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Would the Pont be a waste on Portsmouth-St Malo route?

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When the Bretagne does finally depart the fleet :( the inevitable replacement is probably going to be the Pont-Aven

but do you think this is the best use of an asset for BF?

 

Reasons:

 

1) The Portsmouth - St. Malo route is not the most profitable. So if the plans for the LNG build do go ahead, will it make sense to have the second "best"

ship in the fleet serving one of the least profitable routes?

2) With the PA's speed - An evening departure from Portsmouth would probably mean a 5am arrival at St. Malo detracting from

the "cruise" aspect for holidaymakers to France.

3) Again related to speed - if PA does roughly follow the Bretagne's schedule. This will mean she will be alongside for several hours a day not

generating revenue.

 

 

What do you think?

 

 

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Yes,I think it will be a shame if the PA is "relegated" to the south coast quickie trips,a ship of that calibre should be used to its full potential.I am going to beat the drum again ref using it for Plymouth ...St Malo...there is a market also the potential of people visiting the south west as "staycation" becomes more common in these austere times, a few days in France combined with time in the West country could be an attraction.

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2) With the PA's speed - An evening departure from Portsmouth would probably mean a 5am arrival at St. Malo detracting from

the "cruise" aspect for holidaymakers to France.

 

 

An evening departure from Portsmouth would not mean a 5am arrival, necessarily. Just as ships can go quickly, they can go slowly too! The pont is already scheduled for around 12 hours on a Thursday evening from Plymouth-Roscoff, a crossing which she can do in 4/5 hours on the Sunday return. She could still depart later in the evening too from Portsmouth if necessary.

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It would be a shame but remember the Bretagne has to go in the next few years. So what do BF replace it with, certainly not Economie and it makes sense to put the new build on the Spanish routes, I take there is no way the Cap would fit in St Malo.

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When the Bretagne does finally depart the fleet :( the inevitable replacement is probably going to be the Pont-Aven

but do you think this is the best use of an asset for BF?

 

Reasons:

 

1) The Portsmouth - St. Malo route is not the most profitable. So if the plans for the LNG build do go ahead, will it make sense to have the second "best"

ship in the fleet serving one of the least profitable routes?

2) With the PA's speed - An evening departure from Portsmouth would probably mean a 5am arrival at St. Malo detracting from

the "cruise" aspect for holidaymakers to France.

3) Again related to speed - if PA does roughly follow the Bretagne's schedule. This will mean she will be alongside for several hours a day not

generating revenue.

 

 

What do you think?

 

 

New build replaces Pont-Aven

Pont-Aven replaces CF

CF replaces Bretagne

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Pont Aven could offer though a later departure time from St Malo, around 12 thanks to her speed. Arrival could still be around 18h30 in Portsmouth. This would probably be more attractive than the current 10h00 departure.

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No it wouldn't be a waste as BF would earn a lot more money from her than they do from the Bretagne and it's not a guarantee that she would stay in her current facilities layout in a new role they might refit her and get rid of some commodore facilities to maximise capacity 😉.

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CF cannot replace Bretagne. Compare cabin numbers!

Not so sure about St Malo being so unprofitable. When they build in the mid and low season flexibility, and the high season sell outs, it might look better?

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The midday departure from St Malo is already planned, with extra dredging to allow all tide access for PA.

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I agree with Neil. I like the Bretagne but not as much as I like the Pont. This summer we shall be returning from Roscoff on the her, but if she was operating on the St Malo route, we would sail from there instead.

 

At Easter we returned from St Malo on a very full Bretagne and should Pont have been sailing, I'm sure that the other facilities Pont offers (notably la piscine, it was a very warm day) would not have been wasted. Many people don't mind/care about facilties on board. Others do.

 

Should Pont be 'permanenty' moved to St Malo, it does not mean that she would never ever do Spanish sailings again, it's quite probable that in the Winter during refit season she would be used on sailings to/from Santander, since as crossings to St Malo are not needed every single day in the Winter.

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A leisurely overnight on the Pont Aven with a quicker day time return would be great, and stop us returning from Caen as we often do now....

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I think the new build will be a great asset to the company with the facilities it should have and people expect nowadays (not what we expect) pet friendly cabins,wifi in cabins,larger choice of cabins etc , I also think the average family will much prefer sailing StMalo on the Pont with the price BF charge they deserve her facilities even on a shorter day crossing.

