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NEWBUILD: Announcement in 2016?


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The problem with business is that it isn't static. Things change -- which makes a business executive's life rather difficult. I think BF have intentionally emphasised their Portsmouth routes at the expense of Poole-Cherbourg particularly. Thus far they've got away with it -- but for how much longer? We'll just have to wait and see. But I daresay BF may want some versatility in its new buildings to meet new challenges should they arise.

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The problem with business is that it isn't static. Things change -- which makes a business executive's life rather difficult. I think BF have intentionally emphasised their Portsmouth routes at the expense of Poole-Cherbourg particularly. Thus far they've got away with it -- but for how much longer? We'll just have to wait and see. But I daresay BF may want some versatility in its new buildings to meet new challenges should they arise.

 

Excuse me - erm, Plymouth is served significantly LESS generously than Poole!!

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How did this thread drift towards Poole and Barfleur again?

 

To quote the article: "ships exiting the fleet should be placed on the second hand market". So Normandie won't go to Poole or Le Havre.

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I don't think you can compare Plymouth and Poole. The latter offers a ferry operator the chance of the fastest crossing in this section of the Channel. One remembers Sealink used to promote their Weymouth-Cherbourg service as "The fastest sail in the West! . Plymouth can only offer longer crossings but even when BF started their Plymouth-Santander service with Armorique (I) its success was attributed. to the shorter crossing as compared with the various failures from Southampton. Now the wheel has turned full circle and Southampton's successor, Portsmouth, now seems to be the principal ferry port for Spain

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I don't think you can compare Plymouth and Poole. The latter offers a ferry operator the chance of the fastest crossing in this section of the Channel. One remembers Sealink used to promote their Weymouth-Cherbourg service as "The fastest sail in the West! . Plymouth can only offer longer crossings but even when BF started their Plymouth-Santander service with Armorique (I) its success was attributed. to the shorter crossing as compared with the various failures from Southampton. Now the wheel has turned full circle and Southampton's successor, Portsmouth, now seems to be the principal ferry port for Spain

 

Plymouth - Roscoff can be acheived in a little under 5 hours during a day sailing, but more to the point, why would people not want a year-round service when they do in Poole? On your second point - if Plymouth - Santander was started up again on a Wednesday, I am pretty sure it would be very popular indeed. A lot of people hate that extra 4 hour slow chug up the channel and would rather get off and get their foot down quicker!!

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Don't forget the magic figure with Spain was always 24 hours. Until Pont Aven arrived, that was always how long the Plymouth sailing took, and that service succeeded in 1978 where the Southampton services failed precisely because Plymouth brought Spain within a 24 hour sailing. It was only with the arrival of Pont Aven (and later Cap Finistere) that the ships had enough speed to bring Portsmouth within 24 hours, and it was at that point that the main UK hub was able to switch back to the Solent. Plymouth will now always play second fiddle to Portsmouth for Spanish services, due to its superior road connections and closer proximity to London, for as long as BF continue to provide ships that are fast enough to do the sailing in 24 hours.

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How did this thread drift towards Poole and Barfleur again?

 

Wondered how long it would be before that was trotted out - again. I would say that sentence goes hand in hand with any time either Barfleur or Poole are mentioned, SOMEONE, has got to say it....🙄

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Don't forget the magic figure with Spain was always 24 hours. Until Pont Aven arrived, that was always how long the Plymouth sailing took, and that service succeeded in 1978 where the Southampton services failed precisely because Plymouth brought Spain within a 24 hour sailing. It was only with the arrival of Pont Aven (and later Cap Finistere) that the ships had enough speed to bring Portsmouth within 24 hours, and it was at that point that the main UK hub was able to switch back to the Solent. Plymouth will now always play second fiddle to Portsmouth for Spanish services, due to its superior road connections and closer proximity to London, for as long as BF continue to provide ships that are fast enough to do the sailing in 24 hours.

