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BRETAGNE: 30th Anniversary

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13 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

I much prefer Pont to MSM but we’re all different , on MSM on Friday I’m sure it will be a pleasant crossing.

 Neil if this weather keeps up there's an even chance she'll be able to sail up to you!

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12 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

Anyway you all have another voyage report about Bretagne to look forward to at the end of June unfortunately for some of you it will be me writing it 😉

So less than objective then?..

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5 minutes ago, Paully said:

So less than objective then?..

Will have an open mind I always aim to enjoy every sailing as much as I can.

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1 hour ago, neilcvx said:

I much prefer Pont to MSM but we’re all different , on MSM on Friday I’m sure it will be a pleasant crossing.

I really like both, for their respective purposes. I wouldn't particular fancy a longer trip on the MSM, but love the piano bar area, it feels really luxurious, the cabins are decent too. Normandie feels a little crampt and dated in comparison.

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13 hours ago, Bf Bretagne said:

Wasn't deck 8 fully overhauled in back in 2009. Normandie and Barfy are only 3 years older and don't get praise for their age like the Bretagne does. Has the Normandie had a refurbishment like the 2009 Bretagne one?  

Normandie and Barfleur are actually 3 years YOUNGER, both ships are well feted here, all three of the senior citizens of the fleet are probably more appreciated more than their modern counterparts.  All good seakeepers and reliable.   Barfy and Normandie have had a couple of niggles over the past couple of years but all in all very reliable ships.

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In my view, Bretagne has aged far better than Normandie.  Normandie feels scruffy, worn, cramped and dated (athough, in her defence, that may be because of the inevitable direct comparison with her running mate MSM).  It’s also entirely understandable as she is probably the member of the current fleet that has had the hardest life.

Maybe I’ll feel differently about Normandie when she is sailing to Le Havre - and maybe I’ll feel differently about MSM when she is sailing alongside Honfleur.  And maybe I would feel differently about Bretagne if she had a running mate (like PA) sailing directly against her on the St Malo route.  I guess it’s all relative - but on a straight comparison between Bretagne and Normandie, I think Bretagne wins by a country mile.

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I would say from the title of the thread - no she is definitely not forgotten. People on here never stop going on about her! I can imagine when she finally leaves the fleet for warmer climates (unlikely DFDS will still show any interest at 30+ years old), that people both on here and within BF will shed many a tear!

For me, like Gareth says, Bretagne has aged better than Normandie yes - but you could argue that Normandie just being a bus service, and carrying much more freight and school groups gets much more 'wear and tear'. Bretagne is certainly unsuitable for Spain now, but always a welcome Wintertime cover for Plymouth-Roscoff. St Malo regulars will no doubt appreciate a bit more luxury when she shifts, but her restaurant and large number of cabins still make her pretty popular and versatile.

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I looked back to the OP to understand the context in which the tag “forgotten vessel” was applied to Bretagne.  It is clear that this was intended to mean forgotten / overlooked (and neglected) by the company, rather than forgotten by enthusiasts.

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14 hours ago, jonno said:

 Mont St Michel is two years older than Pont Aven and has a more intensive schedule. I think I know which has aged better... by far.

Comparing Pont Aven with Bretagne is a bit like comparing Britney Spears with Shirley Bassey.

Bretagne has performed consistently for 30 years. Pont Aven isn't capable of her so called top speed without breaking something. I wish BF would just sell her to an offshore wind farm.

 

 

Personally I also think the fact that the second-hand Cap Finistere has largely out-performed the Pont-Aven on the Spanish routes (for which she was designed and the former vessel wasn't) says a lot. Having said that, the Pont-Aven is still a very impressive ship in her own right and usually a pleasure to sail on.

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1 hour ago, Ryan_H said:

Personally I also think the fact that the second-hand Cap Finistere has largely out-performed the Pont-Aven on the Spanish routes (for which she was designed and the former vessel wasn't) says a lot. Having said that, the Pont-Aven is still a very impressive ship in her own right and usually a pleasure to sail on.

In what way has Cap outperformed Pont? They are both very different ships and Pont certainly outperforms cap on cabins and onboard facilities.

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17 hours ago, jonno said:

 Comparing Pont Aven with Bretagne is a bit like comparing Britney Spears with Shirley Bassey.

 

I wonder what that makes Barfleur like?   Brenda Lee?  Ruby Murray?  

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18 hours ago, neilcvx said:

Anyway you all have another voyage report about Bretagne to look forward to at the end of June unfortunately for some of you it will be me writing it 😉

I thought that following your previous experience you were not intending to travel in style again!

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

In my view, Bretagne has aged far better than Normandie.  Normandie feels scruffy, worn, cramped and dated (athough, in her defence, that may be because of the inevitable direct comparison with her running mate MSM).  It’s also entirely understandable as she is probably the member of the current fleet that has had the hardest life.

Maybe I’ll feel differently about Normandie when she is sailing to Le Havre - and maybe I’ll feel differently about MSM when she is sailing alongside Honfleur.  And maybe I would feel differently about Bretagne if she had a running mate (like PA) sailing directly against her on the St Malo route.  I guess it’s all relative - but on a straight comparison between Bretagne and Normandie, I think Bretagne wins by a country mile.

Well observed.

For me, Bretagne was designed as a laid back cruiser, stylised in a similar way to the days of Aznar's Monte Toledo perhaps? Normandie is a different beast and one of the first of the modern RoPax, a shuttle workhorse and as you say Gareth she's had a hard life.

