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Gareth

BF Refits 2017

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Wow. So apart from sea trials she is all done then. Amazing - over a week ahead of time then - unless there is further work planned for her back in Cherbourg?

 

Finishing touches and restocking. Sea Trails complete, homeward bound via Skagen.

 

 

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Note that Bretagne joined the rest of the fleet in having her blue and red stripes removed from her funnel.

 

As much as I'm in favour of brand consistency, it was the unique designs of the BF fleet that set them apart from the rest - both internally and externally.

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No. Skaggen is a standard bunkering stop for ships in need of fuel bound in or out of the Baltic area from / to the North Sea.

 

BF ships never use the Kiel canal en route to and from Poland. And usually they don't stop at the Skaggen bunkering station either, but looks like Bretagne is doing so on this passage.

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Bretagne spent several hours alongside in Skagen yesterday. Quite surprised how long it took actually, I had no idea refuelling took that long. But also strange that she went alongside the harbour jetty as bunkering normally takes place at the anchorage. Maybe she was taking on more than just fuel, perhaps other supplies too? I seem to remember Pont Aven going alongside there on one trip to or from Gdansk in the past few years as well.

 

Normandie is still high and dry in the drydock at Santander. So was into drydock a good week earlier then Bretagne and looks to be there a while yet. Remember too that her refit was brought forward by a couple of days from that originally planned by the late switch of Bretagne to the new year Roscoff sailings. So it must be quite a substantial bit of work she is having done on her down there.

 

Both are due back in service around the end of the second week of February. (Normandie on the 10th I think, and Bretagne on the 14th).

 

After that, when Bretagne releases Pont Aven to resume Santander sailings, it will be Cap Finistere's turn to come off service.

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Bretagne spent several hours alongside in Skagen yesterday. Quite surprised how long it took actually, I had no idea refuelling took that long. But also strange that she went alongside the harbour jetty as bunkering normally takes place at the anchorage. Maybe she was taking on more than just fuel, perhaps other supplies too? I seem to remember Pont Aven going alongside there on one trip to or from Gdansk in the past few years as well.

 

Normandie is still high and dry in the drydock at Santander. So was into drydock a good week earlier then Bretagne and looks to be there a while yet. Remember too that her refit was brought forward by a couple of days from that originally planned by the late switch of Bretagne to the new year Roscoff sailings. So it must be quite a substantial bit of work she is having done on her down there.

 

Both are due back in service around the end of the second week of February. (Normandie on the 10th I think, and Bretagne on the 14th).

 

After that, when Bretagne releases Pont Aven to resume Santander sailings, it will be Cap Finistere's turn to come off service.

 

Is it likely that Bretagne might be back early then? If she's ready to go they might as well use her and switch Pont Aven over and get Cap off? Sailings this time of year are hardly going to be full enough on St Malo for it to be a problem, although I guess some may have to settle for a less nice cabin if that does happen..

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If you look at Pont Aven's sailing to St Malo on the 10th all of her lounge seats, outside 2 and larger 2/4 berth cabins plus all of her premier cabins are sold out. The crossing is very popular most of the year, it's the reason why the biggest ship in the fleet covers. The Cap' only has a third of either Bretagne's or PA's capacity plus there is also BDS covering the Spanish routes.

 

PA is best left where she is.

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I'm not sure that "best left where she is" is quite the right phrase, Jonno, in that she is only covering for the regular ship. Have to say the thought of will she be released early had occurred to me too, but if as you imply she is booked up to the point where Bretagne would not be able to cope with the booked traffic then it is a non-starter. And no point releasing CF early for dry docking if she cannot get into the dry dock, which has to be vacated by Normandie first. But if there IS a realistic possibility of getting CF into dry dock early then I wouldn't be surprised if they take it, and CF cannot be released from service before Pont Aven is back on her Santander roster.

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She certainly seems to be coming back at a fair lick. Not been onto Marine Traffic to clock her actual recorded speed, but looking at the rate at which she is covering ground my impression is that it must be close to normal service speed. So a rather quicker journey than the slow plod up. Just entering the Dover Straits now, and at this rate she must be due into Cherbourg sometime tomorow I would think. There must be a reason why they are getting her back in such a hurry - they normally try to make the voyages to and from Gdansk as fuel-efficient as possible, generally by steaming at around 10 knots.

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I'm not sure that "best left where she is" is quite the right phrase, Jonno, in that she is only covering for the regular ship. Have to say the thought of will she be released early had occurred to me too, but if as you imply she is booked up to the point where Bretagne would not be able to cope with the booked traffic then it is a non-starter. And no point releasing CF early for dry docking if she cannot get into the dry dock, which has to be vacated by Normandie first. But if there IS a realistic possibility of getting CF into dry dock early then I wouldn't be surprised if they take it, and CF cannot be released from service before Pont Aven is back on her Santander roster.

 

 

Yeah I see your point Gareth especially if Normandie could return. The French operations could return to normal with PA & BDS covering Spain,

 

I've always felt that the larger Spanish cruise ferry covered St Malo as passengers tend to take up cabins more in the winter months rather than keep to the public areas and fill the lounge seats, PA has 2008 berths while Bretagne has 1146. BF possibly sell accordingly.

 

Bretagne has certainly been thundering through the seas, 18 kts last time I looked, I wonder if it's to be positioned in Cherbourg before the weather closes in?

Edited by jonno

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Nice to have Bretagne back in our waters again.

She soon got back as you say she was flying Along !

 

Do we know what internal work has been carried out apart from all the engine work and the usual maintenance things.

 

Has she had New carpets furniture etc ? Would be nice to see some interior shots.

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Yes there are some lovely pictures of her on Facebook. She is looking gorgeous as always. But still no interior pictures. I guess nothing has changed too much inside.

 

Still Would be good to see a few interior shots though.

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Glad to see Normandie is out of dry dock and well on her way back into service. Do we know how big the refit way this time, will we see any changes or was it just a 'wash and brush up' to keep her fresh?

Myself and Mrs Lembyscot will be return on Normandie from our summer holiday in July, travelling out on Mont St Michel, and we are looking forward to being back at sea again.

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She's now left Santander and well into her passage home.
Normandie is almost back in Cherbourg... busy port this evening with Bretagne, Barfleur and Stena Nordia alongside.

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Armorique's last sailing from Caen during this refit period is the 2300 tonight. After unloading in Portsmouth tomorrow morning, Armorique will sail light to Plymouth, where she will re-enter service on her home route with tomorrow night's departure to Roscoff. Normandie then re-enters service with tomorrow night's 2300 from Caen to Portsmouth (so expect her to leave Cherbourg sometime tomorrow morning to arrive in Caen after MSM's early afternoon departure).

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Cap Finistere is about to leave Portsmouth on her last sailing to Spain before her refit. When she gets into Santander tomorrow teatime she will unload and then proceed down to Astanders for dry docking. Last refit of the winter for the BF fleet.

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