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Andy

NEWBUILD: Announcement in 2016?

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I'm surprised nobody has suggested building in Croatia. More attractive since joining the EU, and with >1,000 years experience in shipbuilding. And they did a decent job with Millennium Diamond for the River Thames in 2012.

 

Although most of the ferries built there in recent years have been more "basic" than BF, the superyachts on the other hand have been... er.. super. (including some contracted from big-name yards and/or designers. One of this year's superyachts is the 60m Katina, which has been purpose-built as a charter boat.

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Has Bretagne ever served the Spanish routes? Could she even?

 

She was built for the Plymouth Santander route, and spent much of her early years on that route. Her success meant the route outgrowed her very quickly and she was replaced on Santander by Val de Loire.

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In the winter, BF used to swap Val de Loire off the Plymouth-Santander route with Bretagne on the Portsmouth-St Malo route, that used to happen most years from 1993 when VDL came into service until winter 2004 when Pont-Aven arrived. It used to be stated that this was for the ride quality, which although VDL had her bow rebuilt was said to be better on Bretagne but I don't have personal experience of that on Biscay on either ship but do have experience of both in the Channel. However, the economics were quite different back then as there was almost year round competition from P&O with Pride of Bilbao for the whole time that VDL was on the route, which P&O marketed very heavily, and so two huge ships were not needed in the winter going to Spain. Fuel prices were lower so it was cheaper to drive through France and there was no 24-hour service from Portsmouth, it was just 36-hours from Portsmouth-Bilbao with P&O and 24-hours from Plymouth-Santander. Competition on the French routes was different back then too so VDL's attributes were probably better suited to French services in winter than Bretagne's in particular in the face of the Pride of Portsmouth and Le Havre which often left the Caen; there was already mis-balance for most of that time on the Caen route as Duc de Normandie was partnered with Normandie, and so when the latter was off then Bretagne or Quiberon would simply not have enough freight capacity to prevent them turning trucks away to rivals P&O.

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Do you think this editor has got the wrong end of the stick?

 

I very much doubt the Bretagne would be scrapped.

 

 

 

MV Bretagne is likely to be scrapped in 2017

I've added the 'speculation' tag to this on Wikipedia.

Edited by sness
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I'm surprised nobody has suggested building in Croatia. More attractive since joining the EU, and with >1,000 years experience in shipbuilding. And they did a decent job with Millennium Diamond for the River Thames in 2012.

 

Although most of the ferries built there in recent years have been more "basic" than BF, the superyachts on the other hand have been... er.. super. (including some contracted from big-name yards and/or designers. One of this year's superyachts is the 60m Katina, which has been purpose-built as a charter boat.

Finally enough, brodosplit was one of the yards I thought of. They bid for Spirit of Britain/France I remember, and did build Piana. However, I think they are doing a lot of subcontract work for the likes of Fincantieri these days.

 

Someone mentioned Korea. DSME also went for the Spirits and got down to the final 2 alongside STX. Could be a possiblity - they have huge facilities as well, but would BF be willing to order from outside of Europe?

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DFDS would buy Bretagne I think.

I think they are more likely to close the only route that she would be suitable for.

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Do you think this editor has got the wrong end of the stick?

 

I very much doubt the Bretagne would be scrapped.

 

I think it would be a better idea replacing (possibly) the most uneconomical and oldest ship. Pont Aven will be getting scrubbers and she is doing just fine, of course she will need to be replaced but that can be done when BF are in a better financial situation IMHO.

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Do you think this editor has got the wrong end of the stick?

 

I very much doubt the Bretagne would be scrapped.

 

 

That could be correct, MV Bretagne is falling apart behind the scenes. She is rusting from the inside. To keep her sailing after 2017 will cost millions, probably more than she's worth.

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That could be correct, MV Bretagne is falling apart behind the scenes. She is rusting from the inside. To keep her sailing after 2017 will cost millions, probably more than she's worth.

 

 

Don't forget £5m was spent a few years ago, that was not all cosmetic/deck 8!

