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NEWBUILD: Announcement in 2016?


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I'd be surprised if the Bretagne replacement is via Pont Aven. This plan is clearly not Pegasus, and given that (as has been said) Pont Aven would be overkill for St Malo but is still very well appointed for Spain, it would be far cheaper (and quicker) to build a direct replacement for Bretagne and leave PA where she is.

 

I agree with others that the reference to NEX is interesting (and unexpected). Of course, they haven't said it would be a like for like replacement, so wouldn't be surprised if this "replacement" is not something of a more conventional nature. It also wouldn't surprise me, if it is a more conventional replacement, if the aim is really to build something that could replace both NEX and Barfleur together and serve both Poole and Portsmouth.

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I think Normandie would be an easy sell can't see her going to LeHavre but BF like to spring surprises on us.

 

Actually, not so sure about that Neil. We've often said on here how both Normandie and MSM are so purpose-built for the requirements of Caen that they would not be suited to BF's other routes (apart from to Cherbourg and Le Havre) and it might be possible that their specialist configuration could make them hard to find a natural home elsewhere. So the Le Havre suggestion seems to make eminent sense to me. In fact, to link to my post above, I could see Normandie and a suitably-configured new build together being able to replace all of Etretat, NEX and Barfleur on a cleverly-timetabled Portsmouth/Poole - Le Havre/Cherbourg network.

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True. And also makes no mention of plans to replace Etretat.

 

Perhaps, Baie de Seine is a long-term desire for Le Havre (they'd have to purchase her first though!) and that a larger ferry for Spain can make up the shortfall. A new spain ferry could have a vehicle deck configuration similar to DFDS D class or the Spirits, therefore able to carry enough freight and cars.

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I wouldn't be surprised if Bretagne's replacement is built similar to Viking's Grace, albeit a little shorter, with lane metres dedicated to freight separated from those dedicated to other traffic.I'm not expecting jacuzzi's or solar saunas in the commodore cabins though! This new breed of cruise ferry is a world away from what we enjoy from BF. At a reasonable cost of 230m euros she's stunning.

 

The new plant designed by MAK is capable of running on all three fuels,catalysers are built into split uptakes during construction. This would give BF the option to switch easily & cheaply if LNG takes off as IMO are suggesting. It wouldn't require a drydock.

 

For me Normandie gives BF a greater scope... BF's desire to remove her from Caen is possibly due to demand outstripping capacity plus if she can't be sold due to her spec's, a switch to Le havre would make sense again giving BF the option to return Etretat rather than extend the charter and of course she could cover Caen during winter refits and maintenance.

 

Is she suitable to cover Roscoff if needed?

 

The Pont Aven is a little different, she's built specifically for an Atlantic crossing. Long & lean in a similar fashion to the Mauretania, another who rolled a bit but could still plough through the heavy swells at 25kts+. I would argue that a generic Cap' Finistere will have a suitably specialised replacement, a larger capacity too.

 

The way I see it, at the moment BF are reliant on three charter vessels. I think they want to move away from that sooner rather than later.

 

Gareth touches on Poole. Do BF plan to exploit the planned extensions and road improvements. Pompey is becoming a bit congested. Is there an argument for expansion here?

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Prelimary studies by STX on Pegasis may be used a basis for a replacement of either Bretagne or PA. BF need the extra premium cabins on the Spanish run IMHO and the extra capacity on the St-Malo crossing. PA would work quite well on the st malo run during peak season.

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With the introduction of a new flagship circa 2020, Pont Aven could well replace the Cap' on her route who inturn could extend the Irish market with a dedicated service from Roscoff to Cork allowing said new flagship to concentrate more on northern Spain.

 

The Irish/French corridors are enjoying an upturn in fortune with BF perfectly placed to exploit them.

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I don't see how the Pont is overkill for StMalo apart from maybe the very small amount of Commodore cabins and the splash pool she seems suitable to me and I'm sure the commodore cabins will sell out quickly when she eventually ploughs that route , as for Normandie I can't see why they would use her with higher running costs to Etretat.

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I don't think PA is overkill on the St Malo route either, the route's attraction is its length and Pont is a pure cruise ferry, think of the kudos in offering balconies on a French route but, If she's purpose built for the Bay why move her?

 

I do think building a new flagship now is outweighed by the need for older vessels to be replaced.

 

Is Etretat more economical to run, surely if she were then she'd still be covering the Spanish route rather than just Le Havre? It's possible that her charter costs forfeit any gains made there also she doesn't have scrubbers so must be burning the more expensive low sulphur diesel as Bretagne.

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I don't think PA is overkill on the St Malo route either, the route's attraction is its length and Pont is a pure cruise ferry, think of the kudos in offering balconies on a French route but, If she's purpose built for the Bay why move her?

 

I do think building a new flagship now is outweighed by the need for older vessels to be replaced.

 

Is Etretat more economical to run, surely if she were then she'd still be covering the Spanish route rather than just Le Havre? It's possible that her charter costs forfeit any gains made there also she doesn't have scrubbers so must be burning the more expensive low sulphur diesel as Bretagne.

 

The cost of a new flagship may not be much higher than building a direct replacement for Bretagne. I think the newbuilds might be as follow:

 

Normandie: A larger version of Armorique with a capacity similar to MSM with a higher number of cabins

 

Bretagne: Option 1: A newbuild flagship as per the previous attempt (pegasis by STX) without LNG for the spain-ireland-france services thus displacing PA on St-Malo. Option 2: a watered down version of pegasis.

 

Barfleur: Conversion of Cotentin as a replacement.

