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Cork to Santander Route to Launch in 2018


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

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7 hours ago, des said:

She's off to Brest alright. Nearly there now and the sailing updates page is informing people that tonight's sailing to Cork is from Brest and not Roscoff.

Thanks. Do you know why on Marine Traffic the date is incorrect like that even if the port is correct? Ed

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The "Connemara" arriving Cork this morning from Santader

I've added 30+ pics to my Brittany Ferries album here https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8PJNE2 Here's a few      

Picture from Shipspotting -

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44 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

The last bit of that report is rubbish. Armorique normally swings off her berth at 15h00 for afternoon departures and Connemara is rostered to arrive at 15h30 so that's not the reason for the detour to Brest...

A diversion to Brest usually means for repairs, I can't believe she needs something this early in her BF career. I just wonder whether the unions were planning a symbolic hoohah in Roscoff today, I wouldn't put it past them! I'm sure the reason will become clear soon but I'll do some digging anyway

Chris

Chris

That union-protest idea had occurred to me too given the earlier reports of dissatisfaction with the crewing arrangements.

How early did you get notice of the change because it can't be good for your business if they suddenly switch like that and you've planned extra staff to cover the likely demand? Ed. 

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41 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Thanks. Do you know why on Marine Traffic the date is incorrect like that even if the port is correct? Ed

That's purely down to her AIS which is programmed in on the bridge, the crew on the bridge obviously put in the wrong date.

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39 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Is it a legal requirement to use AIS and what are the penalties for making such an error, if any? 

Yes, it is a requirement for ships built after 2003 and only certain vessels, but I'm not sure if there are penalties for errors in programming.

 

Edited by TonyMWeaver
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I too wondered if that was the reason for the diversion.  As Chris said, it couldn’t have been for maintenance and the guff about Armorique occupying the berth was poppycock.  As I observed when we discussed the schedules, the whole point of Connemara’s scheduled call at Roscoff is that it gets her in after Armorique has sailed for Plymouth.

Regarding the question about AIS, yes it is a strict legal requirement for it to be switched on.  But the information about destination and ETA is not the critical data.  The important bit is the information broadcast about position, course and speed.  That is what feeds into collision avoidance prodedures, and those bits of data are automatic from the ship’s instruments.  So no scope for human error in the accuracy of the bits of information that matter.

 

 

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Unless I am missing something Connemara is EU registered and we have the Irish inspectors on the boat (which is possibly why the Santander - Cork run had no passengers)  and the French Unions objecting, the single market seems to be working well !

Re AIS, the original date problem was due to the month and day being entered the wrong way round with 7th May becoming 5th July, however I note that it keeps reverting back to the old ship name.

 

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12 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

The same happened with the 'Normandie Express' when she 1st arrived, being registered in Bermuda caused protests by French Unions.

Lets hope the union protests don't continue. BF should be applauded in launching this service and taking the commercial risk . Part of their appeal is because they have a French crew but they are competing with companies such as IF that have lower crewing costs because they use non - Irish crew.

IF hold their AGM tomorrow & there is disquiet because of the remuneration practices in the company. The CEO was paid €538,000 as a basic salary & a share related bonus of 408% of that- which equates to a bonus of €2195 million despite a fall of 3 % in profits. I doubt if the management pay structures  in BF are similar.......

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I suppose there will be the fear among some that this will be the 'thin end of the wedge', despite whatever assurances the company may have given. I appreciate that many people just want the cheapest crossing and don't care, but personally I don't like seeing ships flying flags of convenience or employing the cheapest possible crew and that's one of the reasons I like to use BF when I'm travelling to France or Spain.

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3 minutes ago, Ryan_H said:

I suppose there will be the fear among some that this will be the 'thin end of the wedge', despite whatever assurances the company may have given. I appreciate that many people just want the cheapest crossing and don't care, but personally I don't like seeing ships flying flags of convenience or employing the cheapest possible crew and that's one of the reasons I like to use BF when I'm travelling to France or Spain.

BF aren't flying the Limassol flag to save money, they're doing it as a short term measure as they are unsure of the routes viability. It's far easier to release an overseas crew than make nearly 100 French workers redundant if the route fails which would no doubt mean enduring the wrath of a far more vociferous union protest.

As has been mentioned in previous posts if the Roscoff call becomes untenable BF may just relocate their French connection with Connemara to Brest or cut it all together. In a similar way to Portsmouth, as a Naval base I don't think Brest shore workers are allowed to strike.

 

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7 minutes ago, jonno said:

BF aren't flying the Limassol flag to save money, they're doing it as a short term measure as they are unsure of the routes viability. It's far easier to release an overseas crew than make nearly 100 French workers redundant if the route fails which would no doubt mean enduring the wrath of a far more vociferous union protest.

As has been mentioned in previous posts if the Roscoff call becomes untenable BF may just relocate their French connection with Connemara to Brest or cut it all together. In a similar way to Portsmouth, as a Naval base I don't think Brest shore workers are allowed to strike.

