point does Roscoff have, what would the advantage be to say Stena bearing in mind that only 4% of all goods which travel to France from Ireland - U.K Landbridge included, are for the French? There was no business in LD's Rosslare - St Nazaire link, why would there be a viable case for Roscoff? Not even BF, who basically own the port, sail to Ireland throughout the year.
  13. I'm not happy with the price as the accommodation is no better than a 15 year olds in someways it's of a lower quality. There's no difference between an outside club on Armorique than there is on Bretagne, same mattresses, pillows etc... unless your personal choice is the different colour scheme and the colder overall feel. Her Club Plus are very comfy, and feel warmer but they're exclusive to her a bit like the 4 berth deluxe on Pont Aven. The Club Plus on Armorique are nicer than the Club cabins on WBY. How about comparing the most modern BF ship to another of similar age from another shipping line as the only accurate comparison you can make with Bretagne is with ships of the same era... it's a bit like comparing the Caronia with the QEII. Compare WBY with Megastar which only has around 50 cabins, similar lane metres and cost Tallink €230m, that's the Ropax bench mark.
  14. Yeah Me... We had to find another two to travel as the 2 berths had sold out and you can't seem to book a 4 berth for 2 people... nearly €1000 for 4 foot passengers in an outside 4 berth Club. Be fair Neil you can't compare the ships, that's a bit like comparing a new Ford Focus with an Escort Mk IV... and a ship which sails nowhere near Ireland. Do you believe WBY will look the same in 2049 after just one refit? WBY's Club cabins are no different to those on any BF ship, 2 up 2 down with or without a window, same dated air vents which we all know are useless and dated halogens... even BF's oldest ships have LEDS now. False economic style over substance If you want to compare the picture, the choice is one of PA's 15 year old Deluxe Cabins or the above lowest spec'ed suite which has the look of an MFI showroom, there's less space and return costs €200 more.
  15. They're always in direct competition on the Dublin - Holyhead route. IF already out do them in the freight stakes, another ships worth essentially. The new ship to partner Ulysses gives them a huge freight advantage, she'll be the largest RoPax in the world in terms of lane metres giving them an overall total of over 9600, near twice what Stena have now. Let's also not forget that WBY has a further 2800m capable of holding trailers too. The original plan was to have 1 & 2 for Belfast with their third (build No4) to replace Superfast X in 2021. The E-Flexer basically doubles what SFX carries. Now I'm led to believe it'll be Belfast 2019/Dublin 2020/Belfast 2020 as they're desperate for the Birkenhead route too... more desperate it seems than BF. I wouldn't be surprised to see Stena then replace Adventurer with one of the 240m variants giving them even more parity.
  16. That's right Ed but even BF when they announced No3 said Galicia 2021, Salamanca 2022 and the third in 2023. The quite senior bloke at Stena I spoke to has also said the orders were revised, as said, to compensate for I.F's 2nd new build.
  17. Stena Line Ro-Pax Avic Stena RoRo E-Flexer 1 STENA ESTRID 2019 212 42000 3100 300 927 Stena Line Ro-Pax Avic Stena RoRo E-Flexer 2 STENA EDDA 2020 212 42000 3100 300 927 Stena Line Ro-Pax Avic Stena RoRo E-Flexer 3 STENA EMBLA 2020 212 42000 3100 300 927 Stena Line Ro-Pax Avic Stena RoRo E-Flexer 7 TBN 2022 240 42000 3600 300 1200 Stena Line Ro-Pax Avic Stena RoRo E-Flexer 8 TBN 2022 240 42000 3600 300 1200
  18. That's true... Don't you think Barfy was pulled rapidly once the pax numbers dried up even more after her reconfiguring to remove the a la carte and lower staff numbers? BF essentially ended passenger services from Poole - Cherbourg and once Cotentin proved uneconomical she was on her way too essentially ending BF's Poole connection with Spain allowing LD to take them over for the short period they did.
  19. Stena's 3rd E-Flexer due next near is rumoured to be called "Embla". In Nordic/Scandinavian folklore Embla was the name given to the first female on earth.
