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TonyMWeaver

RESULTS: 2015 looking positive

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Do you mean for BF? I'd have thought they would not want to undermine their own UK-Spain services, and in any case why would someone want to travel by BF to Cherbourg and then drive to St Nazaire before re-embarking for Spain when they could more efficiently just get on a boat to Spain direct?

 

From Ireland it is a different matter, and I would have thought a weekly service from Cork to Santander ought to be something they should look into seriously. From what I have read there are loads of Irish passengers who are Spain-bound who have to route via the UK or France to get there, and I'm surprised that a direct service has never been tried.

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It is the Irish route that I am discussing. They already sail Cherbourg to Cork it forms an almost direct link between Ireland and Spain. There are three ports in northern Spain each serve a subtly different market Gijon does Portugal and western Spain (Costa de la Luz), Santander does Central Spain and Bilbao does eastern eastern Spain and western France. We have used all these routes and noticed these differences with fellow passengers. We prefer Cap and depending on direction and timing do not mind travelling to either Santander or Bilbao although we came south on Pont this September and we decided the restaraunt serves the best food in the fleet. Gijon is an amazing trip from the south through the western Picos so well worth the trip now and again, the way they have threaded the motorway through the mountains and if you can travel at the max allowed speed of 120 kph on some stretches in a normal saloon car or SUV you are doing better than me. A great route for motor cycles though.

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I think it would be good if they could do a return sailing from Bilbao - Roscoff once a week in addition to the Roscoff - Bilbao leg. Does anyone know how many passengers on average board CF on a Monday morning at Roscoff?

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It is the Irish route that I am discussing. They already sail Cherbourg to Cork it forms an almost direct link between Ireland and Spain. There are three ports in northern Spain each serve a subtly different market Gijon does Portugal and western Spain (Costa de la Luz), Santander does Central Spain and Bilbao does eastern eastern Spain and western France. We have used all these routes and noticed these differences with fellow passengers. We prefer Cap and depending on direction and timing do not mind travelling to either Santander or Bilbao although we came south on Pont this September and we decided the restaraunt serves the best food in the fleet. Gijon is an amazing trip from the south through the western Picos so well worth the trip now and again, the way they have threaded the motorway through the mountains and if you can travel at the max allowed speed of 120 kph on some stretches in a normal saloon car or SUV you are doing better than me. A great route for motor cycles though.

 

You mean Rosslare, surely John? I'd also wager that from Rosslare to either Roscoff or Cherbourg​ doesn't feel anything like an almost direct link to Spain. Both are well over 8 hours in a car and over 900kms.

 

If another Spanish Port was selected, I think logistically A Coruna would be better for Portuguese bound freight, BF are also offering Holidays there too. It's a decent port with good road links and a linkspan opposite the cruise terminal on Pierao de Trasatlanticos.

 

I'm also pretty sure that the Pont or similar could reach there in 30hrs from Plymouth.

 

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I think it would be good if they could do a return sailing from Bilbao - Roscoff once a week in addition to the Roscoff - Bilbao leg. Does anyone know how many passengers on average board CF on a Monday morning at Roscoff?

 

That could in theory become a not-unrealistic possibility relatively easily when BDS switches to taking both Economie Spanish runs next year. The schedules show her at sea for only 6 nights a week, laying over in Portsmouth on Monday nights, so with a little tweaking I'm sure it could be arranged for her to take two nights over her northbound run from Bilbao.

 

However, that all assumes that the reason BF take traffic on the Roscoff-Bilbao leg of CF's two-nighter (and not the Portsmouth-Roscoff leg) is because they think the former has greater demand. I'm sure, though, that the reason is simply that it is easy to put traffic on at Roscoff but harder to take it off. (Taking it off would require considerably more organisation at Portsmouth so that vehicles disembarking at Roscoff were in the right place). By the same reasoning, a two-nighter northbound would be more likely to take vehicles on the Roscoff-Portsmouth leg than the Bilbao-Roscoff leg. So even though they could arrange a Roscoff stop for BDS, I don't think they will.

