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


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On 03/09/2020 at 19:31, Solo said:

I think it's been said she could be converted but I wondered if it makes her easier to use on other routes, where LNG refuelling is not available.

I don’t believe that the LNG refuelling infrastructure has been completed in either Bilbao or Santander yet, which will need to be in place before the Salamanca enters service. 

Here’s a video of the handover ceremony:

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And off she goes...

She's  in...

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Interesting the BF freight website is stating that Galicia is larger than Pont-Aven in gross tonnage. If that’s the case then PA may have the highest passenger capacity and most cabins, but she’s not the largest.

https://www.brittanyferriesfreight.co.uk/fleet/freight-capacities

But I take the freight capacity with a pinch of salt, the NI Ferry site is stating a much more realistic 155 units, given Galicia’s 3,100 freight lane metres that makes more sense.

https://www.niferry.co.uk/brittany-ferries-first-new-e-flexer-ferry-delivered/

92BB8FA9-CB3B-4CA6-8BC4-A47BE0F09702.jpeg

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On 03/09/2020 at 21:32, Andy said:

I don’t believe that the LNG refuelling infrastructure has been completed in either Bilbao or Santander yet, which will need to be in place before the Salamanca enters service. 

Here’s a video of the handover ceremony:

 

Churning them out fast now - I didn't realise the DFDS Dover-Calais one was floating!

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Great video and thanks for posting Andy. Whatever you think about the Chinese they’re doing a fantastic job in that shipyard and I have a feeling once Galicia starts operating she, and in time her 2 sisters, are going to surprise regular BF customers in a very positive way. A few posters have already commented about lack of character, I don’t quite know how you can say that until you’ve actually seen and tried the experience. BF designers are usually very good at creating character on board their vessels, granted not always to everyone’s taste but I can’t wait to see how « Spanish » they’ve managed to make her. The atrium looks very good although the air conditionIng will have to be efficient during 40 degree summer heatwaves..
 

I note with interest what appears to be a complete disregard for Covid restrictions on the video, buffet food, handshakes, pints of beer and there’s no way the minimum 1 metre apart is being respected. And I hope the pens used to autograph the wall were cleaned after each handover. Do they know something we don’t?
 

Hopefully our roving undercover agent Nodwad will be the first to post a glowing voyage report, if indeed he gets transferred to her this winter, and more importantly the pooch will be happy too after all the recent stress about which ship it will be travelling on...😂


Chris

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32 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

And she’s finally showing up on AIS Marine Traffic but as British registered, I think that needs changing....🇫🇷

Chris

Flag Change

According to industry publisher Shippax, GALICIA is being brought from China to Europe under the command of a crew from Stena subsidiary Northern Marine. Once she arrives in Europe at the end of her 10,000+ nautical mile voyage, it is expected that there will be a period of crew familiarisation and a brief dry-docking before GALICIA debuts around mid-December. At present GALICIA flies the UK flag and with a home port of Portsmouth, but she is expected to switch to the French flag ahead of entering service. From March 2021, GALICIA is expected to be dedicated to the Portsmouth – Santander and Cherbourg routes.

https://www.niferry.co.uk/brittany-ferries-first-new-e-flexer-ferry-delivered/

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It should be interesting when we get the reviews, however it does all look like it is designed for efficiency - the crew levels suggest that as well.

I Suspect that as part of the savings BF need to make we will see similar changes on other routes.

Plaza Major will be very noisy when showing football, however the bar on deck looks nice.

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6 hours ago, Fine Whine said:

And she’s finally showing up on AIS Marine Traffic but as British registered, I think that needs changing....🇫🇷

 

Galicia will be registered to 'Morlaix' once crew familiarisation and berthing trials are complete.

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15 minutes ago, David Williams said:

At the moment it has a Stena crew, presumably it needs a French crew for the flag.

I’m sure the Ponant cruise ships are registered in Marseille but have a mostly non French crew so I doubt the French crew is a requirement for the flag but of course it was always going to be a French crew on Galicia.

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This was a long time ago now, but if I remember correctly when Pride of Bilbao started it was a joint venture with a Spanish shipping operator and so had a number of passenger services crew from Spain. Now clearly BF are unlikely to do that, but does anyone have experience comparing the hospitality nature of the French and Spanish?

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Interesting reading about the new BF Galicia which we are due to sail on next summer.

As a matter of interest which route does she take from China to Europe and how long would that take?

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24 minutes ago, Seashore said:

This was a long time ago now, but if I remember correctly when Pride of Bilbao started it was a joint venture with a Spanish shipping operator and so had a number of passenger services crew from Spain. Now clearly BF are unlikely to do that, but does anyone have experience comparing the hospitality nature of the French and Spanish?

Yes it was initially a joint venture with a Spanish company. Fee or subsidized tickets were even given to Basque country residents to help create demand for the service. An exciting time with a great bew ship back in 1983 with ex Olympia renamed  Pride of Bilbao.

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31 minutes ago, Grego said:

Interesting reading about the new BF Galicia which we are due to sail on next summer.

As a matter of interest which route does she take from China to Europe and how long would that take?

Almost certainly likely to route via Suez, and the voyage would probably take 2-3 weeks.  Depends whether she needs to call in anywhere on the way due to carrying commercial cargo, and whether / where she will need to bunker.

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1 hour ago, Nick Hyde said:

Yes it was initially a joint venture with a Spanish company. Fee or subsidized tickets were even given to Basque country residents to help create demand for the service. An exciting time with a great bew ship back in 1983 with ex Olympia renamed  Pride of Bilbao.

1993 you mean...

