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Summer's Over


Gareth

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Quiet around the forum at the moment isn't it? Thought I'd put this post up so we've got something to get our teeth into.

 

This weekend marks the final call at Cork for Pont Aven this year and therefore the transition proper to winter schedules. After a bit of a peculiar week next week (when PA will be making two Plymouth-Santander ships), Pont will be settling into a roster that sees her running twice a week from Portsmouth to Santander (Sunday and Tuesday) but only once back (on Mondays). Wednesday's return to Plymouth remains, and then the Thursday overnighter from Plymouth switches from Roscoff to St Malo. Friday round trip from St Malo to Portsmouth and back and a Saturday night St Malo-Portsmouth crossing gets her back in place for the Sunday departure to Santander. Stand by to see Pont Aven turn round at some point during the transition so that she is bow-in at Portsmouth and Plymouth.

 

All this means that this weekend is also Pont Aven's last service on Plymouth Roscoff, with Bretagne taking over an even more token provision on this route until Christmas. Two sailings a week from Plymouth, both on Fridays! And for 6-7 weeks we will be seeing between Bretagne and Pont Aven overnight sailings in both directions on Thursdays on the Plymouth-St Malo route.

 

The other thing we will be seeing this weekend is Etretat's final sailing to Spain. From next week they will be switching to the plan for next year, with BDS taking both Spanish crossings, to Santander on Saturdays (in lieu of Etretat) and her own crossing to Bilbao on Tuesdays. BDS will be down to just 1 round trip a week to Le Havre, on Fridays (out by day, back by night) and will be staying at Portsmouth overnight on Mondays. So from next week the Le Havre route is pretty much (apart from this 1 sailing from BDS) entirely given over to Etretat.

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All change in the schedules then. Glad BDS is pretty much sharing the keys of Spain with Cap Finister. I expect this season will tell whether BDS will stay on Spain routes and most certainly whether Étretat is suited to Just France routes, and also another Economie ferry could be on the horizon *Patria Seaways*

 

On another note, not many developments on Rodin and Berloiz, they are due by the end of October but not much yet.

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All change in the schedules then. Glad BDS is pretty much sharing the keys of Spain with Cap Finister. I expect this season will tell whether BDS will stay on Spain routes and most certainly whether Étretat is suited to Just France routes, and also another Economie ferry could be on the horizon *Patria Seaways*

 

On another note, not many developments on Rodin and Berloiz, they are due by the end of October but not much yet.

Please no, not Patria Seaways. It's not as if BF need to expand the Economie offer especially with an ex Lisco carrier which is too old and too small.

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On another note, not many developments on Rodin and Berloiz, they are due by the end of October but not much yet.

 

It looks like DFDS will start a 3 ship Dover <--> Calais service in the New Year, using Rodin. Berlioz & Calais Seaways. They have published a 2016 timetable showing up to 15 round trips per day, which is consistant with 5 round trips per vessel, although there are less sailings at weekends.

 

 

 

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Please no, not Patria Seaways. It's not as if BF need to expand the Economie offer especially with an ex Lisco carrier which is too old and too small.

 

I wondered whether Danish was suggesting this small ship for a B/F service to the Channel Islands ? I see she has a shallower draught than Commodore Clipper. Or was it meant as just a cheeky provocation ?

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As soon as BF are able to ditch Etretat and replace her with something more suitable they need to scrap the Economie thing. It is so damaging to their brand. BDS, with a bit of investment, should be able to be brought up to standard. And then don't go anywhere near any more ships that would require the Economie disclaimer.

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Don't know why people are knocking the economies ferries?If they are that bad,why are they fully booked most of the time.?or is it just the snobs who slag these ferries off I wonder?if you have a dog I would rather travel on these no frills ferries with dog friendly cabins.than getting blown away and soaked on the back of the pont.

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I've been classed as many things in my life, a snob has never been one of them! I just don't think that £800+ for a sailing to Spain classed as "Economie" which has a limited customer offer is good value. BF made their name and reputation on offering their customers quality and reliability, not something any Visentini is renowned for especially when their cost pre loved is comparable to a cruise ferry. P&O lowered their standards and vanished, do we really want BF to do the same?

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Personally I would rather see a ferry company, adapting to new market standards (more RO-PAX) like DFDS than a company that may be getting better now but not seeing the bigger picture. BF will one day have to realise they will have to slash passenger capacity by investing in vessels like BDS and Étretat. Trips between Uk and France have never been that scenic compared to some in Northern Europe which deserve cruise ferries because the route they serve is not just blank sea it is fjords etc. I certainly think that very soon PAX traffic will switch to more European routes such as Norway and Denmark, because of the scenery and DFDS will be very annoyed they never saw the pax boom coming. On the long haul France side, I can maybe see more growth within the next few years, but ROPAX is where the demand is now, BF could maybe profit more if it used 1 ROPAX ship like BDS per route and one cruise ferry per route, than 2 cruise ferries. I would rather see BF that way than gone completely, and ROPAX is more fun, if you really want to see ROPAX try DFDS imminghan to Gothenburg freight sailing, much more fun than Portsmouth to Caen on MSM in my opinion, but CPH to OSL on Pearl Seaways is better than any crossing apart from HAR to ESB just because of the pretty scenery, and the ship.

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BDS is a cracking ship and was my second over night choice after Bretagne. The economy plus cabins on BDS are far far better than the club cabins on Pont Aven. The les routiers style menu on BDS provided a good choice of dishes and at pretty good value. Barfy is far more of an economie ferry than BDS is its just a pity now we are stuck with the Tat full time on Le Harve route.

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