Do we board both Bretagne and Normandie with differing outlooks? We depart on one in a laid back relaxed state as we know the crossing is long giving ample time to enjoy her facilities, we board Normandie knowing we'll need to be a little busier in order to fully enjoy what she offers.

Looking at both Normandie and Bretagne, I feel they are good illustrations of the era, large passenger numbers within a small footprint although the former does feel a little roomier due to her extra length - I noticed this too when the Val appeared, her extra metres gave her more of a feeling of airier interior spaces. You could sense she was larger without knowing for definite.

Does MSM highlights how the ethos had changed in the decade post Normandie? Similar accommodation to her running mate but again the extra 10 metres in length offers travellers more space to move around. I wonder this will be more marked with the introduction of Honfleur, MSM will feel cramped compared as again the new build is a similar step up again in terms of length and gross tonnage but more crucially a distinct drop in pax numbers. Honfleur will feel huge.

Your mention of Le Havre strikes a chord. Normandie will work fewer rotations carrying far less passengers and her comfort and full service offer on the longer overnight crossing may well prove to be very popular giving her more of a cruise ferry feel... and a bit longer to enjoy Le Deauville. 

 

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2 hours ago, neilcvx said:

In what way has Cap outperformed Pont? They are both very different ships and Pont certainly outperforms cap on cabins and onboard facilities.

Well she seems rather better suited to year round operation to Spain doesn’t she, plus has been more reliable overall I think? 

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1 hour ago, Gardian said:

I wonder what that makes Barfleur like?   Brenda Lee?  Ruby Murray?  

 Probably this years Britain’s got talent winner 😉

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On 12/06/2019 at 12:45, neilcvx said:

In what way has Cap outperformed Pont? They are both very different ships and Pont certainly outperforms cap on cabins and onboard facilities.

In terms of speed I would say.

Top speed CF 28 knots, PA 27 knots. However, just to mix things up, as has been said before on here, Armorique allegedly achieved near 29 knots during trials. Not bad for 2 engines, even if they are mahoosive ;-) ;-) 

(kind of a shame that she pootles over to Roscoff at an average of about half that on most evening sailings:) Sorry, back to Bretagne anyway....

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Its a shame they don't build ships like the Bretagne anymore (Cap on the funnel). Although I like the circular porthole design used on the more modern BF ships (Pont, Arm and Hornfleur). It might just be me but i like the closed stern effect used on Pont-Aven and Bretagne and the dark carpeted vestibles!    

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1 hour ago, hf_uk said:

In terms of speed I would say.

Top speed CF 28 knots, PA 27 knots. However, just to mix things up, as has been said before on here, Armorique allegedly achieved near 29 knots during trials. Not bad for 2 engines, even if they are mahoosive ;-) 😉

(kind of a shame that she pootles over to Roscoff at an average of about half that on most evening sailings:) Sorry, back to Bretagne anyway....

...and of course Cap Finistere can actually do her top speed without issues whereas Pont Aven can't so is limited to around 24kts.

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5 hours ago, jonno said:

...and of course Cap Finistere can actually do her top speed without issues whereas Pont Aven can't so is limited to around 24kts.

BF couldn’t afford the money in fuel to run  either of them at top speed , Cap also has the longest in terms of time crossing to Spain so speed can’t be all that important to BF.

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6 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

BF couldn’t afford the money in fuel to run  either of them at top speed , Cap also has the longest in terms of time crossing to Spain so speed can’t be all that important to BF.

I believe the cost to push PA from 24/25 to 27 is higher though than that of getting CF to 25. 

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23 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

BF couldn’t afford the money in fuel to run  either of them at top speed , Cap also has the longest in terms of time crossing to Spain so speed can’t be all that important to BF.

Speed was the major selling point in BF offering their 23/24 hr sailings to Spain. BF's problem is that Pont Aven isn't really built for speed, never was.

She's relocated to Plymouth, which has required a major logistics exercise and loss of money, as on 3 engines she's supposedly too slow for Portsmouth... 3 engines and still over 42000 horse power and she can't manage 24kts or even 22kts if one of her advertised cruising speeds are to be believed? Push her and she'll break something else, me I'd only sail her at 18kts and only 22 - 24 on all 4 engines.

As a comparison Tirrenia's Sharden manages 24kts on two of her 4 engines every night and combined these two can only produce a max of 35000 hp. She's of equal age, 30 m longer and can carry a lot more HGV's but more importantly she's 4 metres narrower.

Crucially her width has a lot to do with it, it's why as @hf_uk points out CF is cheaper, Pont Aven is too short & fat at nearly 185m x 32m, she has the speed but isn't built for it.

 

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The extra speed must be an advantage when it comes to catching up following delays, even if it then costs them more in fuel. There is no point going any faster than they already do the rest of the time because: a) that would mean shaving an hour or two of each sailing, putting certain arrival and departure times at silly-o'clock, and b) forcing them to keep her tied up alongside somewhere during the day as the extra time saved would not equate to a full extra rotation. Ed. 

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Just a heads up to Bretagne fans

Resurrecting this thread to say there is a large feature on Bretagne in the new issue of Ships Monthly, she iscalso on the cover.  Also includes a feature on Pelican the freight only BF ship who sails from Poole.  Will be buying it.  

Edited by Khaines
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