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18 hours ago, Seashore said:

Interesting the BF freight website is stating that Galicia is larger than Pont-Aven in gross tonnage. If that’s the case then PA may have the highest passenger capacity and most cabins, but she’s not the largest.

https://www.brittanyferriesfreight.co.uk/fleet/freight-capacities

But I take the freight capacity with a pinch of salt, the NI Ferry site is stating a much more realistic 155 units, given Galicia’s 3,100 freight lane metres that makes more sense.

https://www.niferry.co.uk/brittany-ferries-first-new-e-flexer-ferry-delivered/

92BB8FA9-CB3B-4CA6-8BC4-A47BE0F09702.jpeg

How do they calculate number of trucks? Is it maximum number ignoring cars and all mezzanines not in use? 

On Stena Estrid and Edda, there is a separate deck for cars. Galicia doesn't have this and in this video, you can see at 4:07, it appears Galicia will have a mezzanine vehicle deck (Deck 6). Perhaps it is fixed in place thus bringing down the total truck space? Total guesswork though! 

 

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The lane metres is a measurement solely for lorries, so the lane meterage is not affected by replacing the deck 7 car deck on the Stena/DFDS versions with cabins. It would be surprising if the mezzanine was fixed, it’s not standard practice and I’m pretty sure Stena - the masters of flexibility - would not have built that in. Nor does it look like the overall E-Flexer design and fit out varies wildly from the Stena pair.

Salamanca & Santona will have a lower lane meterage as a chunk of freight deck capacity will be used for LNG storage tanks and associated equipment.

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3 hours ago, Grego said:

Interesting reading about the new BF Galicia which we are due to sail on next summer.

As a matter of interest which route does she take from China to Europe and how long would that take?

It will most likely be a 4 week journey and take the same route as the first two E-Flexers, with 2 stops en route. I certainly can't see them doing that journey in 2 to 3 weeks.

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3 hours ago, Seashore said:

This gives you an idea, Estrid and Edda took almost identical paths to our waters:

https://www.niferry.co.uk/new-belfast-ferry-stena-edda-leaves-china/

 

50 minutes ago, TonyMWeaver said:

It will most likely be a 4 week journey and take the same route as the first two E-Flexers, with 2 stops en route. I certainly can't see them doing that journey in 2 to 3 weeks.

The link to NI Ferry said it took Stena Estrid and Stena Edda around 6 weeks to do the journey. All the Stena delivery stuff is on the absolutely  excellent @tarbyonline website including full detail of the first stop, picking up security, Suez transit, Med and Algeciras stop... it’s all there in good detail and described separately for a Stena Estrid and Stena Edda.

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1 minute ago, Seashore said:

The link to NI Ferry said it took Stena Estrid and Stena Edda around 6 weeks to do the journey

That was what they thought, but both ships did the journey in 4 weeks, with 2 stops.

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6 weeks astonishes me.  It would almost be possible to sail it in that time.  The container ships usually take around 3 weeks to get from China to Northern Europe.  To require 6 weeks would need (a) a purposeful “go slow” (to save fuel) and (b) some substantial detours for deposition / collection of commercial cargo.

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7 hours ago, Seashore said:

This was a long time ago now, but if I remember correctly when Pride of Bilbao started it was a joint venture with a Spanish shipping operator and so had a number of passenger services crew from Spain. Now clearly BF are unlikely to do that, but does anyone have experience comparing the hospitality nature of the French and Spanish?

It was initially set up with Flota Suardiaz who sold & advertised the freight offering on the route. Sailings began in 1993. PoB's problem was in only having 1100 lane metres so ultimately Suardiaz pulled out. The ships other issue was that she didn't really have a bow shape suitable for the Bay, her 70 tonne bow visor made one hell of a noise when crashing into Atlantic waves... she was like a bouncy castle.

P&O originally chartered her from Roderi AB Slite who within a year had sold her and the long term charter to ICG. The charter was very expensive and in many ways cost prohibitive meaning that certain areas of the ship were never truly refreshed or refurbished even after her 2002 refit.

By 2006 the gap in class between her and the newer Pont Aven had become a gulf, the expensive charter was up for renegotiation and the only reason the route survived after all of the talk of them ending the service in the same way as the Le Havre ships was due to vastly reduced charter costs.

This is where Acconia Trasmediterranea using the Fortuny come into play...

Originally Acconia planned the service from Vigo to Bristol - sailing up the Bristol Channel and through the locks is quicker than sailing up the English Channel. Acconia had even finalised plans with the ports and began to brief the local media then due to the unknown fate of the P&O service at that time in 2006, Bilbao Port approached and successfully convinced them to sail from Portsmouth to Bilbao instead... Acconia didn't advertise in the U.K. so it was probably obvious the sailings would fail but I think having the extra competition from P&O still sailing to the same port didn't help either. The reason her freight decks were full was due to carrying the company subsidiaries cargo at a loss.

When she was pulled in January 2007 the rumour was that another ship would begin in the Spring, the Murillo I think which is now at PolFerries? They never returned.

When BF began to sail from Portsmouth to Spain in 2009 the writing was on the wall for the Pride of Bilbao, her reputation had plummeted, her charter was up for renewal and she had very limited freight capacity.

Within the industry it had become known that Brittany Ferries were seeking a 2nd hand Ropax. It's a little known fact that BF had already approached the Attica Group during the winter of 2009/10 and had received Guarantees from the EU offering a €5.5m annual subsidy in the form of Motorway of the Seas funding for 48 months if a vessel matching the criteria could be secured. Moving the linkspan to Zierbena would also cut 30 minutes of her sailing time.

Sorry Seashore, I went on a bit!

edit... Forgot to add that Irish Ferries were seriously considering using PoB as a seasonal service to Bilbao from PIP until St Peter line made them an offer they couldn't refuse.

 

Edited by jonno
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