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The daytime departures from Caen are really badly timed. Either crack of dawn or not until teatime, with an arrival into Portsmouth not until 2130. The existing northbound sailing from St Malo is more respectable than either Caen departure even at the moment, and would be more so with a midday departure. Only day Caen-Portsmouth has a civilised daytime departure is on crew changeover day (Wednesday in season, Friday out of season) when MSM sails at 2pm, getting into Portsmouth at a nice leisurely 7pm. Slightly OT, but makes you wonder, actually, whether the Caen service would be better operated on 2 sailings a day all the time - then the southbound overnight sailing could be a more civilised affair too.

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As usual, the convenience of the sailings depends on where you are coming from and where you are going to.

 

The Portsmouth - St Malo timing is pretty convenient all round as it allows all day to get to Portsmouth and gives you a full day on arrival for onward travel or to enjoy your destination if it is local. The daytime return is only really practical for people travelling from the St Malo locality as it is too early for travellers from deeper in France. This is why the Caen teatime departure is favoured as an alternative although mostly for those people who live within a couple of hours travelling time from Portsmouth.

 

The degree of convenience will depend on where you live and where you are going! As far as air travel is concerned, we are about midway between Heathrow and Gatwick (around an hour's drive) so catching flights is probably as easy as it is going to get as wherever we are likely to go a feeder flight is very unlikely to be necessary.

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Shame you could not do a call into St M on the way to Santander. Two birds, one stone.

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Out of curiosity, do people think the swimming pool will still see use whilst PA is on the St Malo route, as I believe it was closed off on the VDL when she transferred to the route.

 

My only other wonder is whether the self-service on the PA is big enough to handle peak time numbers on St Malo route.

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Out of curiosity, do people think the swimming pool will still see use whilst PA is on the St Malo route, as I believe it was closed off on the VDL when she transferred to the route.

 

My only other wonder is whether the self-service on the PA is big enough to handle peak time numbers on St Malo route.

I do wonder if there will be a major refurb when she goes on StMalo including an overhaul of facilities or just the French shrug of the shoulders and get on with it.

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Out of curiosity, do people think the swimming pool will still see use whilst PA is on the St Malo route, as I believe it was closed off on the VDL when she transferred to the route.

 

My only other wonder is whether the self-service on the PA is big enough to handle peak time numbers on St Malo route.

 

To be honest the swimming pool wasn't used when I went on her on the Santander route. Its only really a splash pool and is located in the wrong place . Its right in the middle of a busy bar area so you actually feel a bit self conscious using it. Would have been better further aft in its own area. It does however make a nice area to sit around with a drink!

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I think the novelty of pools on a cruise ferry has worn off for many travellers, does anyone know how popular PA's spa treatments are? when crossing on PoB I always thought the idea of getting your nails done was highly entertaining, especially when her 70 ton bow visor was crashing into an Atlantic swell!

 

In my opinion Pont Aven will be very popular on the St Malo route, during the summer months especially Bretagne is bursting at the seems every day. With her speed I also think there is a good argument in altering the timetable to offer a further sailing during peak times. I also think sness's point with regard to winter sailings has merit too.

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To be honest the swimming pool wasn't used when I went on her on the Santander route. Its only really a splash pool and is located in the wrong place . Its right in the middle of a busy bar area so you actually feel a bit self conscious using it. Would have been better further aft in its own area. It does however make a nice area to sit around with a drink!

 

I think a good option would be to get rid of the pool and make it a nice decked bistro area.

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I think a good option would be to get rid of the pool and make it a nice decked bistro area.

 

That would work really well. It would be a nice environment to enjoy a light snack etc.

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That would work really well. It would be a nice environment to enjoy a light snack etc.

 

Yeah not such a bad idea. Or they could replace it with the "Petite Marche" concept like on the Cap. Because at the moment, the whole space around the pool is just wasted.

 

I know the BF probably want to keep the pool because it adds to the "wow factor" of the ship

but as another poster has said the concept of a pool on a ferry is wearing a bit thin now and is probably not even a "wow factor" anymore.

 

 

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The ship could do with more lounge area with comfortable seating, not everyone wants to sit in the noisy bar. The pool was just a bit of an unnecessary indulgence. like the glass lifts. Both waste a lot of space which is always at a premium on a ship where most of the interior is largely devoted to vehicle decks. Pont Aven is a ferry, a nice ferry sure enough, but it is trying to be something it isn't.

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The ship could do with more lounge area with comfortable seating, not everyone wants to sit in the noisy bar

 

Agree totally. A passenger with a book or magazine on the PA who wants a hour or two of quietness really has no where comfortable / quite to go except for maybe for the Cafe du Festival or on the outer decks if its warm.

 

Contrast this will Stena's Holland routes where they have many quite lounges without having to listen to bingo, magic acts or tributes to Frank Sinatra.

 

If the PA is moved over to Portsmouth - St. Malo - she is not that suited to a day crossing.

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