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zuludelta

We need to talk about speed...

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It was always my belief that Pont Aven's and Cap Fin's service speed of 28 knots was a key competitive advantage for BF. And it was this speed advantage that enabled them to migrate some key Spanish services from Plymouth to Portsmouth. 

But now I read on Wikipedia that "Galicia" and "Salamanca" will only have a service speed of 22 knots.  I mean WTF? I know the PA or CF do not go pedal to the floor at the time. But that extra bit of speed comes in dam handy when sailings are a bit behind schedule esp. during peak times. 

So why are BF buying slower ships when that extra speed seems pivotal to their Spanish route operations?

 

 

 

 

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BF aren’t buying ships for Spain  (yet) they are chartering them so I doubt they could spec a different top speed even if they wanted too.

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Cost probably. I would imagine that travelling at 28 knots costs twice as much in fuel as 22 knots. Yes, it is nice to have a bit extra in hand speedwise but that entails a lot more engine power with its consequential capital cost. Very expensive it it isn't being used most of the time.

The general trend in shipping these days is towards 'slow steaming' to reduce fuel costs. Obviously the downside is that you don't get to your destination quite so quickly but the upside is that it helps to keep fares down.

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Possibly but it is then the question of how critical those longer crossings are to the route, especially as crossing the Bay can introduce frequent weather delays as a matter of course.

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When I asked bf earlier they said that pont aven will move to Portsmouth - st Malo route and replace Bretagne and the new vessel will take over I don't know anything about the second new vessel or the current pont aven routes like cork roscoff Plymouth 

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How fast did the Pride of Bilbao go, to do the Spanish run in the day and a half or so? I thought as Zuludelta, the reason BF could move to Portsmouth was that the Pont could do the run in 24 hrs

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Had a look at Pont aven through the night (quiet night at work ) on her current sailing the average speed was about 22.5 knots CF seemed to be a bit faster about 23.5 knots BDS 19 knots , so I don’t think the speed of the new ships will make too much change to current schedules, if that’s what BF want.

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Pride of Bilbao used to take the best part of 36 hours I think.  She used to sail every 3 days, with the passage in one direction (I can’t remember which way round) taking one night and the passage in the other direction taking two nights.  It was the ability of BF, when P&O pulled out, to offer a crossing time of 24 hours that led to the success that their Portsmouth route has become.  If the new ships cannot make a 24 hour passage time then that would be a retrograde step for the route.

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Let's not forget that the longer passengers are on board the more income for the restaurants , bars and gift shop .

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Indeed.  But for that to work you have to have passengers wanting to travel in the first place.  The magic figure of 24 hours is what triggered the move from Plymouth to Portsmouth for BF’s main Spanish service.  And to attract back custom that had deserted P&O because the crossing took too long.

True, the longer crossings offered by Economie have proved popular.  But I suspect passengers will not be as willing to pay premium cruise ferry rates for a crossing that takes longer than 24 hours.

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I loved it on POb but the length of time on board made it a very long trip.then I used to drive through France .i could be back home in the uk before it was docking at Portsmouth.since bf started up I travel with them all of the time and never drive through France now unless at a last resort.

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14 hours ago, Aiden said:

When I asked bf earlier they said that pont aven will move to Portsmouth - st Malo route and replace Bretagne and the new vessel will take over I don't know anything about the second new vessel or the current pont aven routes like cork roscoff Plymouth 

Interesting, can I ask who at BF confirmed that? Unless I have missed something, nothing official has been announced about Pont-Aven being moved, all we know is that Baie de Seine is going back to DFDS and they are looking to replace the Bretagne at some point.

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All BF have said is that the new ships are replacing BDS. Everything else is just assumption and hearsay.

Baie de Seine is currently split between both Spanish ports running at a slower speed. Having both Galicia and Salamanca gives BF the opportunity to run a more frequent service on both routes... No one complains now, why would they complain in the future when they can enjoy the same on a brand new ship offering the full fat BF experience?

