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Jim

2018/2019 Xmas & New Year Cruises - Confirmed

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Unfortunately (the inevitable consequence of messing paying customers around like that), there will be some who decide not to book for precisely that reason.

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We experienced thecancellation when BF refused to be 'threatened' by the Union over wage demands. Sad to miss the Xmas cruise but we were handsomely compensated.

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On ‎31‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 14:04, Jim said:

The PA has also been to Rotterdam in recent years if I recall correctly - but the bottom line is that 'cruising' is not BF's core business. There are other options, but it's not as easy as pitch-up and unload. Take, for example, this year's Antwerp trip which has customs implications both for the onboard retail shops but also the behind the scenes activities which will require different clearances, customs paperwork, security arrangements etc. Cruise lines are far more geared up for it operationally than a ferry company who go somewhere different twice a year.

Apologies to all not been posting on here for a while but yes I can see what you mean Jim and agree with you there.....just would be nice to see some other destinations....I guess I just get frustrated sometimes as I am pining for a BF NY Amsterdam trip!

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I rang to enquire as to what cabins were available for the New Year's trip earlier and was told they only have inside or larger inside left, so if that's true then it sounds like it has been selling well so far. I'm waiting to see if any family members want to join me before I book anything, some are rather fussy about their cabins ;) 

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I shall be on the New Year Cruise along with my Mum, Sister & Nephew. First New Year trip with BF, will be interesting to compare with DFDS...

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Just out of interest, how long did it take in previous years to sail up to Rouen? I notice the arrival time in Honfleur is scheduled for 10.00hrs, with departure at 19.00hrs - so I presume Pont-Aven will be taking a very leisurely, long route across the Channel?

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They used to deliberately time the passage so that the Seine was entered at Honfleur around breakfast time, with the journey up the Seine to Rouen taking place in daylight hours during the morning.  Arrival at Rouen would have been late morning/lunchtime.

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I know some of you are keen,  but it looks to be priced at £600 for two of us to spend three nights in a Club class cabin - is that room only with all meals extra on top of that price?  I can get a jolly good hotel for well below £200 a night - probably with breakfast included.  Am I getting the figures wrong? 

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2 minutes ago, wortley said:

I know some of you are keen,  but it looks to be priced at £600 for two of us to spend three nights in a Club class cabin - is that room only with all meals extra on top of that price?  I can get a jolly good hotel for well below £200 a night - probably with breakfast included.  Am I getting the figures wrong? 

They don't have anything other than Inside cabins left, on the New Year Cruise anyway, at least that's what I was told when I booked. So clearly there are people willing to pay...

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6 hours ago, Le Quiberon said:

I wonder what the plans for 19/20 are....any thoughts suggestions?

Amsterdam would be nice for something different, or even Dublin.

Would Dublin not be too far away as in the time it would take to get there and back?

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Yes, I think we discussed it as an option last year and agreed that the distance, coupled with the risk of disruption caused by Atlantic storms, would make it an unlikely (although probably popular) destination. Lisbon is effectively (and sadly) a no-no for similar reasons, all of which realistically limit BF to destinations between St Malo and Amsterdam (with Hamburg as perhaps an alternative if they really need somewhere different). Ed. 

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Hamburg is a good deal further away than Dublin.  My view is that PA would probably have time to get to Dublin - just - but agree with the weather vulnerability.  Plus....if you wanted to go Dublin, wouldn’t you be better routing via Holyhead and booking a hotel?  (IF could even run WBY from Holyhead and then use her as a hotel).

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I think (given the restrictions posed by time and weather) BF broadly has the destinations right (in Rouen and Antwerp).  I suspect the Seine trip last year probably lost something in losing the passage up to Rouen, lovely though Honfleur is.

The obvious gap is probably Amsterdam, but that space is generally filled by DFDS.

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But I still think there is mileage in running a cruise for French customers, using Bretagne from St Malo, up to London and mooring alongside HMS Belfast.

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6 minutes ago, Gareth said:

But I still think there is mileage in running a cruise for French customers, using Bretagne from St Malo, up to London and mooring alongside HMS Belfast.

I'd do that, so let's hope they think about it. The problem is that Bretagne is generally laid up at that time of the year so bringing her back for a 10 day period would perhaps be tricky. As for Hamburg, if the PA left Portsmouth at lunchtime on day one, and offered the usual cinema and entertainment options during the afternoon and evening, couldn't she realistically be in Hamburg by breakfast time the following day? Ed. 

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I was looking again at Hamburg.  Raw distance doesn’t look dissimilar to Santander.  So maybe it would be feasible.  On the other hand, the final passage up the Elbe would not be able to be taken at full speed, so I suspct Hamburg would probably take PA something like 26-27 hours to reach.

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In that case perhaps an evening departure from Portsmouth to Zebrugge is the best option, with a day spent in Bruges then another overnight trip to Hamburg. The return trip could take in Amsterdam for a day thus making it a 4-night, 3-days-ashore cruise, much more akin to a classic cruise with one day spent in each place. Ed. 

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I suppose another one that’s not really been considered yet in the discussion would be a cruise up to the middle of Rotterdam.  (Or is that one that P&O already do?)

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P & O don't offer it as a cruise, however whichever boat is berthed in Europoort will sail down the river and moor by the Erasmus Bridge for the night. 

The Zeebrugge boat sails out to sea and anchors off Ostend so that passengers can watch the fireworks there.

Both more exciting than a night alongside in Hull which is what they offer over here.

The DFDS one to Amsterdam seems to be the best alternative. 

 

Would BF ever do one to Bordeaux? 

Edited by Tumnus2010
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18 minutes ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Would BF ever do one to Bordeaux? 

Why wait until New Year. The Yellow Jackets light the place up most Saturdays. 😂 Ed. 

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There is now a landing fee of 8 Euros per cruise ship passenger at Amsterdam I believe and this sort of trip would presumably come under that definition.

Edited by cvabishop

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