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Just to finish the BDS idea, her weekly itinerary could be modified to something like this:

 

Mon: 1500 arr Portsmouth, 1730 dep Portsmouth

Tues: 2030 arr Bilbao, 2300 dep Bilbao

Weds: 1700 arr Roscoff, 1930 dep Roscoff

Thurs: 0800 arr Portsmouth, 1200 dep Portsmouth, 1830 arr Le Havre, 2230 dep Le Havre

Fri: 0800 arr Portsmouth, 1200 dep Portsmouth, 1830 arr Le Havre, 2230 dep Le Havre

Sat: 0600 arr Portsmouth, 0830 dep Portsmouth

Sun: 1130 arr Santander, 1400 dep Santander

 

That way you could leave Etretat on the same roster to Le Havre daily (night out, afternoon back) with supplements in the opposite direction on Thursdays and Fridays. Not a lot of hanging around for BDS (as in Monday nights in Portsmouth and all day Friday in Le Havre as per the actual schedules for next year), keeps the Saturday round trip to Santander, brings the Bilbao trip forward a day and squeezes in a call at Roscoff on the return from Bilbao.

 

Sorry, excuse my indulgence....know it's not going to happen but I like playing around with this sort of thing!

Edited by Gareth

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I am actually really supprised there is no BF crossing from France to Spain. Does anyone think DFDS could maybe one day take on a Spain route in competition with BF, if they see how good the routes are they may want in on it. The only issue with DFDS is that they seem to be leaning a lot more to much smaller ROPAX now. BDS was the the fifth biggest in passenger numbers for the mini cruise range, and she was ROPAX, but a good one, but if we look at Etretat, she is much smaller in passenger terms so if BF or DFDS were to take on a new ship for a New France over night route do you think it could be a BDS decendant, not to big not to small? Anyway going back to the Topic, isn't a bit unprofitable to have a ship, stuck in berth at Portsmouth wasting money. Just out of curiosity while I'm on it, are some of the engine workers and cleaners still Danish, as I reconised a few from last year on Harwich to Esbjerg?

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Yes there is, on CF's Sunday 2-night sailing from Portsmouth to Bilbao, she calls in at roscoff on Monday morning for crew change but also loads passengers as well.

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The Cap is also offering the odd Roscoff -Santander sailing as well.

 

I was in Roscoff on the weekend and BF are actively promoting the Roscoff-Santander route with big banners at the port. The Cap calls at Roscoff once a week.

 

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Do many of our Irish friends sail from Cork to Roscoff on Pont Aven arriving on a Sunday morning- spend a day there and stay overnight in a hotel - and then continue down to Spain on Cap Finistere on the Monday morning?

 

If there were an easy way of getting back again it could almost be promoted as a Landbridge service.

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Surely it would be easier to stay on the PA, Cork, Roscoff, Plymouth, Santander. That way you get to Spain Monday lunchtime.

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But if the Company were to co ordinate its Cork/Roscoff service with the Roscoff/Spain service - so that there was a seamless transfer from one ferry to the other on the same morning then there might be Irish customers who would buy a through ticket ...

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Wouldn't make a vast difference to the arrival time in Spain actually. Even if they re-scheduled CF's call at Roscoff for a day earlier (Sunday) so that it arrived shortly after Pont Aven has sailed for Plymouth, it will still potter down the Bay that night for an arrival in Bilbao at around 0700. Compare that with Pont Aven herself, she will be arriving in Santander from Plymouth at around midday, so it's only going to gain you 5 hours. Add that to the complication of not being able to provide a reciprocal return service and the fact that CF will already be full with traffic from UK and France to Bilbao, not worth the hassle.

 

Much easier to just launch a Cork-Santander service direct! :)

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According to tomorrow's issue of 'Le Marin', the 400 "extra" staff are already working on short-term contracts and joined the company when the BAIE DE SEINE and ETRETAT joined the fleet.

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Wouldn't make a vast difference to the arrival time in Spain actually. Even if they re-scheduled CF's call at Roscoff for a day earlier (Sunday) so that it arrived shortly after Pont Aven has sailed for Plymouth, it will still potter down the Bay that night for an arrival in Bilbao at around 0700. Compare that with Pont Aven herself, she will be arriving in Santander from Plymouth at around midday, so it's only going to gain you 5 hours. Add that to the complication of not being able to provide a reciprocal return service and the fact that CF will already be full with traffic from UK and France to Bilbao, not worth the hassle.

 

Much easier to just launch a Cork-Santander service direct! :)

 

I would love to see a Cork-Santander service introduced! It wouldn't benefit me at all but after doing some very rough calculations it is cost effective for passengers to go by ferry rather than plane.

 

I'm tempted to do a research project on it for my EPQ.

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