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Andy

NEWBUILD: Announcement in 2016?

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Plan A saw Bretagne going with the arrival of Pegasis. Since that plan has fallen by the wayside, a replacement for Normandie just might move up the priority list, and Bretagne hang on a bit longer. I certainly do not guarantee you anything!!! Simply reporting what I have heard amongst crew.

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I don't see any inconsistency between what Colin has been told and what Tony has been told. No plans at the moment for Normandie to leave the fleet, but probably no immediate plans for Bretagne to leave the fleet either. So what the crew has told Colin will be speculation about possibilities, and in the absence of any immediate plans of course it is possible that Normandie might leave the fleet first. A whole load of other things are possible too.

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I see logic in Normandie going first, as she is on their 'cash cow' route. They clearly see this market as most important to them and I assume they want to hold onto this market. For now they have two decent ships running the route. Whilst I prefer the Normandie over the Mont purely for her more classic old school interior, I suspect that she is seen as quite dated to the casual observer whom is the most probable frequent traveller, especially when compared to her fleet mate. There is no mistaking the Mont is a more modern ship and when you think just over the road they have a further two modern (albeit one is tat!) ships plying similar stretches of water to Le Havre you can now see Normandie as looking somewhat dated.

 

I appreciate I like probably most here look at what ship I am on, in a totally different way to 'Joe Public', but I do have friends whom have no interest in the design and style, who do make comment that one leg out to Caen they were on such a ship . . .and on the way back it was another... They never remember the ship name but their descriptions say it all...... you know they prefer the Mont's more modern interior.

 

And what's more as has been said they can get more money for Normandie and I suspect with fuel prices as they currently are Bretagne chugging away at 10-12kts on two V's is not quite as bad these days . . . she is bought and paid for.

Edited by 5_ShortBlasts

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Out of the 2 vessels, I'd rather see Normandie go 1st and Bretagne stayed for as long as possible. Just thinking my final visit to the ship could be this summer but looks like I may get another chance yet.

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It is also worth taking into consideration that new regional councils have been elected last month. If Brittany did not see changes, the regional councils of Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy have been merged under the new regions reform. This may have an impact on the companies who actually own the ships (Normandie and MSM) e.g. SENACAL

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Travelled on Normandie last year for the first time and was not impressed with her at all. I posted on here at the time about that. So, yes, would shed no tears if she went from the fleet. Can only see her being replaceable by a new build though. (Having been told Armorique is unsuitable).

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There will be a lot of number crunching at BF HQ that is one guarantee they are bound to include numerous factors in this operating cost of ships including fuel,crew etc, where the funding for a new build is coming from and the cost of the new build and of course it's running costs of course when you weigh all this up with predicted passenger numbers it's a massive decision that they have to make , it wouldn't surprise me if they see a new build on their "cash cow" route the better option cheaper to build than a new flagship , also built to reduce staff numbers,improve turnaround times (easier to clean) etc

It's an interesting discussion and there's nowt wrong with a good discussion.

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Indeed. Good discussions are what this forum is for are they not?

 

If...no, not if, when, because it's bound to happen sooner or later....there is a new build for Ouistreham I suspect it is more or less certain that it would not include an a la carte restaurant. Financially the move away from this on the Roscoff route is one that they will probably be counting as a success, and as Portsmouth-Caen is even shorter than Plymouth-Roscoff, with even less time available to enjoy a leisurely meal, all the arguments about why a la carte is not needed to Roscoff must apply even more so to Caen. So I think we will see this concept being rolled out across the shorter routes like Caen as and when the fleet is developed.

 

Not that it would make much difference - the restaurant never seems to be operating on Normandie as advertised in the marketing literature in any case.

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I think we all enjoy the a la carte service on the Caen route but would its removal really affect passenger numbers? Probably not that and the massive savings its removal would generate means Gareth is probably correct , you would expect a la carte on a Spanish sailing though maybe even St Malo but a shorter crossing less so.

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Interesting times - eventally the Normandie would have to be replacrd, but after just having the scrubbers fitted?

 

One wonders... would a Caen newbuild have a separate car deck like the P&O Spirits/DFDS D Class? Would she have enough traffic to require one?

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Do you mean like Normandie and Mont Saint Michel?

 

 

I thought they only had the retractable mezzanine decks? I was thinking a dedicated car deck like the P&O Spirits, so two full freight decks and a seperate deck above for just cars

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If think the next Caen ship would be more like Armorique, albeit with two full height freight decks, followed by two passenger decks and two cabin decks. An a la carte restaurant would be provided as well as perhaps some sort of premium lounge.