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MV Bretagne is falling apart behind the scenes. She is rusting from the inside.

 

That's an interesting statement, on what evidence is it based?

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I can tell you factually that her current senior officers disagree 100% with comments about her "falling apart" or "rusting from the inside". Don't get to close or you may find your nose remodelled .... I got torn off a strip for my earlier comments about her needing some attention to cosmetic details!

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All ships rust from the inside, all ships have nooks and crannies which a shot blaster cannot reach. To say she is falling apart behind the scenes is a bit dramatic. Structurally she is sound, not perfect but sound. Passenger ferries are scrutinised very carefully to the extent that most are X rayed to determine steel degradation RoPax fitted with bow visors even more so.

 

She's less than three years older than Normandie and less than two years older than Barfleur, a ship which has had far less personal attention, are they falling apart too?

 

I would agree that her electrics and plumbing have probably seen better days but I'd argue that a house pushing 26 could do with the same attention. Nothing drastic just replaced due to wear and tear.

 

There are many many ferries of a greater vintage still happily carrying us across European seas. ALL of DFDS passenger ships are older so are many on the Baltic and then there's SNAV.

 

Bretagne would have ten years in her given the right refit. A possible €10m investment which would be recouped through a sale or ongoing use.

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BF have already stated on Twitter that she is "likely to be retired by 2018" so selling her to the highest bidder is the most likely option . Then BF would make more money certainly in the summer from The Pont being on StMalo and they would be missing a trick if they didn't increase the amount of more profitable luxury cabins on the new build for the Spanish sailings.

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All ships rust from the inside, all ships have nooks and crannies which a shot blaster cannot reach. To say she is falling apart behind the scenes is a bit dramatic. Structurally she is sound, not perfect but sound. Passenger ferries are scrutinised very carefully to the extent that most are X rayed to determine steel degradation RoPax fitted with bow visors even more so.

 

 

 

She's less than three years older than Normandie and less than two years older than Barfleur, a ship which has had far less personal attention, are they falling apart too?

 

I would agree that her electrics and plumbing have probably seen better days but I'd argue that a house pushing 26 could do with the same attention. Nothing drastic just replaced due to wear and tear.

 

There are many many ferries of a greater vintage still happily carrying us across European seas. ALL of DFDS passenger ships are older so are many on the Baltic and then there's SNAV.

 

Bretagne would have ten years in her given the right refit. A possible 10m investment which would be recouped through a sale or ongoing use.

 

Normandie and barfleur are only 1 month apart from each other.

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Normandie and barfleur are only 1 month apart from each other.

 

Normandie was launched winter 1991, Barfy was in the summer of the same year. Bretagne was launched and completed in 1989.

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BF have already stated on Twitter that she is "likely to be retired by 2018" so selling her to the highest bidder is the most likely option . Then BF would make more money certainly in the summer from The Pont being on StMalo and they would be missing a trick if they didn't increase the amount of more profitable luxury cabins on the new build for the Spanish sailings.

 

And the St Malo route in the summer must be biased towards overnight journeys from the UK with people using the other, shorter routes out of preference for the return. A 10.45am departure is also quite early given that you have to be at the port at the latest by 10am, many will be there much earlier, so where I used in south Finistere (Pont-Aven in fact, where there are lots of accommodation rentals appealing to the Brits) that meant if you left at 8am you were leaving too late. Knocking 2-3 hours off the crossing by going back at a faster speed could mean a lunchtime, or later, departure (1pm with early boarding every day, spreads out the load in La Flora too) and still getting back at the same time or earlier.

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Seashore, I see what you mean but I think a ship change wont necessarily indicate a speed increase and later departure. BF will be burning more fuel and earning less as the passengers wont be buying breakfasts and many wont see the point of a day cabin for a 4-5 hour crossing.

 

As is, passengers board, maybe grab a cabin, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, especially as you gain an early hour, and still fill Les Abers for lunch and sometimes re visit before disembarking. It's day cruise rather than a ferry trip.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if the focus is on increasing capacity with more modern facilities.

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