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Brexit effect on BF

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They could try repeating the use of Bretagne from a few years ago when she did Cherbourg day trips instead of sitting in Portsmouth all day. A round trip to Le Havre would probably take too long.

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True, although as LHC says, that only works out of season.  And one day per week (Wednesday) in mid-season.  In peak season, Bretagne doesn’t spend any time sitting around in Portsmouth all day.

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7 minutes ago, LHCity said:

In peak season, MV Bretagne could sail faster to make time for a return trip Le Havre?

No need - that ever versatile plastic pig from Plymouth can cover it all! 😏

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I see i a lot of people are route planning for ferries/ ships and trucks in case of a no deal.do you not think this would of been getting sorted by the so called experts who are involved in shipping.?just hope it does not come to a no deal which by all leading people in business it would be chaos.

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1 hour ago, nottingham said:

No need - that ever versatile plastic pig from Plymouth can cover it all! 😏

That’s a new level of low to call the most versatile ship BF has.

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16 hours ago, neilcvx said:

That’s a new level of low to call the most versatile ship BF has.

I could go lower! Just get fed up of people singing its praises - excellent for freight no doubt - as a cruise ferry just a tad above 'Economie'.  I don't use Plymouth any more because travelling on this ship is not enjoyable compared to those operating from Portsmouth!

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38 minutes ago, nottingham said:

I could go lower! Just get fed up of people singing its praises - excellent for freight no doubt - as a cruise ferry just a tad above 'Economie'.  I don't use Plymouth any more because travelling on this ship is not enjoyable compared to those operating from Portsmouth!

I’m booked on it in August with a club plus cabin it’s far removed from an economie cabin , each to their own though , this was mostly the wife’s choice as she was so disappointed with the old ship and “awful cabin” that we got from Portsmouth to StMalo.

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23 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

I’m booked on it in August with a club plus cabin it’s far removed from an economie cabin , each to their own though , this was mostly the wife’s choice as she was so disappointed with the old ship and “awful cabin” that we got from Portsmouth to StMalo.

Neil, I assume you have a 10pm sailing so I suggest a good dinner on shore before you go on board - we like Rock Salt restaurant which is within walking distance of the ferryport - then straight to bed, the cabins are good, and all August arrivals in Roscoff are early. Bon Voyage. 

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3 minutes ago, wortley said:

Neil, I assume you have a 10pm sailing so I suggest a good dinner on shore before you go on board - we like Rock Salt restaurant which is within walking distance of the ferryport - then straight to bed, the cabins are good, and all August arrivals in Roscoff are early. Bon Voyage. 

Thanks it’s the 8 am sailing we’re driving down through the night so it will be breakfast in the cabin then a nap, pizza in Roscoff will be on the menu with plenty reblechon , (have to fast of cheese for the rest of August to justify it) .

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2 hours ago, nottingham said:

I could go lower! Just get fed up of people singing its praises

You get fed up with people expressing their opinions?  Interesting attitude.

2 hours ago, nottingham said:

as a cruise ferry just a tad above 'Economie'.

As a cruise ferry, she is significantly further above Economie than Barfleur.  And, restaurant aside, she also knocks socks off Normandie these days.  Cabins are far superior.  Her only major flaw, from a cruise ferry point of view, is the absence of a restaurant.  But that is well documented, and all of us who otherwise advocate the ship’s merits acknowledge this as a weakness from the travelling experience point of view.  Just my opinion.

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2 hours ago, neilcvx said:

I’m booked on it in August with a club plus cabin it’s far removed from an economie cabin , each to their own though , this was mostly the wife’s choice as she was so disappointed with the old ship and “awful cabin” that we got from Portsmouth to StMalo.

Most travelling public would prefer a new, clean, open plan ship than a dated, dirty (cabins in particular) and dingey ship.

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21 hours ago, LHCity said:

In peak season, MV Bretagne could sail faster to make time for a return trip Le Havre?

Faster? To fit in a Le Havre rotation at regular speed she’ll realistically need 16 hours (2x 5.5 hour crossings, 2x 2 hours turnarounds, anything more with deck 5 would be tight). Add in St Malo assuming she doesn’t slow steam, and you’ll need 22 hours (2x 9 hour crossings and 2x 2 hour turnarounds). So assuming that, she would need to do 37 hours work in a 24 hour period.

I know her 1980’s vintage is another era but she’s not a time machine.

