Jump to content
Gareth

Cork to Santander Route to Launch in 2018

Admin

NEWS: The Official Press Release regarding the new Ireland - Spain route can be read here. 16/01/18

Message added by Admin

Recommended Posts

Baie de Seine is going back to DFDS.  I wonder if Bretagne could be used on this route, outside of the emissions zone, when PA is moved from the Spanish route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree it will be interesting to see how this all pans out.  It will be interesting to see how the weather affects it.  The course the ferry will shape takes the vessel well out into the Bay of Biscay with no opportunities to take shelter anywhere that I can see.  Thus we'll just have to see how often sailings are cancelled because of adverse weather conditions.  Having experienced a very rough crossing on PA where the ship was eight hours late back into Plymouth the captain having taken the vessel off course to sail much closer than usual to the French coast in the hope of avoiding the worst of the weather I always hesitate about recommending the Bay of Biscay!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Solo said:

Baie de Seine is going back to DFDS.  I wonder if Bretagne could be used on this route, outside of the emissions zone, when PA is moved from the Spanish route.

As Rick posted above it’ll be irrelevant as everywhere will be subject to emissions controls!

1 hour ago, Ian Walker said:

I wish the new route many success.   If the Baie de Seine is going to be replaced I wonder if Brittany Ferries will retain her and redeployed on this new route if there is a good loadings.

BAIE DE SEINE is going back to DFDS as they need her for their own operations.

 

1 hour ago, Hawser Trunnion said:

I agree it will be interesting to see how this all pans out.  It will be interesting to see how the weather affects it.  The course the ferry will shape takes the vessel well out into the Bay of Biscay with no opportunities to take shelter anywhere that I can see.  Thus we'll just have to see how often sailings are cancelled because of adverse weather conditions.  Having experienced a very rough crossing on PA where the ship was eight hours late back into Plymouth the captain having taken the vessel off course to sail much closer than usual to the French coast in the hope of avoiding the worst of the weather I always hesitate about recommending the Bay of Biscay!

 

Agree that weather will be a big factor.  I recall LD had issues with this, as well as vessel reliability (on a related note BF are using the former Norman Asturias though I believe her reliability has improved now).  Reliability could potentially kill this service.  If freight is expected to move to Cork instead of the established ports to France which have easy alternatives then they’ll need reliability.  Likewise tourist traffic won’t appreciate being “stranded” either.

 

The European Flag thing mentioned again here

https://www.ouest-france.fr/bretagne/morlaix-29600/brittany-ferries-une-rotation-hebdomadaire-en-plus-sur-la-ligne-roscoff-cork-5503066

The key part google translated again

European flag
The ship will carry 500 passengers and 195 cars. It has about 2,225 meters of haulage and Brittany Ferries expects "a fair distribution between passenger and freight transport" . The ship will also have a small shop, café and lounges. Currently operated between Italy and Greece, Connemara will be chartered to Stena Roro, a Swedish company, for an initial two years.

In a first phase of launching this ship, the boat will be under a European flag. "In the highly uncertain context of Brexit, we need to reconcile development and risk management in order to protect the company's current shareholders and employees," says Jean-Marc Roué, chairman of Brittany Ferries' supervisory board.

But "the company's ambition continues to see its armed fleet at the French flag" . Jean-Marc Roué wants as evidence the order, in 2017, "two new ships for an investment of several hundred million euros".”

Edited by tarbyonline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hawser Trunnion said:

I agree it will be interesting to see how this all pans out.  It will be interesting to see how the weather affects it.  The course the ferry will shape takes the vessel well out into the Bay of Biscay with no opportunities to take shelter anywhere that I can see.  Thus we'll just have to see how often sailings are cancelled because of adverse weather conditions.  Having experienced a very rough crossing on PA where the ship was eight hours late back into Plymouth the captain having taken the vessel off course to sail much closer than usual to the French coast in the hope of avoiding the worst of the weather I always hesitate about recommending the Bay of Biscay!