 

Yes absolutely, I'm aware of the reasons for doing it and that it's a chartered vessel anyway. All I meant was that others (I.e. certain unions) might view it rather differently, however misguided that might be.

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Yes, the protesters need to be careful.  As jonno says, they may just find that Roscoff ends up losing this sailing.

Mind you, if that happened then you can be sure the protests would just transfer to disrupt the established routes, so BF may not be able to win.

One would think that the woes of Air France might serve as a wake up call.

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3 hours ago, kgst said:

Lets hope the union protests don't continue. BF should be applauded in launching this service and taking the commercial risk . Part of their appeal is because they have a French crew but they are competing with companies such as IF that have lower crewing costs because they use non - Irish crew.

IF hold their AGM tomorrow & there is disquiet because of the remuneration practices in the company. The CEO was paid €538,000 as a basic salary & a share related bonus of 408% of that- which equates to a bonus of €2195 million despite a fall of 3 % in profits. I doubt if the management pay structures  in BF are similar.......

That’s obscene when the Poles working onboard are probably paid very little for a very arduous job, I travelled Holyhead/Dublin when the Swift was packed and a large family of Irish itinerants occupied a big area of the lounge and the two slot machines making the passage unconfortable for other passengers. The purser nor the lounge staff could control them. I noted next time we were on the swift the slots had gone but that was after the event. The staff had about 30mins to clear up and prepare for the return trip.

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5 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Meanwhile.....the first commercial sailing between Cork and Santander is now under way. 😀

Any idea of the loading we are booked on 5 July and I don’t want BF to abort before then!

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

As has been mentioned in previous posts if the Roscoff call becomes untenable BF may just relocate their French connection with Connemara to Brest or cut it all together. In a similar way to Portsmouth, as a Naval base I don't think Brest shore workers are allowed to strike.

 

The ferry berth has got nothing to do with the naval base but with the Chamber of Commerce of Brest so the dockers in Brest could certainly go on strike if they wanted. By the way, the non-military staff in the naval base can go on strike and have done on many occasions. The last one was on 22nd March 2018. http://www.letelegramme.fr/finistere/brest/defense-appel-a-la-greve-ce-jeudi-22-03-2018-11896191.php

The only reason I can see behind the diversion to Brest was to catch the picketers by surprise. It won't work twice.

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45 minutes ago, crechbleiz said:
2 hours ago, jonno said:

 

The ferry berth has got nothing to do with the naval base but with the Chamber of Commerce of Brest so the dockers in Brest could certainly go on strike if they wanted.

So another possible reason for the switch shot down. I just wondered as back in 2016 when most of the French ports held strikes Brest was one of the few that only saw the tug boatmen walk out.

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1 hour ago, jonno said:

So another possible reason for the switch shot down. I just wondered as back in 2016 when most of the French ports held strikes Brest was one of the few that only saw the tug boatmen walk out.

But would it be the Dockers that would cause any problems, more likely to be BF unions demonstrating.  As said earlier would the unions really be that short sighted not to back BF in starting the venture, if it's a success in the future and French crews are not brought in then they would have a case.

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Maybe the original 'Keeping Armorique on the quay' was the reason and that BF were concerned that if Connemara docked they might not be able to get her off and Arm back on?  Or Arm off in the first place.

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1 hour ago, Solo said:

But would it be the Dockers that would cause any problems, more likely to be BF unions demonstrating.  As said earlier would the unions really be that short sighted not to back BF in starting the venture, if it's a success in the future and French crews are not brought in then they would have a case.

I've been having a bit of a mooch at this, such is the level of my nose disease! 

It's the CFDT maritime union over the ships registry. BF would only need to replace 25% of the crew with French nationals to qualify for RIF, the French international register and that would bring a whole host of benefits to BF to help save them money. The Guichet Unique offers particularly generous  discounts on VAT and employer contributions.

She could still be registered in Limassol but be able to fly the RIF international flag... best of both worlds.

If the route did prove disappointing surely BF could absorb 20 French crew members, Honfleur and the E-Flexer aren't too far off... or ar BF planning to transplant the BDS crew in 12 months time? 

 

 

 

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On 10/02/2018 at 11:50, Gareth said:

Well.  If there is lots of nonsense from the French unions and much by way of further reliability issues with the ship involved I can see BF pulling the plug on this experiment before it even starts.  Just not worth the hassle.....it’s already a massive risk, but if it is likely to lead to a summer of strike action on the rest of their routes then it must surely be questionned whether it is a risk worth taking.  Good on BF management for being so willing to give this a go, but they must sometimes wonder why they bother.  Must be an absolute nightmare trying to run a business based in France.

Never use the word 'HATE' but I 'HATE' the French unions for this reason... Ultimatly they will kill a business through their millitant action - Just look at how they are killing the AF side of AF/KLM... 

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