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BF Confirm Charter of 'E-Flexer' - Galícia & Salamanca

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9 hours ago, jonno said:

Galicia doing CF's 2 x Bilbao & 1 x Santander.

Haven't we agreed that speed-wise such a schedule won't be possible. Ed. 

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8 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Haven't we agreed that speed-wise such a schedule won't be possible. Ed. 

Yes - a Flexer won’t manage 3 return trips to Spain in a week.

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My father is on CF now on his way to Spain. He told me that there were a lot of people checking in with dogs (like him) last night in Portsmouth. I've asked him to try and be out on deck when they get to Brest for the crew change to see just how many French cars, if any, join the ship. Ed. 

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I could see two of them working in tandem to provide 5 return sailings per week between them (swapping schedules each week).  Each calling at Roscoff on the same day of the week (one going one way and the other going the other way) for crew change.  If the other one then did two weekly sailings plus a Le Havre rotation or two then you have your daily sailing in each direction.

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

Haven't we agreed that speed-wise such a schedule won't be possible. Ed. 

I hadn't realised these new ships were going to be slow. Is there an estimate of how long the Portsmouth -Spain voyage will take please.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

I could see two of them working in tandem to provide 5 return sailings per week between them (swapping schedules each week).  Each calling at Roscoff on the same day of the week (one going one way and the other going the other way) for crew change.  If the other one then did two weekly sailings plus a Le Havre rotation or two then you have your daily sailing in each direction.

The Roscoff/Brest visit at present exists primarily for the crew change adcf doesn't call anywhere else during the week. It does obviously allow French passengers to also join the service south. If that is worth keeping then a return service also via a French port makes a lot of sense as at present they either have to drive back north or transit through a British port to get home. If however the numbers are not high enough to justify the visit then a nonstop run each way without the two hours (minimum) required for a stopover makes more sense with the crew switching in Le Havre/Cherbourg depending on the schedule.

19 minutes ago, wortley said:

I hadn't realised these new ships were going to be slow. Is there an estimate of how long the Portsmouth -Spain voyage will take please.

I'd guess around 28 hours at least with perhaps 30 available to allow for delays and still keep to schedule over the week. 

Ed. 

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

Haven't we agreed that speed-wise such a schedule won't be possible. Ed. 

Comparing top speeds that what we assume but how much do the Cap and PA run at full service speed, overnight they certainly slow down and are not normally flat the rest of the day.

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

I'd guess around 28 hours at least with perhaps 30 available to allow for delays and still keep to schedule over the week. 

Ed. 

But then the crossing will exceed 24 hours and they will have to have a Muster Drill which will be very inconvenient for BF!

Edited by Bf Bretagne

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I've don't think they'll have much choice. Unless of course a stopover as now in Roscoff both ways means that they can skip the drill. The question then is which is more inconvenient?  The drill which takes perhaps half an hour or the stopover which is considerably longer. Ed. 

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4 minutes ago, Bf Bretagne said:

But then the crossing will exceed 24 hours and they will have to have a Muster Drill which will be very inconvenient for BF!

I was also thinking of the number of passengers who might well look at a ferry service getting slower and slower - taking 28 hours, and more if there is a crew change on the way - and deciding to drive down from Ouistreham to Spain instead. What's that - about ten hours? 

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12 minutes ago, wortley said:

about ten hours? 

Yes plus breaks if there are no additional drivers. It's slightly less from St Malo. Interestingly, if you feed Portsmouth to Santander into Mappy it estimates about 15 hours in total but with a fast ferry via Weymouth! Ed. 

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It’s a big risk.  Getting the time down to 24 hours is the way BF managed to succeed with Portsmouth-Spain where P&O failed. Spain in 24 hours was always the major selling point for BF ever since they started sailing to Spain from Portsmouth.  It’s why they were able to diversify Spanish provision away from Plymouth.  People kind of accept longer under the Economie banner, but I remain very cautious about the degree to which the travelling public will embrace the main cruise ferry crossings taking longer than 24 hours.

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They obviously know what they are doing. I suspect they want to avoid the two-nighters if possible. That should be feasible with two ships running simultaneously and a break in the schedule to Cherbourg or Le Havre to get back into a normal routine. Ed. 

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12 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

They obviously know what they are doing.

That's the easy bit - reducing the fuel bill quite a bit. But as others have said here, how much longer will people be willing to accept before alternatives become more attractive? People only have so much holiday, are they reallistically going to want to spend what will now amount to nearly three days of it traveling?

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My view when Galicia is delivered the timetable will be as now with Baie de Seine being replaced. When Salamanca is delivered there’ll be a daily service with Cap and two flexers sailing every 3 days. Crews will either swap in Spain or Portsmouth.

Pont Aven will replace Bretagne

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1 minute ago, nick hall said:

My view when Galicia is delivered the timetable will be as now with Baie de Seine being replaced. When Salamanca is delivered there’ll be a daily service with Cap and two flexers sailing every 3 days. Crews will either swap in Spain or Portsmouth.

Pont Aven will replace Bretagne

And what vessel would maintain Plymouth-Spain?

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2 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

And what vessel would maintain Plymouth-Spain?

Nothing. 
or maybe one rotation per week, therefor each ship would visit every three weeks.

Edited by nick hall

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1 minute ago, nick hall said:

Nothing.

Nah, not gonna happen:)

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7 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

And what vessel would maintain Plymouth-Spain?

Pont Aven.  She will have no need to waste her time plodding up to Portsmouth when the Flexers are here.  She can go back to doing what she was built for! 😀

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What matters more than duration, 24hours or 28 hours, are timings, especially if coming to the departure port from a distance or with a caravan in tow.  And does the arrival time give a reasonable time to get to my destination or to a convenient stop along the way?

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Just now, Malc said:

What matters more than duration, 24hours or 28 hours, are timings, especially if coming to the departure port from a distance or with a caravan in tow.  And does the arrival time give a reasonable time to get to my destination or to a convenient stop along the way?

Quite. The 1600 Sunday departure Plymouth to Santander is quite the most sociable timed sailing to Spain possible.

Get on board, few drinks, evening meal, zzzz, up, breakfast, relax, arrive at lunchtime. 

What could be better?! :) 

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Some seem to forget the limitations of some ports, to keep a cruise ferry going to Cork it has to be Pont Aven, therefore she has to stay on Plymouth/Roscoff, I don't think the e-flexers will fit Plymouth or Roscoff.  From what we know the E-Flexers will only fit Portsmouth, Cherbourg and the Spanish ports, I think they will fit Le Havre but would cause problems.

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3 minutes ago, Malc said:

What matters more than duration, 24hours or 28 hours, are timings, especially if coming to the departure port from a distance or with a caravan in tow.  And does the arrival time give a reasonable time to get to my destination or to a convenient stop along the way?

This is true.  But it is related.  As hf says, the timings on the Plymouth route (both arrival and departure) are excellent.

It is difficult to conceive how both arrival and departure times could be user-friendly on a 28 hour crossing without going to 2 nights.  I suppose something like an 11am departure and a 4pm arrival outbound would work.  But then when does the ship depart to come back again?

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This was the photo my father took for me from CF this lunchtime in Brest.  He says there were no French passengers joining the boat, only the new crew. So that rather confirms my suspicion that the offer from France to Spain is rarely, if ever, used and can therefore be scrubbed once the E-flexers arrive, especially if they are too long to fit in Roscoff. Ed. 

IMG_0922.jpg

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