 

Yes, the weather is going to be an important factor.  I agree it will be interesting to see what sorts of routes are taken.  I would envisage the "good weather" route being the straight line you describe, well out into the Atlantic and clear of Ushant.  However, there will be a need to cross the main shipping lanes off Ushant, and she will need to do this at right-angles.  This might favour a more inshore route, which I would imagine might gain favour in adverse weather as well, taking her closer to France.  In that eventuality, the Rade de Brest will be a natural area of refuge if it becomes necessary on passage.  The 28 hours I've read about for the passage time allows room for a number of different approaches to routing, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, tarbyonline said:

As Rick posted above it’ll be irrelevant as everywhere will be subject to emissions controls!

Plus Bretagne is already well within the limit as with her DPF's she's only chucking out 0.01% as are all others already burning LDO.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new groundbreaking route. Larger freight capacity due in 18 months for Caen, expansion of the Le Havre route plus a chartered new build increasing capacity for Spain. We also have associated capacity increases on the way for the UK and France from Stena & Irish Ferries.

I think there are exciting times ahead.

Edited by jonno
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Comparing the leaflet that Rick kindly posted and that for Etretat there is not much difference between them. They seem to have managed to squeeze a children's play area in which Etretat does not have but whether that is still there is unclear from the photos on the Anek website. Etretat does have a movie lounge which is a nice touch so let's hope Connemara gets one too. The interior space is too small to allow any significant changes in layout so I hope the WIFI on board is up to scratch as most passengers will likely prefer to stay in their cabins. Ed. 

When Etretat was Norman Voyager it had a kids play area, I have a photo of my daughter playing in it.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Rich. There's obviously an area on board which can be configured in various ways depending on the operator. Right now, Etretat doesn't seem to have one from the online plans but clearly did in the past. Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Thanks Rich. There's obviously an area on board which can be configured in various ways depending on the operator. Right now, Etretat doesn't seem to have one from the online plans but clearly did in the past. Ed

I’ve just looked at Etretat details online and it specifically says there is no kids play area or entertainment, presumably it’s now an area of bar seating as it was in the corner of the bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has appeared on BF's Irish website:

Quote

A new direct Ireland to Spain route in 2018

We're delighted to announce a new route to northern Spain with two return sailings weekly from Cork to Santander. We believe this will be the first time there has been a ferry service linking Ireland and Spain.

Connemara

A ship, to be called Connemara, has been chartered for the new service, and she will follow the successful économie model that Brittany Ferries has established on services from the UK to France and Spain.

On board, passengers can expect a comfortable, no-frills service. Although different to the cruise ferry experience associated with Brittany Ferries in Ireland, the ship will offer comfortable en-suite cabins, lounges, self-service dining, shopping and a café/bar

Direct to Spain

If you're looking for value and a simpler service direct to Spain, and are content to travel without the premium experience offered by our cruise ferries, the Connemara économie service between Cork and Santander could be just right for you.

Extra sailings to France

As well as opening a new route, Connemara will add an extra sailing to the existing Cork to Roscoff route, creating more opportunities for shorter stays in France.

We hope to go on sale by the end of January with the service due to start at the end of April 2018.

 

The bits I have highlighted in red are the points of interest.  The first indicates that BF is taking the necessary steps (right from the start) to downgrade the expectations of those familiar with Pont Aven.  The second gives an indication that we are likely to get timetables within the next couple of weeks.

Nothing, so far, on their Spanish website.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having had a chance to think about all this a bit more, I think that a cheap short-term charter (provided the experience provided is still decent) is quite a smart way of testing the water with this new market.  If it doesn't come off, then at least the downside is limited.  And if it takes off big time, then they can upgrade it to the full BF cruise experience down the line.  Too much of a risk to do the latter right from the outset, when the market is a complete unknown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hurrah....

Back from holiday, back in Roscoff!

Our local rag Le Télégramme is saying this morning she will be sailing under a Cypriot flag with a European crew (non French). Jean-Marc Roué is making it very clear the uncertainties of Brexit means risk taking has to be kept to a minimum and they can't afford the new route to lose money. BF have committed to tranferring to the French flag within a maximum of 3 years, assuming the route is a success. They have been completely transparent and discussed the plan with the Comité d'Entreprises (a group of employees from within BF representing the whole workforce) as well the CFDT union, both of whom have given the green light.

So in a difficult market place this is an innovative and I would say brave decision on the part of BF, and great news for us in Roscoff for all the reasons cited so far. It looks to me as though she will arrive here on Tuesday mornings, probably after Armorique has unloaded and cast off again before the 15h00 afternoon sailing to Plymouth so around midday or 13h00; we'll know more in a couple of weeks.