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Yes, or perhaps more likely the standard BF offering on the shorter routes will morph into something between what is now Economie and the current cruise ferry offering, with the Economie tag being dropped and the new standard being applied uniformly to Caen, Le Havre, Cherbourg and Roscoff. Any new build for Caen will certainly have no less vehicle and freight capacity to that which is available currently on the route, and I agree a future new build will probably look like a slightly enlarged version of Armorique. No need for a la carte on short routes, and actually not really even cabins that rank as the modern version of Commodore as seen on Pont Aven. The Club Plus style of cabin on Armorique is very comfortable and perfectly suited to what is required of a premium cabin on the short routes. Something a bit more special, by way of both cabin provision and dining, is still in order to St Malo, but as far as routes to France go that's pretty much it. Will be a shame to see a la carte go, I for one find it the highlight on any voyage, but on the short routes it is a luxury that BF cannot afford.

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With Gareth - wouldn't be too upset if normandie left the fleet first. That said if we had a new build to replace her it would definetly take a few years from now to plan / build / have sea trials and deliver, by which time I feel Bretagne will have gone

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Didn't feel much love for Normandie either felt a bit like my teanage ferry journeys in the 80's , you could argue that with Armorique BF have the general outline of their next Caen ship.

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For me the move for Pelican is significant. I can see BF investing further into this market for Spain in a similar way DFDS serve Scandinavia from the UK...

 

BF Pax carriers for the route will not increase in size as there's no need if for the most part, the freight is elsewhere. Any new new build can be smaller as it won't need to cater to 40ft trailers or have vehicle decks 5m high.

 

In order for the Pont to replace Bretagne, BF no longer need to look at a 210 x 32 metre vessel weighing of 50000 tonnes and be capable of carry 800 vehicles. Cost savings will be considerable.

 

I think it's also worth bearing in mind that a dedicated LoLo/RoRo vessel is not constrained by a passenger timetable.

 

 

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Pelican, I don't know why they don't bring back the Cotentin and run her from Pompey. Her Spanish runs were busy so the freight market to Spain was already there, they had invested in Spain but ended up sending her to Stena. Cotentin has a lot of uses If they got her back. Just need to keep her off the Cherbourg route!!

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Pelican, I don't know why they don't bring back the Cotentin and run her from Pompey. Her Spanish runs were busy so the freight market to Spain was already there, they had invested in Spain but ended up sending her to Stena. Cotentin has a lot of uses If they got her back. Just need to keep her off the Cherbourg route!!

 

I expect by next year Stena Baltica will be back doing MN Pelican's run. It is not acceptable for BF to turn around to Stena and say we need her back by Feb, so in all likely hood Pelican is just a short term to allow Stena to find a replacement for Stena Baltica.

 

Now don't get me on to this but a source not naming no names has said that Malo Seaways will go to Karlskrona to Gdynia because of a increase of passenger demand, therefore releasing Stena Baltica. Malo doesn't go back until April/mMay and then a good month at refit and then route cover for other Stena routes to free up Stena Baltica by September / August. Stena Baltica will cover refits until end of January or late December and then her self be refited to fit the Poole to Bilbao route reliving MN Pelican of her duties.

 

Does anyone think MN Pelican will lose the MN prefix on her name, and the MN logo on the side. Maybe not gaining the full BF livery but perhaps a logo on the funnel and a quick paint on the side?

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They could run a freighter to Caen, meaning any replacement for the Normandie could then be similar to the Arm not needing the full height second deck. The freighter could run one trip each way every day, giving drivers a proper break and sleep not having to get up early in the morning.

​A new build like the Arm with the accommodation carried further back would have room for more higher grade cabins if wanted.

 

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How about Normandie replacing Barfleur or even joining her on Poole-Cherbourg? But all of this speculation relates to several years hence if new buildings are involved and requirements could change in the meanwhile. Anyway I always thought Normandie was a good ship and appropriately versatile.

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Versatile? In what way? (She's pretty much unsuited to every other BF route, though I agree that out of the network she could fit Poole-Cherbourg. Or Portsmouth-Le Havre. Nothing else).

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As mentioned on the Pelican thread, Cotentin is classed as a passenger vessel, she would also need to be crewed by BF and offer hotel guest services. It's not what BF are looking for...

 

DFP, are you saying that after all the money DFDS have invested in Malo Seaways, Stena are taking her back to put her on a route which demands a higher freight load than she can carry?

Stena replaced her on the Dublin run with the purchase of SFX because she wasn't big enough in lane metres...

 

I truly can't see Cotentin returning. BF chartered her out for a Visentini, a ship with a freight capacity 25% less.

 

(sorry I pressed 'quote' for our Danish friend although my fingers clearly don't work!)

Edited by jonno

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Versatile? In what way? (She's pretty much unsuited to every other BF route, though I agree that out of the network she could fit Poole-Cherbourg. Or Portsmouth-Le Havre. Nothing else).

 

Maybe that's the idea for both Caen vessels... Neither has ever covered another route further west, I wonder if that's part of the build agreement with Normandy & Calvados?

 

Both Normandie & MSM could easily cover Cherbourg & Le Havre although neither seems attractive for the Brittany ports.

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