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Galícia, Salamanca and Santona - Newbuilds for Spanish Routes (e-flexers)


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11 minutes ago, IanN said:

I think I am in the minority here.

But it seems people want faster broadband, faster delivery, faster more efficient trains, faster response to queries in fact most things faster.  I am not saying this is a good thing..

So why do BF think people want slower ferries to Spain?. BF might want them for cost reasons and increased spend on board. But the average family with kids going on holiday will  I suspect just want to get there as quickly as possible. Keeping little Johnny  and his sister entertained and fed for the extra time will just cost money. 

This will benefit BF but I cannot see any benefit to customers

It will be interesting to see how bookings compare with CF and PA 

 

They do Ian but also want to be Green, the two don't go together, youngsters live on the internet but no thought of the energy used.  At some point something has to give, either things slow down or we forget about the planet.

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And off she goes...

She's  in...

Some more

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A 2 nighter is fine given that it starts with going to bed, spending a day on a cruise and then arriving early the following day to start a holiday. I don't like early departures as you have to spend a night in a hotel the night before and a later departure means that you end up arriving late in the day and have to get a hotel close to the arrival port

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4 minutes ago, Nick Hyde said:

The economics of operating a ferry is the reason I guess. The cost of fuel goes up exponentially for every knot after 21 knots.

Although that’s not new - it was the case when BF started operating Portsmouth-Spain.

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Just now, David Williams said:

A 2 nighter is fine given that it starts with going to bed, spending a day on a cruise and then arriving early the following day to start a holiday. I don't like early departures as you have to spend a night in a hotel the night before and a later departure means that you end up arriving late in the day and have to get a hotel close to the arrival port

Yes, the 2-nighter is probably the least problematic sailing in this respect.  Even CF has one, and it has advantages as you say.  The problem is the 28+ hour 1-nighters.

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22 minutes ago, IanN said:

This will benefit BF but I cannot see any benefit to customers

It will be interesting to see how bookings compare with CF and PA 

 

The benefit to the customer is the existence of the service or, alternatively, the existence of the service at fares which keep it vaguely affordable.

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I must admit when choosing Spain for next year, I decided that if I was going to stay a night before sailing it might as well be in Devon and I liked the idea of a proper balcony so chose the PA. The Galacia lounge sounds like a good idea, however I would probably end up eating too much. The Wednesday PA timing from Plymouth is very good.

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

Although that’s not new - it was the case when BF started operating Portsmouth-Spain.

I'm guessing now though since Pont Aven was launched economics have changed even more. Back then there were many more high speed conventional sailings. Think Superfast to Zeebrugge and also across the Baltic. Also there are now less highspeed sailings from Italy to Greece.  Granted still have Color Line's superspeed service.

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3 hours ago, hhvferry said:

The benefit to the customer is the existence of the service or, alternatively, the existence of the service at fares which keep it vaguely affordable.

I understand this but is it affordable if you have to take extra days off work to have the same time on Holiday. People pay a premium for Commodore Cabins and are happy about it, also for waiter service restaurants. So I guess would pay extra for a faster service NEX is an example of this.

I would rather spend the extra time the crossings will take in a small Plaza Mayor in Spain than on any ferry.

I realise that the crossing times will increase and then the choice will be BF or the Tunnel and a leisurely drive through France each to his/her own 

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It’s a gamble, and it may or may not pay off.  Back in the days of CF and PA joining the fleet, BF had competition on the Spain routes.  It was their 24 USP that saw off the competition.  Now there is no competition - and the gamble is that a rival does not emerge assuming the mantle of the 24 hour passage.  Unlikely in the current circumstances I suspect, so the gamble may pay off.

On the other hand....in many ways, the real competition for the Spanish routes has always been the shorter crossing to France and driving down through France. Back in the Western Channel heyday, the France option prevailed.  If its demise was partly due to traffic choosing to take advantage of the 24 hour crossing to Spain, then it may be that the shorter French routes make something of a return, taking traffic away from the direct Spain routes.

However, the limits on driving time for lorry drivers mean that this argument would not apply to freight.  So BF is probably safe taking the gamble at the moment.

Among tourist traffic, I expect that PA’s service from Plymouth will prove to be the most popular.

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4 hours ago, IanN said:

I think I am in the minority here.

But it seems people want faster broadband, faster delivery, faster more efficient trains, faster response to queries in fact most things faster.  I am not saying this is a good thing..

So why do BF think people want slower ferries to Spain?. BF might want them for cost reasons and increased spend on board. But the average family with kids going on holiday will  I suspect just want to get there as quickly as possible. Keeping little Johnny  and his sister entertained and fed for the extra time will just cost money. 

This will benefit BF but I cannot see any benefit to customers

It will be interesting to see how bookings compare with CF and PA 

 

PA's 20 hour crossing to Santander from Plymouth won't be travelled any faster than 22 kts, it doesn't need to be. She'll remain the biggest attraction as she carries twice as many passengers and has the pool area allowing you to swim your way to Spain!

As @Garethrightly points out, Galicia isn't catering for families in her premium cabins, maybe this is another way of shifting holiday traffic toward the Plymouth sailings?

There is also the obvious lack of a large self service restaurant which are popular with families too.