Chris

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

Our local rag Le Télégramme is saying this morning she will be sailing under a Cypriot flag with a European crew (non French). J

Limassol then possibly.

Edited by TonyMWeaver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allow me to indulge in a revised possible timetable, knowing the parameters we now do (28 hour crossing time, Sunday and Thursday departures from Santander, Chris' intel about Tuesdays in Roscoff; I've also assumed a slightly extended, to 14 hours, crossing time to Roscoff).  It's not ideal with some of the arrivals and departures, but it's all I can come up with fitting around the parameters we know.  Given what it results in, I wouldn't be surprised if some of those parameters are not quite right:

 

Monday:  1500 arr CORK;  1830 dep CORK

Tuesday:  0930 arr ROSCOFF;  1230 dep ROSCOFF

Wednesday:  0530 arr CORK;  0800 dep CORK

Thursday:  1300 arr SANTANDER;  1600 dep SANTANDER

Friday:  1900 arr CORK;  2300 dep CORK

Saturday:  At Sea

Sunday:  0800 arr SANTANDER;  1200 dep SANTANDER

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, richwarwicker said:

When Etretat was Norman Voyager it had a kids play area, I have a photo of my daughter playing in it.

When I was on Etretat a few years back - there was a small play area? (admittedly being used by a load of men to sleep in at the time)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gareth said:

Having had a chance to think about all this a bit more, I think that a cheap short-term charter (provided the experience provided is still decent) is quite a smart way of testing the water with this new market.  If it doesn't come off, then at least the downside is limited.  And if it takes off big time, then they can upgrade it to the full BF cruise experience down the line.  Too much of a risk to do the latter right from the outset, when the market is a complete unknown.

Charter is unlikely to be "cheap" in current tonnage market (I haven't seen recent charter rates for Visentinis as there haven't been many deals lately) though there are probably few more economical ships that suit the purpose for starting a route like this. 

The price of Brent Crude is also creeping up - about $70 today which is the highest since December 2014,  Whilst it's far away from the $110ish of 2011 to 2014, it is a far cry from the $50 ish of the past few years and it's been in a steady climb since last summer.

I am sure the business plan allows for all this but I think we need to be careful to not underestimate the risks here.  I would add risks that BF should be congratulated for taking and committing to for 2 years at least.  BF aren't quitters and I'm sure they'll make it work.  Just trying to inject some understanding into cost base here.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Allow me to indulge in a revised possible timetable, knowing the parameters we now do (28 hour crossing time, Sunday and Thursday departures from Santander, Chris' intel about Tuesdays in Roscoff; I've also assumed a slightly extended, to 14 hours, crossing time to Roscoff).  It's not ideal with some of the arrivals and departures, but it's all I can come up with fitting around the parameters we know.  Given what it results in, I wouldn't be surprised if some of those parameters are not quite right:

 

Monday:  1500 arr CORK;  1830 dep CORK

Tuesday:  0930 arr ROSCOFF;  1230 dep ROSCOFF

Wednesday:  0530 arr CORK;  0800 dep CORK

Thursday:  1300 arr SANTANDER;  1600 dep SANTANDER

Friday:  1900 arr CORK;  2300 dep CORK

Saturday:  At Sea

Sunday:  0800 arr SANTANDER;  1200 dep SANTANDER

I think that's largely how things are going to look - especially as the Spanish press revealed the Santander departure times. 

I would say though that 4 hour turnarounds should normally be allowed for a Visentini, you want to work on the (happy) basis of the ship being full and also having a lot of unaccompanied onboard.

Edited by RickOShea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks very pleasant. It's nice to read some positive news in the ferry industry, after what feels like a long period of decline and nothing but doom and gloom from certain long-established operators.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully, given those timetable predictions, we'll soon see BF offering combined ferry and hotel/B&B breaks from France to Ireland and vice versa. A trip out on PA on a Friday evening with a couple of nights in a hotel in Cork and then a return trip on the new vessel would be a bit more relaxing than the current 36-hour offering. Or it could be the other way round giving you three nights ashore and a nice dinner and evening on PA coming back. I look forward to discovering such options in due course. Ed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×