 

 

The issue I have is that the moment either PA or CF hit the channel they appear to slow down to a miserable limp whilst making their way to Portsmouth. I have been on several times when it has literally been about 9 knots top. I don't understand, if it is to keep on schedule why not just go slower and save money the rest of the journey. Both times I can remember there has been flat calm seas in Biscay, so it cannot be weather related. Those last 4 hours to Portsmouth are so painful, and the atmosphere onboard really goes downhill I find... I think people would much rather get off and start making way under their own steam!

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Underground mafia suggests that the Bretagne replacement is still going to be a new, large ship for the Spanish service, incorporating what has been learnt about the dual requirements of freight lane metres, and tourist passenger comfort.

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Well that sounds good for both Spain and St Malo. Only thing that doesn't feel quite right would be having, in Pont Aven, a superior ship to Cap Finistere in the fleet, but not serving Spain, at the same time as half of the Spanish traffic being handled by the Cap. If that makes sense.

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Underground mafia suggests that the Bretagne replacement is still going to be a new, large ship for the Spanish service, incorporating what has been learnt about the dual requirements of freight lane metres, and tourist passenger comfort.

Will the freight capacity include an adjustment for the freight handled by Pelican?

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There is a clear intention to replace Cap Finisterre, which, at best, has been a quality stop gap. But she is lacking on several fronts for the route. The newbuild will probably be designed with a flexibility which does not need to assume a pure freighter like the Pelican will exist in the future.

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I felt with the Cap Finisterre, that the flow of the ship doesn't work, with people going up to deck 10 to buy their pizza and chips then bringing it back down to eat on deck 7. Its a very strange set up. So could understand them replacing her.

 

Not having been on CF I'm reliant on this website for impressions of the layout of her passenger spaces and from what I read it appears BF haven't spent a lot of money on them. Does this suggest BF were never intending to retain this vessel for an extended period of time?

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Not having been on CF I'm reliant on this website for impressions of the layout of her passenger spaces and from what I read it appears BF haven't spent a lot of money on them. Does this suggest BF were never intending to retain this vessel for an extended period of time?

 

 

For a princely sum of 80m euros for the vessel then add on refit costs, I think BF felt she would be more than adequate...What lets her down is having limited public space for such a long passage and her port/starboard restaurant also lacks the ambiance of Les Abers & Le Flora.

 

The Superfasts were well received when built, generating very positive feedback, so to some extent it makes sense that BF would be attracted to such a vessel.

 

Maybe her limitations and those of Etretat, another well received design whose appointments are not up to BF, have been partly instrumental in the board deciding that specific new builds are the way forward?

 

The Cap' was the sensible way to go at the time following on from the economic downturn. At rather short notice BF saw an opportunity to capitalise on P&O's exit serving Bilbao. For me they should be applauded for being brave enough in taking the chance on the route and raising the capital needed considering the financial mess they were in and the losses P&O experienced.

 

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Jonno, She was more than comfortable for the crossing to and from Santander, and the she is absolutely fine! So for BF to do what they did was great, its just the internal flow of passengers in her that strange compared to BF built/designed ships. The fact that the two public areas are deck 7 and 10 the fact that you have to walk thru the restaurant to get to the bar at the back. Its all a bit "not thought out". I am sure there are logistical reasons etc that made sense when she was in Greece- like the large covered sun deck etc etc but the old geographer in me thinks the layout strange.

Yes the BF did well to take the gamble and risk it for a biscuit to take on another line to Spain, so they should be applauded!

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Cap Finisterre is short of passenger cabins and freight lane metres. She has proven a good sea keeper, is elegant and attractive, has been pretty reliable. Sure, her other passenger features are not as good as BF and we would like, but it is the first two things that count in terms of financial return.

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I've never been on the Cap but looking at her she is very narrow, which helps her speed and probably her sea keeping. The Caps beam is 25 metre even Bretagne is 26 and the Pont is 30.9 that extra 6 metres on every deck gives a lot of extra space.

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