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SAILING UPDATES: 2016 Latest News


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I was thinking along the lines of this current problem. If they had two identical vessels but on different routes they could then juggle them around to cover for the one out of service, maintain the lines to Ireland and Spain (which require specific levels of passenger accommodation) and perhaps compress those passengers shuttling across the channel onto the remaining available ships given that St Malo, Cherbourg, Caen and Le Havre are all within three hours of each other. They seemed to manage that fairly well last month when the Nomandie was out of service so that was what got me thinking. It is not a school holiday period at present on either side of the channel so volumes are probably well below capacity, giving the opportunity for some creative thinking. I agree, Neil, that it would not be an appropriate solution in mid-summer, in which case they would simply have to cancel bookings and accept the consequences in terms of compensation and lost future business. Ed

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Unless they had a spare ship doing nothing, a route will suffer. Besides, as a "spare" ship - they could surely bring in the Bretagne back to Spain?

 

And do what with their busiest high season route served by one ship?

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Unless they had a spare ship doing nothing, a route will suffer. Besides, as a "spare" ship - they could surely bring in the Bretagne back to Spain?

 

 

Yes, a route will suffer but if you consider that 'Portsmouth to France' represents one route (because as I said the 4 continental ports are relatively close) then you can rebalance the passengers wherever there is space (and compensate for the extra mileage), freeing up the twin vessel to replace the stricken one. This is just a suggestion but to make it work you would need something like PA running from the UK to Spain and France to Ireland and her twin between Portsmouth and St Malo, Armorique between Plymouth and Roscoff and two further examples on Portsmouth to Caen, two Baie de Seines or CFs and two Barfleurs or Etretats - so a total of 9 ferries. You will never get perfect coverage if one ship is out of service but you would have the flexibility to cover the majority of the routes. Ed

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The logical thing to do is sending Bretagne to Spain with Arm covering St Malo a couple of days a week. The other option is the Arm doing a trip to Spain on her quietest 2 day period in the week, just to clear some of the freight.

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CF out in the bay doing sea trials. Not sure what work she has had done that needs sea trials, but her return from refit must be very welcome right now.

 

On the subject of replacement ships, I agree with what has been said, it is never going to be possible for active members of the fleet to cover for other members in the high season without some route suffering somewhere. The suggestion of moving Bretagne away from St Malo is ludicrous, and I hope that BF never waver from their policy of never having identical sisters. In the current situation, if PA is to be off a while yet then I wouldn't be surprised to see an extension of the Friday-Sunday extra round trip to Spain by Etretat, that was provided during CF's refit at the expense of a couple of Le Havre sailings. Otherwise the only cover that I could envisage being necessary would be Cork, and how they handle that would be interesting. A weekly round trip by Armorique, at the expense of a Roscoff-Plymouth rotation or two would be logical, and it would be great if that were to happen because then Armorique would become the first member of the BF fleet to complete the set. Watch this space.

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I agree with Gareth, I do not believe that BF will change any schedules. Maybe have Étretat do a couple of Spanish sailings like she did when covering for Cap Finistère. But to completely restructure the timetables like I have been reading on Social Media, is bonkers.

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BF have Pelican too so that can presumably lighten the load for freight - can't imagine Pont takes too much freight anyway does she?

 

In the (unlikely) event that Armorique does get to have a trundle up to Cork it highlights what a versatile asset she is to the fleet. More of the same, or at least as similarly versatile, are very likely you'd assume.

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I was not suggesting any timetable changes this time around, unless they know that due to light loadings on a specific route they can get a way with it to clear the backlog. I was thinking more along the lines of future strategy, given the constraints of the various ports and the need to replace and update the current fleet (which is being discussed elsewhere on the site). The Armorique does provide the best all-round flexibility required so would clearly be a candidate for cloning. I agree that identical ships dull the travelling experience somewhat as you feel you are boarding a generic ferry and are just a passenger and not a guest. There is no reason why the internal passenger spaces need to be carbon copies of each other. With two decks to play with you can certainly add some alternative features to each vessel depending on the primary route it will be operating (large panoramic windows and entertainment areas for the cruise routes to Spain and Ireland, smaller quiet lounges and kids' play areas for the shorter channel crossings as many don't feel that paying for a cabin for just 5 hours sleep is worth it etc.). Ed

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BF have Pelican too so that can presumably lighten the load for freight - can't imagine Pont takes too much freight anyway does she?

 

In the (unlikely) event that Armorique does get to have a trundle up to Cork it highlights what a versatile asset she is to the fleet. More of the same, or at least as similarly versatile, are very likely you'd assume.

 

Glad someone remembered MN Pelican. According to Shippax she conveyed over 500 freight units in March and according to Ferry Publications' "Poole Correspondent" she can load and discharge over both levels simultaneously at Poole.

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We are booked on the 20.45 sailing from Plymouth on the 19th May. The vessel scheduled is the Pont Aven. However, from what I can gather from this thread she is likely to be out of service for 3 weeks (this according to a poster quoting the BF Facebook page).