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I agree with others that the reference to NEX is interesting (and unexpected). Of course, they haven't said it would be a like for like replacement, so wouldn't be surprised if this "replacement" is not something of a more conventional nature. It also wouldn't surprise me, if it is a more conventional replacement, if the aim is really to build something that could replace both NEX and Barfleur together and serve both Poole and Portsmouth.

 

 

Phase 5 of the PHC harbour development plan.

 

Reconstruction of existing Ro-Ro berths 2 and 3 by

reclamation of circa 5,000m2 of Harbour bed to create

350 linear metres of berthing face, dredged to 9.0mBCD

 

It would appear that PHC are looking to the future. Could the NEX replacement be heading for Poole and Barfleur becoming a summer service from Portsmouth?

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Having thought about it, a direct Bretagne replacement would be advantageous, with a good mixture of cabins and lounge areas. Is much freight carried on this route? Is it worth an upper car deck?

 

 

Barfleur: Conversion of Cotentin as a replacement.

 

I think this would be a good idea. You wouldn't need to extend superstructure by too much as you won't need many cabins and its a 4 hour crossing.

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Pont-Aven is definitely the nominated successor to Bretagne at St Malo and she couldn't really be used to replace Cap Finistere as the ro/ro capacity isn't there.

 

One would hope that BF have a decent deal on chartering the Etretat but they probably wish they'd bought her when she was last available - Stena RoRo reportedly acquired her, plus the Stena Lagan, Stena Mersey and the then Watling Street (now Stena Flavia) for a combined total of Euro150m at a time when they were between five and seven years old. This was at the very bottom of the market when only Stena had any cash but they got a real steal even when the underlying capital cost of Visentinis is low to begin with. In terms of operating costs, an as-built Visentini can achieve 23-24 knots at less than half the fuel consumption of a ship like the Cap Finistere which is why they are very effective for certain operators on certain routes - but for BF she needs to continue to be used wisely so as not to damage the core brand.

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Barlfeur: Conversion of Cotentin as a replacement.

. Been discussed umpteen times - by me and loads of others. If Cotentin comes back, she'll most likely come back as a freight ship as before. Barfleur will be replaced by....goodness knows what.
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They may not be able to recover Cotentin even if they wanted to - I'm pretty sure that Stena has an option to purchase on her, and if they choose to invoke that clause I suspect it is binding.

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Firstly, let me tighten the chin strap on my tin hat...

 

I hoping BF decide to move away from the utility open deck style of their most recent builds & charters and return to a more traditional passenger ship style.

 

Most of us have read the Class of '93 thread and how Bretagne, Normandie, Barfy & the arrival of the Val' raised the bar on the western channel, I feel it's time to do it again.

 

Do we really want Cotentin back with an added passenger module? I don't...Do we really want to see an ugly semi windowless glorified freighter with a blue wavy line? Not me...

 

I want Bretagne replaced with the Pont Aven and a new flagship with lines & facilities to rival Viking Grace...

 

If Normandie is to leave, I want her replacement to mirror Stavangerfjord or Tallinks Galaxy and another similar vessel to serve Roscoff, BF's signature route, allowing the Arm' to replace Etretat.

 

Stena have two superb modern vessels serving Holland whilst the much maligned P&O have the Spirit twins.

 

It's time for BF to leave them in their wake again...

 

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Firstly, let me tighten the chin strap on my tin hat...

 

I hoping BF decide to move away from the utility open deck style of their most recent builds & charters and return to a more traditional passenger ship style.

 

Most of us have read the Class of '93 thread and how Bretagne, Normandie, Barfy & the arrival of the Val' raised the bar on the western channel, I feel it's time to do it again.

 

Do we really want Cotentin back with an added passenger module? I don't...Do we really want to see an ugly semi windowless glorified freighter with a blue wavy line? Not me...

 

I want Bretagne replaced with the Pont Aven and a new flagship with lines & facilities to rival Viking Grace...

 

If Normandie is to leave, I want her replacement to mirror Stavangerfjord or Tallinks Galaxy and another similar vessel to serve Roscoff, BF's signature route, allowing the Arm' to replace Etretat.

 

Stena have two superb modern vessels serving Holland whilst the much maligned P&O have the Spirit twins.

 

It's time for BF to leave them in their wake again...

 

Totally agree about the Grace, but she was built for a very different market. I doubt we will see anything similar!

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So if Barfleur is fit for purpose why are Normandie and Bretagne getting the order of the boot then? As one well knows, I want us to keep Barf as long as we can, but surely if it is a case of being fit for purpose, Normandie and Bretagne are equally so? I know fully well that she will have to move on eventually - but she is in the same age category and would assume all three would be up for the chop from the fleet. All are fit for purpose.

 

Not so long ago it was the other way round and our Poole friend was in danger of being sold off first...

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So if Barfleur is fit for purpose why are Normandie and Bretagne getting the order of the boot then? As one well knows, I want us to keep Barf as long as we can, but surely if it is a case of being fit for purpose, Normandie and Bretagne are equally so? I know fully well that she will have to move on eventually - but she is in the same age category and would assume all three would be up for the chop from the fleet. All are fit for purpose.

 

Not so long ago it was the other way round and our Poole friend was in danger of being sold off first...

 

 

Because the passenger numbers for Caen mean the Normandie is unsuitable, whereas Barfleur is for the route she does. Likewise, Bretagne is too small as well as the fact she covers a much longer route so the requirement for better/more modern overnight accommodation is greater. Barfleur suits her route well in terms of capacity, sailing duration and sailing times so there is less of a need/push factor to replace her in the same timeframe.

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