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Newbuild for Biscay


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50 minutes ago, Gareth said:

One thing has become clear with the Connemara announcement: contrary to what some of us believed / hoped, BF has no plans in the immediate future to drop the Economie brand.

It is conceivable that, within the next 18 months or so, BF could be operating a "mixed economy" (of both Economie and cruise ship on the same route) on at least 4 different routes.  Portsmouth-Le Havre (assuming Etretat will continue to do a run to Le Havre for crew change), Portsmouth-Bilbao, Portsmouth-Santander and Cork-Roscoff.

I think this will be highly confusing to the consumer and will result in the identity of the BF product on those routes becoming really blurred.  I hope this is not the thin end of a wedge that, in time, will see Economie becoming the de facto norm.

But it's still only two 'Economie' vessels at that point: Etretat and Connemara. And both are of the same type so people will know more about what to expect. Plus the overall number of sailings will be less per week as Etretat will only do one run run to Le Havre, Santander and Bilbao each per week. Ed. 

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The announcement from BF towers last year did say that in the medium term they wish to replace Normandie, Bretagne & Cap' Finistère, that suggests to me that their finances could deliver such as project.

At the time we all speculated on the cost which we felt would be €400m-€500m for 3 ships built to BF standard and we now know that there are huge financial incentives to utilise greener fuels, incentives which lessen the price burden somewhat.

I'm not for a minute believing the rumour, just pointing at indicators which could make it possible.

Me, I'm more inclined to think that another E-Flexer will replace the Cap' with BF retaining her and Flensburger Schiffbau will get the nod to build PA's replacement sometime around 2021/22.

With Macron nationalising the shipyard in St Nazaire and seeing as they have a very healthy order book, I can't see it happening there.

 

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

One thing has become clear with the Connemara announcement: contrary to what some of us believed / hoped, BF has no plans in the immediate future to drop the Economie brand.

It is conceivable that, within the next 18 months or so, BF could be operating a "mixed economy" (of both Economie and cruise ship on the same route) on at least 4 different routes.  Portsmouth-Le Havre (assuming Etretat will continue to do a run to Le Havre for crew change), Portsmouth-Bilbao, Portsmouth-Santander and Cork-Roscoff.

I think this will be highly confusing to the consumer and will result in the identity of the BF product on those routes becoming really blurred.  I hope this is not the thin end of a wedge that, in time, will see Economie becoming the de facto norm.

I don't think there's a need to worry on that score Gareth. with I.F having W.B Yeats and another being built, if the Cork route proves a success I'd think BF would want tonnage to offer competition in terms of capacity & comfort to attract those wanting to experience the true cruise ferry experience to Spain.

Apart from PA's replacement I think BF see Stena's new builds as an answer to their prayers especially as they are configuring No3 to their own specification, there's more to it than a simple charter arrangement... Stena are essentially building a ship for them which BF can pay for over the longer term. I'm expecting another one at least to replace Etretat.

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Of course, the assumption has always been that Pont Aven will move to St Malo when she is eventually replaced on the flagship schedules with a new build.  But I suppose the possibility must now be opened up that Pont Aven could go to the new Irish service in place of Connemara in a few years’ time if that route takes off.  I suppose the only concern would be how her bow doors would cope with the incessant pounding they would get.  But other than that, if the route does flourish, then It would be a far more logical use of Pont Aven’s facilities than sitting in St Malo for 6 hours each day.

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By “low cost”, I believe you worked it out at 75% of the cruise ferry fee.  They’d be able to bridge that gap in time (4 years?) and in Pont Aven the Irish would have a known quantity that they would probably accept the need to pay a bit more for.

Not saying I want this to happen (I’d be quite happy with Pont Aven at St Malo), nor even that it is likely (the prospects for the new route are a complete unknown).  Just flagging it as a possibility in the event that the route exceeds their wildest expectations.  If they decided they wanted to upgrade the route to cruise ship standard then using PA would be a more natural step than trying to source an appropriate second-hand vessel.

Mind you, the passenger/freight mix may not suit Pont Aven.

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Maybe, but if you suddenly learned that you had to pay 30% more for the same trip just to entitle you to eat in a waiter-service restaurant (if you wish to pay more), watch a film in the cinema (when most people have already downloaded their holiday entertainment before travelling) and browse a more extensive choice of duty-free products (which are probably cheaper in Spain anyway) would you be happy?

But, as you say, it will all depend on the success of the route, the suitability of PA and other fleet dispositions if they decide to use a cruise-ferry. Ed

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Bretagne seems a good contender to move if it’s a success, with PA or a new fleet member to st Malo and The other on england-Spain.

The route is outside the emission zone, proven across biscay, Bretagne I don’t believe has such high over head costs as Pont Aven from an accountancy point I imagine Bretagne’s value is much lower so less depreciation to account for.

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28 minutes ago, richwarwicker said:

Bretagne seems a good contender to move if it’s a success, with PA or a new fleet member to st Malo and The other on england-Spain.

The route is outside the emission zone, proven across biscay, Bretagne I don’t believe has such high over head costs as Pont Aven from an accountancy point I imagine Bretagne’s value is much lower so less depreciation to account for.

As I commented elsewhere the other day. Don't get too hung up on emission zones as they are on the way for everywhere.

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32 minutes ago, richwarwicker said:

Bretagne seems a good contender to move if it’s a success, with PA or a new fleet member to st Malo and The other on england-Spain.

The route is outside the emission zone, proven across biscay, Bretagne I don’t believe has such high over head costs as Pont Aven from an accountancy point I imagine Bretagne’s value is much lower so less depreciation to account for.

I wouldn't have thought Bretagne had enough freight capacity for the route. Ed. 

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Just now, Cabin-boy said:

I wouldn't have thought Bretagne had enough freight capacity for the route. Ed. 

And she would also be far too slow.  She cruises at about 18 knots I think, so she’d probably take a good 28-30 hours between Cork and Santander.  Probably too long for most people.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

And she would also be far too slow.  She cruises at about 18 knots I think, so she’d probably take a good 28-30 hours between Cork and Santander.  Probably too long for most people.

However Plymouth gets a decent ship for a few weeks this March!  Do you not like Bretagne Gareth?

 

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35 minutes ago, nottingham said:

However Plymouth gets a decent ship for a few weeks this March!  Do you not like Bretagne Gareth?

 

Whatever makes you say that Nottingham? Of course I do.  Second only to Pont Aven.  Got a voyage in her booked for April.

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

Of course, the assumption has always been that Pont Aven will move to St Malo when she is eventually replaced on the flagship schedules with a new build.  But I suppose the possibility must now be opened up that Pont Aven could go to the new Irish service in place of Connemara in a few years’ time if that route takes off.  I suppose the only concern would be how her bow doors would cope with the incessant pounding they would get.  But other than that, if the route does flourish, then It would be a far more logical use of Pont Aven’s facilities than sitting in St Malo for 6 hours each day.

I'd be more than happy to see Pont Aven sail full time from Cork. I am not a fan, I'd rather sail to Spain on a Visentini at twice the price and sleep in a hammock.

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On 21/01/2018 at 23:38, jonno said:

I'd be more than happy to see Pont Aven sail full time from Cork. I am not a fan, I'd rather sail to Spain on a Visentini at twice the price and sleep in a hammock.

Bit extreme... ;)

I really liked the look of PA before the scrubbers. Feel she looks like a nice ship with a big cube bolted onto the top... A new build for the Biscay would probably please my funnel expectations though :)

 

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