 

1. I cannot find the FB page so is this info definite.

2. If so will I be charged for amending my booking so close to the proposed sailing.

3.We have lots booked in France as we are going down to Bordeaux to attend a wedding and have hotels booked for the Friday 20th and Saturday 21st. Would you advice amending now rather than wait for an announcement from BF, by which time perhaps all the available 'spare' capacity will have been booked by other passengers booked on the same crossing?

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In my opinion MN Pelican would not be very helpful as maximum number of drivers is 8; all other units must be shipped unaccompanied

Now loading on wetaher deck is available although is working 40 - 50 unit only. Running half capacity and sometimes less than 30%

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Pelican is pretty much irrelevant to the topic under discussion. She will continue to make her two sailings a week from Poole down to Bilbao and will continue to take the mostly unaccompanied freight with her that is already booked. Pont's Spanish traffic will be absorbed by CF and BDS, with a possible additional sailing by Etretat if the volume of traffic warrants it. The bigger problem is Cork, where BF either have to find a way of putting on a sailing or pass business over to Irish Ferries.

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We are booked on the 20.45 sailing from Plymouth on the 19th May. The vessel scheduled is the Pont Aven. However, from what I can gather from this thread she is likely to be out of service for 3 weeks (this according to a poster quoting the BF Facebook page).

 

1. I cannot find the FB page so is this info definite.

2. If so will I be charged for amending my booking so close to the proposed sailing.

3.We have lots booked in France as we are going down to Bordeaux to attend a wedding and have hotels booked for the Friday 20th and Saturday 21st. Would you advice amending now rather than wait for an announcement from BF, by which time perhaps all the available 'spare' capacity will have been booked by other passengers booked on the same crossing?

 

 

I would e-mail BF. They are being very good at dealing with the disruption from what I hear and will likely move you onto a similar sailing (Armorique probably same day) without a charge.

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Many thanks, folks. Done as you advised and contacted BF. Their reservations service was brilliant and re-booked us on the Armorique the previous evening's sailing - 18th May @ 22h00 at no charge.

 

They seem confident that the PA will be back in service next Wednesday but we cannot risk this not happening.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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Just seen on a Facebook post that she will be out of service for 3 weeks.

 

how 100% true that is im not sure but if true dont you think BF will have to move another ship onto the Spain route to cover? if so what ship as cant see them not having another ship to spain unless they can get CF out of drydock fast?

 

Be interested to see that, as I am informed that BF do not have a FB page!

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There are several FAN pages dedicated to BF, but they have a Twitter page though. I tend not to believe anything unless it comes direct from BF channels. Admin here put up official announcements from BF, so they are best to follow and that is what I take as kosher. The 3 week thing came up on a page I follow on my feed, and the source is usually pretty accurate. But, remembering a few years ago when Barfleur was chartered out there were quite a few posts which we collectively called "the man at the gate", this covered all gossip and hearsay people came across on their travels. This, I think is a man at the gate situation until BF officially put out a statement.

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In my opinion MN Pelican would not be very helpful as maximum number of drivers is 8; all other units must be shipped unaccompanied

Now loading on wetaher deck is available although is working 40 - 50 unit only. Running half capacity and sometimes less than 30%

 

According to the "Ferry Publications" report doubledeck loading and discharging was available on MN Pelican from the start. There were trailers on the upper deck on Pelican's first arrival at Poole according to Ferrypubs. I thought this was so from the photos. A not very sensible thing to do if there was no way of getting them down at Poole. They use the Yokohama fenders which I assume were the ones acquired to allow Barfleur to lay by overnight on Berth 2 while Norman Asturias occupied Berth 3.

 

I doubt if BF are that bothered about the Cork service. It's just once a week.

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Hi Ken

 

Official BF Facebook page - doesn't look like they update it much!!

 

https://www.facebook.com/BrittanyFerries/

 

Tony Weaver who posts here runs Brittany Ferries Ships

 

https://www.facebook.com/BFShips/

 

There is also Brittany Ferries Pics and Vids which is a closed group, and Cruising with Brittany Ferries. If you type Brittany Ferries into the seach box on Facebook you should find those.

 

Mods should not mind the links.🙂

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According to the "Ferry Publications" report doubledeck loading and discharging was available on MN Pelican from the start. There were trailers on the upper deck on Pelican's first arrival at Poole according to Ferrypubs. I thought this was so from the photos. A not very sensible thing to do if there was no way of getting them down at Poole. They use the Yokohama fenders which I assume were the ones acquired to allow Barfleur to lay by overnight on Berth 2 while Norman Asturias occupied Berth 3.

 

I doubt if BF are that bothered about the Cork service. It's just once a week.

 

BF might not be too bothered about the route to Cork given the low status it has in their schedules and the small overall percentage of sales it represents. However those people who travelled across last weekend for a week's holiday might be more bothered wondering how they are supposed to now get back. Asking them to drive via Wales and England and take two ferries instead of one (maybe in campervans or towing caravans or on motorbikes) is unlikely to go down too well and sending them over to Irish Ferries or Stena will not only lose them customers this time around but is unlikely to result in any return bookings or positive word of mouth. Equally though it's not like an airline where you can lay on a charter flight to repatriate stranded travellers. So if nothing is put in place for this weekend then they will lose two weeks' worth of passengers, those coming back and those wishing to head out. Ed.

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