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4 minutes ago, IanN said:

I understand this but is it affordable if you have to take extra days off work to have the same time on Holiday. People pay a premium for Commodore Cabins and are happy about it, also for waiter service restaurants. So I guess would pay extra for a faster service NEX is an example of this.

 

I guess it depends on whether passengers view the ferry crossing as part of the holiday. We used the Rosyth-Zeebrugge crossing 4 or 5 years and for us the crossing was part of the holiday. Living 45 minutes from Rosyth and travelling with small children (one year we had a 3 year old and an 8 month old) we felt on holiday as soon as we got onboard. We could have a relaxing meal in the buffet restaurant followed by a wander around before the children and I went to bed and hubby sat in the bar. The next morning we had a buffet breakfast with time to relax afterwards before we docked at 1pm. The whole thing was so much more pleasant than tearing down the M74 and M6 on our way to Portsmouth.

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Clearly I'm missing something here...

Cap Finistere will continue her 24 hour sailings, Pont Aven will be completing hers in 20 hours and Galicia will be taking just as long as Baie du Seine.

A permanent focus on Plymouth ( cue those bemoaning the drive into Devon) and a vastly superior vessel to the one which has returned to DFDS.

Where's the issue?

 

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12 hours ago, elaine80 said:

I guess it depends on whether passengers view the ferry crossing as part of the holiday. We used the Rosyth-Zeebrugge crossing 4 or 5 years and for us the crossing was part of the holiday. Living 45 minutes from Rosyth and travelling with small children (one year we had a 3 year old and an 8 month old) we felt on holiday as soon as we got onboard. We could have a relaxing meal in the buffet restaurant followed by a wander around before the children and I went to bed and hubby sat in the bar. The next morning we had a buffet breakfast with time to relax afterwards before we docked at 1pm. The whole thing was so much more pleasant than tearing down the M74 and M6 on our way to Portsmouth.

Agreed ideal start to the holiday but what if the 1pm docking now becomes 6 or 8pm 

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49 minutes ago, IanN said:

Agreed ideal start to the holiday but what if the 1pm docking now becomes 6 or 8pm 

Rosyth-Zeebrugge could be a good analogy actually.  When Scottish Viking took over the route from the Superfasts, was there an increase in passage time?

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5 hours ago, Gareth said:

Rosyth-Zeebrugge could be a good analogy actually.  When Scottish Viking took over the route from the Superfasts, was there an increase in passage time?

From memory the crossing time remained the same when Scottish Viking took over.

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Interesting, thanks for the replies.  So....in terms of the analogy, there could be a number of reasons why the Norfolk Line service (which lasted just 2 years) proved to have a shorter longevity than the Superfast service.  Lower quality of onboard experience for one, and the one-ship (and therefore not daily in each direction) service for another.  But I wonder how much of a role the longer crossing time played in the non-viability of the Norfolk Line route.

One thing we know for sure, is that the “be glad the route exists at all” line of thought wasn’t enough to create enough custom to make it viable.  The offering has to be an attractive choice - otherwise people will just choose a shorter route and drive further.

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As regarding the Portsmouth to Santander or Bilbao,  I still favour that route from Portsmouth rather then Plymouth.  As Portsmouth is nearer to where I live.  The question I would like to asked is,  Has there been a lot of people using Portsmouth rather then Plymouth?  Because as Portsmouth is further then Plymouth.  Why would Brittany want to put a new but slower ferry from Portsmouth,  It would had made sense if the newbuilds were switch from Plymouth instead.  I had booked up my next years holiday last week to go from Portsmouth to Bilbao on the Cap and when I come back on the Galacia which I am very much looking forward to.  As the timing looks a lot better.  When I use the crossing before  I travel from Portsmouth down to Santander,  but after arriving in Santander I still had to spend a night at a hotel in Santander before I headed off the next day.   Because what could cause concern for some of us,  If Brittany Ferries deploy the Pont Aven back to Plymouth and use a slower ferry from Portsmouth,  this could land up many switching to Plymouth because its less time on the ferry for some.  The other thing about the Cap  I enjoy traveling on her.  But the only thing I wasn't happy about with her is the restaurant , as they only do the A la cart instead of the buffet, which I prefer the buffet any day.  That is my point.   I wonder if I am talking sense here.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

Interesting, thanks for the replies.  So....in terms of the analogy, there could be a number of reasons why the Norfolk Line service (which lasted just 2 years) proved to have a shorter longevity than the Superfast service.  Lower quality of onboard experience for one, and the one-ship (and therefore not daily in each direction) service for another.  But I wonder how much of a role the longer crossing time played in the non-viability of the Norfolk Line route.

One thing we know for sure, is that the “be glad the route exists at all” line of thought wasn’t enough to create enough custom to make it viable.  The offering has to be an attractive choice - otherwise people will just choose a shorter route and drive further.

At the end of the Superfast era on the Rosyth - Zeebrugge service it was already down to a one ship service. The Superfast IX had been moved to the Baltic and the Superfast X had been sold. The Blue Star 1 was covering the service. 

I think the problem with this service was between Superfast and Norfolk Line it was fairly new ships that were placed in the service. Right away you would have to start turning a profit to pay for them. Maybe it would have been more of a success if it had started with older ships that had pretty much paid for themselves. Having tried the service on a number of occasions the Superfasts certainly were impressive. I'm sorry it has been consigned to the history books

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