  20. Poole - Cherbourg carried 211,500 passengers in 2018, Portsmouth - Cherbourg 167,000, a strong figure considering the fair weather timetable NEX runs. As you see combined the figure is pushing 380,000. Spain combined is pushing 360,000. Both figures are rising year on year. I think we'll never agree on the latter... for me BF wouldn't invest so much in their tonnage if they didn't feel they had to. You don't spend €180m on a short sea RoPax for Caen when you can have WBY for €40m less or have your own architects alter the structure and your own design teams takeover the interiors of the E-Flexers otherwise. Cost effecting business decisions are made coldly, you don't put your hand deeper into your pocket than you have to.
  21. No Helen Kilmartin has the lot, she's an interior designer and retailer... a bit like Laura Ashley.
  22. Most of the pics are of Viking Grace, 2 are my own the rest are library images. the other with darker furniture is Viking Gabriella in service since 1994. BF as a group will drop any route that isn't cost effective. They proved that when they mothballed Barfleur on a route that they are committed to continue due to their sub charter agreement with the reorganised and rationalised semi public companies. They were also swift to replace Cotentin with a freight only vessel when needed. Marginal routes? You only need to see the figures to see that they're not. As region Brittany enjoys over 700,000 passenger movements per year through two ports plus BF carry more passengers to Cherbourg than they do to Spain. If you also consider that Etretat only carries 300 pax per crossing when full an overall figure of 146,000 is not to be sneezed at either. Much is made of the Caen route but overall in terms of passengers it equates to 30%. I agree that most passengers couldn't care less about the ferry they're on... unless there's something they're unhappy with then they'll scream the name from the rooftops to anyone in earshot.
  23. GNV's ships are always up for sale, a bit like getting a surveyor in just to see what your house is worth. They wouldn't fit Ijmuiden, the swing is tighter than St Malo or Ouistreham especially with the water taxi under the bow when they're on the berth an there's not much quay astern of them either. You'll find GNV's Excellent and her sister touted around too. Viking are selling Amorella next year when the sister for Grace arrives but she's of the same vintage. She was the first of the four built in Split. Tallink's Isabelle was No2, Viking's Gabriella (one of my favourites) No3 and DFDS' Crown Seaways No4. the latter pair we're later additions due to the Balkan conflict. They're very well cared for by Viking and have had regular quality investment so you never know? There's also a rumour that DFDS want to replace Pearl Seaways with something bigger on their Copenhagen - Oslo route. She was last rebuilt around '06 I think but I don't think she has the lane metres they'd want at Newcastle. DFDS have the conundrum at Newcastle as what BF have at St Malo. A RoPax would be wasted on the routes as they're cruise orientated and don't need the high roofed lane metres for the HGV's as much.
  24. Welcome to the nut house! Brittany Ferries E-Flexers will arrive in 2021, 2022 & 2023. Of the standard 215m ships Stena are having 1, 2 & 3, Brittany Ferries 4, 6 & 7, DFDS No 5. The schedule was altered as Stena feel that Irish Ferries will have a capacity advantage from 2020 due to their 2nd Flensburg new build to partner Ulysses. This will effect BF as Baie du Seine will return to DFDS in April 2020 leaving 12 months before Galicia arrives which could indicate a further charter vessel will be sourced in the meantime. My personal view is that BF will buy either Stena Lagan or Mersey which are of a higher standard to Etretat (she'll return once Honfleur arrives) then replace Connemara permanently once Galicia is in place. I'll second that move.
  25. I'll certainly go along with that... Maybe it's because IF didn't use a specialised maritime outfitter, that way it may have resulted in furnishings and decor which will be up to the job, cheaper too. They used Minima, an online & highstreet domestic department store. One who are very good at overcharging for furniture and decor which can invariably be sourced for a lot less elsewhere. I looked at a Bauhaus chess set by Naef Spiele which they are selling for £455... It's £150 on Amazon.de. It's the same with their designer sofas... mass produced of course, one they sell for £10k is 4 grand less elsewhere. Even the Conran shop are less expensive and you're still paying through the nose. Also, when you look at the furniture closely it's not even really designed for the rigours of a family household far less the public areas and cabins of a cross channel ferry. It's lightweight with a designer label and price, purpose built for those with more money than sense. Stuff from Oak Furniture Land would stand up to the daily attentions of passengers better. Would you employ a high street shop to supply your spanking new multi million euro ship with furniture or would you stick with the tried, tested & trusted creations that maritime designers have been working on for decades? I fear internally she's going to wear rapidly then they'll be off to someone like Scanmarine.
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