Taking out the turnaround time, that’s 8 hours, leaves 16 hours. At the current speed she is at sea for 29 hours. Not allowing for the fact you have to slow down in port especially Portsmouth, she’ll need to sail at twice speed so 40-42 knots. Normandie Express doesn’t go that fast.

Notwithstanding that getting a heavy steel ship with the hull proportions she has to go that fast, she’ll need an awful lot of power and burn a phenomenal amount of fuel; it’s not double, it’s more like six times the amount of fuel. Everyone will probably be sick on board from a corkscrewing effect, but they couldn’t fit scrubbers to her so a power plant six times the size and fuel tanks six times the size means there won’t be a lot of car deck left.

It’s a reasonable question to wonder, but it’s totally impractical and uneconomical, hope you take it in the way it’s intended.

If you’re considering Le Havre options without requiring additional tonnage, one possibility would be to take all the cars off Etretat, Baie de Seine and Normandie to make way for freight and put the cars on Normandie Express doing an extra Le Havre rotation. That would mathematically gain enough lane metres to make up the difference, assuming 250 cars on a conventional ship, plus with fewer passengers you need fewer crew on the larger ships.

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12 minutes ago, Seashore said:

one possibility would be to take all the cars off Etretat,

I would like to see lorries try deck 5 on the Etretat, it is the worst ramp on the fleet and involves a nice u turn to get off

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3 hours ago, nottingham said:

Just get fed up of people singing its praises

 

3 hours ago, nottingham said:

as a cruise ferry just a tad above 'Economie'.

I just get fed up of people calling them cruise ferries. BF only have two, the PA and Bretagne.

The internal finish of Armorique is far superior to any chartered Visentini.

 

 

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

 

I just get fed up of people calling them cruise ferries. BF only have two, the PA and Bretagne.

 

 

I’d be disappointed having been extremely lucky to do 28 cruises, if Brittany Ferries think their ships and experience come anywhere close to the size, range of activities, quality of cabins, level of service, food options and the general chilled out experience... putting your hand in your pocket to get something to eat, tiny cabins and chucked out of said cabin at 05.15 GMT is nothing like a cruise. Totally agree with you there @jonno. Even against the likes of Color Magic and Fantasy, Viking Grace, Silja Symphony and Serenade, there’s no comparison.

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2 hours ago, Seashore said:
4 hours ago, jonno said:

 

I just get fed up of people calling them cruise ferries. BF only have two, the PA and Bretagne.

The internal finish of Armorique is far superior to any chartered Visentini.

BF themselves seem to think they have 7 cruise ferries! Armorique is relatively new so hasn't accumulated much dirt yet - consider the open deck parking, lack of live entertainment as well as the restaurant issue and yucky decor style.  This ship should not command a premium passenger fare (in my opinion)... Chaque a son gout!

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Seashore said:

Totally agree with you there @jonno

It's Sunday so I'm off an a ramble to help you doze away after you've stuffed yourselves full of meat and two veg...

Note to our Mods... if it's out of context or just plain daft feel free to remove... I may have O'D'd on the Night Nurse...!!!

@Seashore surely in many respects it's horses for courses?  Because of Duty Free Scandinavia has a huge maritime excursion market, the U.K. doesn't. I'd also argue that compared to many of the older vessels classed as 'cruise ferries' used on routes outside of the oft mentioned, BF's are of a higher standard.

You mention Color Magic and her sister, yes they are exceptional but their onboard experience was never designed to be that of a ferry... they are the destination. The same can be said of the Silja sisters which are built to a very similar specification.

I take it you've been on board, so you've experienced the hoards of passengers in the lower level shops both vessels have. That's where the money is made and what they were built for. Take that market away as they did throughout the EU and both Tallink and Color Line would struggle to keep them.

As I said, different market.

Worth mentioning too that neither of these four could cope with the pressures of BF's Spanish routes as they are specifically designed for foot pax traffic hence why even the 75k tonne Magic can only carry 500 cars.

You missed one... Silja Europa, she's no longer the gas guzzler she once was and shouldn't be excluded from the exalted company above. Again though she was built to satisfy a specific foot pax DF excursion market and a vessel of equal design would be useless on a PIP Santander sailing... many of us would be left behind.

These vessels also cost a staggering amount to keep in top condition. Europa alone has had 20 million euros spent on her over the past two winters.

