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alleeganger10

30 years of Portsmouth Caen

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I remember Passing through Ouistreham on Honeymoon, having caught the ferry to Le Havre we stayed the first night in Honfleur we then dawdled through Calvados sightseeing and then spent it a very pleasant September week at a Maison secondaire of some Family Friends in the flood plain of the Loire near Varades/Ancenis. There was no Gare Maritime at Ouistreham in those days and no dual carriageway into Caen and certainly no A84, the local camping Municipal occupied waht is now the port site, some of the buildings in Riva Bella still showed signs of damage from the war. Two years later we returned with friends on the newly inaugurated Portsmouth Caen Ferry the place had been transformed .

 

Every house in Calavados now gets a magazine called "Le Calvados" and in the latest issue the story of how the ferry port came to be , told not from the perspective of Brittany Ferries but from the real investors in the project, The CCI de Caen, Calvados Tourism and the town itself. Other side stories are written and one include an interview with Patrick de Sainte Pierre Normandie Captain who was in charge on Monday evening this week when we arrived at Pompy 30 mins late after a mill pond like crossing and no explanation or apology Not even the stock "congestion Portuaire" was given :(.

 

For anyone who is interested in reading these articles an on line version is available at http://www.calvados.fr/cms/accueil-calvados/espace-actualite/la-brittany-ferries-fete-les-30-ans-de-la-ligne-caen-ouistreham-portsmouth Unfortunately it is in French. I'm sure mr Google will translate if you need. I think it gives a real perspective of the beginnings of the project which has lead to the Port being Number 1 in place of both Le Havre and Cherbourg it shows what a little courage and risk can do.

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I remember Passing through Ouistreham on Honeymoon, having caught the ferry to Le Havre we stayed the first night in Honfleur we then dawdled through Calvados sightseeing and then spent it a very pleasant September week at a Maison secondaire of some Family Friends in the flood plain of the Loire near Varades/Ancenis. There was no Gare Maritime at Ouistreham in those days and no dual carriageway into Caen and certainly no A84, the local camping Municipal occupied waht is now the port site, some of the buildings in Riva Bella still showed signs of damage from the war. Two years later we returned with friends on the newly inaugurated Portsmouth Caen Ferry the place had been transformed .

 

Every house in Calavados now gets a magazine called "Le Calvados" and in the latest issue the story of how the ferry port came to be , told not from the perspective of Brittany Ferries but from the real investors in the project, The CCI de Caen, Calvados Tourism and the town itself. Other side stories are written and one include an interview with Patrick de Sainte Pierre Normandie Captain who was in charge on Monday evening this week when we arrived at Pompy 30 mins late after a mill pond like crossing and no explanation or apology Not even the stock "congestion Portuaire" was given :(.

 

For anyone who is interested in reading these articles an on line version is available at http://www.calvados.fr/cms/accueil-calvados/espace-actualite/la-brittany-ferries-fete-les-30-ans-de-la-ligne-caen-ouistreham-portsmouth Unfortunately it is in French. I'm sure mr Google will translate if you need. I think it gives a real perspective of the beginnings of the project which has lead to the Port being Number 1 in place of both Le Havre and Cherbourg it shows what a little courage and risk can do.

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I doubt if Caen would have advanced to its present apparent position of preeminence had the other operators, Townsend Thoresen/P&O and Sealink, continued at Cherbourg offering competitive fares which reflected the shorter nature of the crossings to the UK south coast.

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I doubt if Caen would have advanced to its present apparent position of preeminence had the other operators, Townsend Thoresen/P&O and Sealink, continued at Cherbourg offering competitive fares which reflected the shorter nature of the crossings to the UK south coast.

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A good read and I too was on the same sailing as you on the Normandie on Monday and I also found it strange that we were 30 mins late after a very smooth sailing with no announcement as to why, not that I really cared as I like being onboard for as long as possible and living in Southampton it's only a quick 15 minute drive home from Portsmouth.

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A good read and I too was on the same sailing as you on the Normandie on Monday and I also found it strange that we were 30 mins late after a very smooth sailing with no announcement as to why, not that I really cared as I like being onboard for as long as possible and living in Southampton it's only a quick 15 minute drive home from Portsmouth.

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A good read and I too was on the same sailing as you on the Normandie on Monday and I also found it strange that we were 30 mins late after a very smooth sailing with no announcement as to why, not that I really cared as I like being onboard for as long as possible and living in Southampton it's only a quick 15 minute drive home from Portsmouth.

 

 

For us the knock on effect of the lateness was that by the time we had got to the A34/M4 junction the A34 Northbound was closed despite overhead signs promising 34 minutes to the M40, we ended up accessing the M40 via M4, M404 a serious detour for us which added another 45mins to journey home

.

Commandant de Sainte Pierre says in his side interview in "Le Calvados" that he prides himself on the punctuality of his ship and the line in general and that a delay of 20 minutes has passengers panicking as they may have trains to catch!.

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A good read and I too was on the same sailing as you on the Normandie on Monday and I also found it strange that we were 30 mins late after a very smooth sailing with no announcement as to why, not that I really cared as I like being onboard for as long as possible and living in Southampton it's only a quick 15 minute drive home from Portsmouth.

 

 

For us the knock on effect of the lateness was that by the time we had got to the A34/M4 junction the A34 Northbound was closed despite overhead signs promising 34 minutes to the M40, we ended up accessing the M40 via M4, M404 a serious detour for us which added another 45mins to journey home

.

Commandant de Sainte Pierre says in his side interview in "Le Calvados" that he prides himself on the punctuality of his ship and the line in general and that a delay of 20 minutes has passengers panicking as they may have trains to catch!.

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Sounds like you had a tedious drive home then, fortunately for myself I was home by 22.25!

 

Interesting comment though regarding the Captains pride in his punctuality, obviously not on the crossing we were on.

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Sounds like you had a tedious drive home then, fortunately for myself I was home by 22.25!

 

Interesting comment though regarding the Captains pride in his punctuality, obviously not on the crossing we were on.

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