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Andy

DFDS SEAWAYS: To continue Newhaven/Dieppe route

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I believe Transmanche wanted two ferries in a hurry and so went to the Spanish Barreras yard for drive thru versions of one of their standard stern loading designs.  This accounts for the rather slow unloading process through the bow door at Newhaven.  In order to link the vehicle deck with the bow door the yard devised a rather long and narrow corridor for the purpose.  Needless to say this feature has been much criticized by motorised pax anxious to be on their way.  However when I used the service as a foot pax us handful of foot pax discharged through the bow door even before the vehicles, or most of them.

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HT, I didn't notice any 'corridor' but we did unload through the bow door on a fold down ramp. Maybe you are referring to the upper car deck. We were on the lower freight deck. The ferry was busy but not full - perhaps half the reclining chairs were taken. As you said, foot passengers got off first and we then followed in the cars. We arrived 10 minutes early in Newhaven, were called down at 8pm and were of the vessel and on the road by 8.20. I was very impressed. The food on board was fine, and reasonably priced, and the WiFi worked quite well - better in some areas than others. The crew are all Eastern European, from what I can gather, but spoke good English and French and were friendly and helpful. And I found out there are kennels on deck 4 which is presumably what the guy with the Cocker was searching for. Ed. 

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I think you’ll find that the major restriction at Newhaven is the fact that the loading ramp is still the original linkspan from the mid-60s when Newhaven entered the car ferry era.  As with all linkspans built back then at (what was to become) Sealink ports, it was and still is a single-width linkspan.  Ships that serve Newhaven has to operate around this constraint.

Welcome “home” Ed!

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5 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

HT, I didn't notice any 'corridor' but we did unload through the bow door on a fold down ramp. Maybe you are referring to the upper car deck. We were on the lower freight deck. The ferry was busy but not full - perhaps half the reclining chairs were taken. As you said, foot passengers got off first and we then followed in the cars. We arrived 10 minutes early in Newhaven, were called down at 8pm and were of the vessel and on the road by 8.20. I was very impressed. The food on board was fine, and reasonably priced, and the WiFi worked quite well - better in some areas than others. The crew are all Eastern European, from what I can gather, but spoke good English and French and were friendly and helpful. And I found out there are kennels on deck 4 which is presumably what the guy with the Cocker was searching for. Ed. 

Maybe you were lucky -- or maybe the crew have found a way of discharging the ships without too many delays or maybe your sailing wasn't too heavily loaded.  In all events "ShippaxInfo" commented adversely on the bow door arrangements when the ferries first  came into service and these arrangememts have been much criticized for the delays caused when this topic has been previously discussed in these Forums.  I  am referring to the main vehicle deck and the ships invariably berth bow in at Newhaven for the reasons given this thread.

 

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Yesterday's trip back to France from Newhaven to Dieppe was quite lively to say the least. It's certainly up there in the top five roughest crossings I've experienced but the captain did a great job of making it as bearable as possible. I believe the ferry normally goes out of the harbour at Newhaven astern and then turns around (and certainly did two years ago when I last took it) but yesterday, due to the gusts, they turned around within the harbour itself. By using the bow thrusters and aft mooring lines and winches they turned the vessel through 180°. There are large metal sheets attached to the dockside to prevent damage to the pilings so I assume it's quite a regular procedure when the weather is bad. The manoeuvre took 20 minutes so we left late but did not lose any extra time on the crossing and got in at 3.20pm. I had insisted Cabin-girl and the two Cabin-kids eat bananas two hours before leaving port to try to cure them of their seasickness and then grabbed one of the few tables on the vessel's centre-line to reduce the effects of the storm. It seemed to work as only the youngest had a problem but not full vomiting, just saliva. The vessel was rolling heavily from side to side but there was no pitching up and down so as long as they could associate what they were seeing out of the windows with the movement they seemed to be OK. One lady in the restaurant seemed to have fallen and banged her head and an ambulance was washing for her on the dockside but I don't think it was overly serious as they let all the vehicles off before picking her up. We were through immigration and on the road by 3.45pm so can't complain. Marks out of 10: 5 for comfort and service, 6 for speed and ease of access to the ports, 10 for value for money (€118 return for a car with two adults and two children). Ed. 

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Glad the trip was successful Ed.

Departure from Newhaven is regularly either stern-first or by turning round in the hanrbour.  The latter is a regular procedure (and has been ever since Sealink days) but, as you say, has to be done with the assistance of warps due to the limited space available.  (This is why the current ships are Newhaven-max: they are the longest ships that can turn round in the harbour).  It is a bit hairy when you are on a yacht on the visitors’ pontoon in the marina opposite - the clearance from the bow of the turning ship is literally only a couple of metres. That’s why the warps are essential.

Decision as to which mode of departure is used is likely to be a combination of state of tide, direction of tidal stream and wind direction.

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I believe it was routine in the days of railway steamers and the early days of the car ferries for vessels to swing by placing their sterns against the reinforced section of the quay wall and pivot thereon.  I witnessed it once and the concomitant screeching would not have been out of place in a horror movie.  Interesting they still do it.  On my last departure from Newhaven I got the impression the preceding sailing had swung in this way but I couldn't be totally sure.  It would seem my impression was correct.  This would be the Dieppe sailing; I was on the Le Havre sailing and we swung outside the Harbour.  I always thought Newhaven-Le Havre had something going for it.  What a pity lack of berth compatibility rather ruled it out.

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