11 hours ago, nottingham said:

This ship should not command a premium passenger fare (in my opinion)... Chaque a son gout!

Yes it's a bit off topic but as we may well see duty free return, which would be a Brexit effect on BF, maybe another line or two wouldn't be out of context as a link to what's above?

Firstly, for me the reason they're not cruise ferries is down to design, not how they are appointed internally. @nottingham, the 7 ships you mention are twin loading RoPax. Maybe a more accurate sales description would be twin loading luxury RoPax as compared to previous incarnations, they are.

It was an evolved shift from the cruise ferries as losing Duty Free nobbled the foot pax traffic to the likes of Cherbourg and Le Havre, having a big comfy ship as the focus of attention wasn't the requirement as most travellers began using their vehicles to venture further afield. More vehicle space was needed rather than keep the limited availability cruise ferries by design have. The design was no longer viable for short sea routes. Every ship which arrived for these routes from then on was a RoPax

Back in the day BF maybe saw this in a way... possibly why there was a shift from the Property Owners Club to Club Voyage. Those of us now seeking to travel by car to mainland Europe would now enjoy the same member discounts. Vehicle owners were becoming the largest segment. 

BF maybe doing it again, contemplating the return of Duty Free. Normandie will offer greater comfort and berth space, a foot passenger attraction maybe? How about the removal of a car deck on the E-Flexer in order to accommodate more cabin space... A hint of a limited mini cruise return? 

You're right, to a large extent what is considered a premium price and yucky decor is as you say personal taste. I find that in some ways Armorique still reminds me of Space 1999, I've never lost that impression, her decor sets her apart a little which for me is a good thing. I think you also have to consider the global financial climate she was launched into back in 2009.

Price wise I find that they all charge within the same ball park regardless of what you're getting on. I used all 5 U.K carriers in 2018 using varying cabin grades and a few northern European ones too and unless you're boarding one that @seashore highlights or Tallink's newbie which is basically a floating shopping centre they're all much of a muchness.

...Apart from Visentini's which have never hidden from the fact they were designed to be stand alone freight carriers offering drivers a higher level of comfort than previously experienced on such dedicated vessels. As a concept they were never really designed to carry holidaymakers.

 

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

How about the removal of a car deck on the E-Flexer in order to accommodate more cabin space... A hint of a limited mini cruise return? 

Are you suggesting that might be the reason Stena have flipped the build schedule? Do you think BF are reconsidering the internal layouts, or at least waiting until the end of March to make a final decision? Ed. 

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

Are you suggesting that might be the reason Stena have flipped the build schedule? Do you think BF are reconsidering the internal layouts, or at least waiting until the end of March to make a final decision? Ed. 

Ed BF have always said that the dedicated car deck is to be replaced by cabin accommodation on both ships. The change was done at the design stage and was known and highlighted prior to the build allocation. The stories about Duty Free had began long before BF announced any deal with Stena.

I have no Idea why BF are now having No's 4 & 6 rather than 3 & 6. I do know that due to the change, the first one won't be sailing into Portsmouth until a year after originally planned, a year after the ship she's supposedly replacing has left the fleet.

I've been told a particular tale by two different people but as far as I'm concerned, until it can be corroborated, I'm ranking it up there with Enid Blyton however plausible it may be.

Edited by jonno
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4 hours ago, jonno said:

I do know that due to the change, the first one won't be sailing into Portsmouth until a year after originally planned, a year after the ship she's supposedly replacing has left the fleet.

I've been told a particular tale by two different people but as far as I'm concerned, until it can be corroborated, I'm ranking it up there with Enid Blyton however plausible it may be.

Still sooner than Grayling Ferries will be up and running!

As long as Chris “Failing” to run ferries and trains didn’t tell you, then you know it could be true. Has his DfT found the Gatwick Drone yet? And to think he’s an architect of Project Leave. We’re all doomed!!

Edited by Seashore

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It'll be interesting what happens with Plymouth. It has been speculated, possibly wrongly, that there is likely to be an increase of sailings from Plymouth to Roscoff but it'll need help from another ship surely. Armorique is a troop carrier but is a very good ship, and this could possibly cope with the increased number of sailings. But Plymouth is an odd port and I am sure I have read in the past only a few ships can dock into Plymouth; Bretagne, Armorique and Pont Aven. I think they are going to need assistant from another ship to cope with the increased amount of sailings.  

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