BF are expanding their Spanish service not just updating tonnage which is what using EF2 to replace the Cap' would be.

Neither will replace the Pont'. It's not BAI's intention to half their passenger accommodation nor is it SOMABRET's intention to lose money.

I wonder why BF keep telling the world that they're investing €450 million on new tonnage. If Honfleur is costing between €150-175 Million, Galicia and Salamanca are very expensive charters.

Personally I believe a further new build announcement will be made in the new year, a ship to replace Pont Aven which will then be sold.

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6 minutes ago, jonno said:

All BF have said is that the new ships are replacing BDS. Everything else is just assumption and hearsay.

Baie de Seine is currently split between both Spanish ports running at a slower speed. Having both Galicia and Salamanca gives BF the opportunity to run a more frequent service on both routes... No one complains now, why would they complain in the future when they can enjoy the same on a brand new ship offering the full fat BF experience?

BF are expanding their Spanish service not just updating tonnage which is what using EF2 to replace the Cap' would be.

Neither will replace the Pont'. It's not BAI's intention to half their passenger accommodation nor is it SOMABRET's intention to lose money.

I wonder why BF keep telling the world that they're investing €450 million on new tonnage. If Honfleur is costing between €150-175 Million, Galicia and Salamanca are very expensive charters.

Personally I believe a further new build announcement will be made in the new year, a ship to replace Pont Aven which will then be sold.

Very interesting. You really think Pont-Aven could be sold rather than moved full-time to the St Malo route?  In that scenario, what would happen to Bretagne & St Malo?

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I’m sure that BF has stated (a while back) that a replacement for Bretagne at St Malo is a priority.  After Honfleur and updating/consolidating the Spanish fleet, it is surely the most urgent fleet deployment issue that has to be resolved.

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OK, just a quick look-up.

Shortest navigable Portsmouth – Santander = 532nm

At 22kt that's 24:12, so allowing mooring & manoeuvring assume 25–26 dock to dock. Depending, of course, on tides, traffic, weather etc

Wind up to 26kt and you could probably go d-t-d in 21–22.

Incidentally my superyachtie friends tell me that they have delivered a boat from Ocean Village to Bilbao in 19:30. They had lunch as the IoW disappeared and arrived in time for a late breakfast. It was "a bit bumpy sometimes" but the boat had to be prepped for a wedding next day. The owner, the father of the bride, insisted on "maxima, maxima".

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Plus, the shortest navigable route (which is presumably the one through Chenal du Four and inside Ile de Sein) is only taken on a minority of occasions, when tide and weather are right.  More frequently taken is the route outside Molene but inside Ouissant - PA almost always uses that route.  It probably adds around 15-20 minutes to the passage.  (But still a lot shorter than the long route outside Ushant through the Off-Ushant TSS, that everyone except BF had to use).

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9 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Plus, the shortest navigable route (which is presumably the one through Chenal du Four and inside Ile de Sein) is only taken on a minority of occasions, when tide and weather are right.  More frequently taken is the route outside Molene but inside Ouissant - PA almost always uses that route.  It probably adds around 15-20 minutes to the passage.  (But still a lot shorter than the long route outside Ushant through the Off-Ushant TSS, that everyone except BF had to use).

@Gareth how much longer does going around Ushant add on? 

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Oh, at least an hour.  Maybe nearer two. (Compared with the shortest route).

The special dispensation that BF has (from the French authorities) to go “inside” is the only way they were able to get the crossing time to Portsmouth down to 24 hours.

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The 24 hour crossing time on Portsmouth-Santander was in place before BF gained permission to use the inside route at Ushant.

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It will be interesting to see how an average increase in crossing duration of 10% or less will affect passenger and freight numbers.

Air travel has been getting progressively more unpleasant and subject to delays for years now but it doesn't seem to have put most people off travelling. They just seem to get used to it.

The extra ferry crossing time has to be viewed as a proportion of the overall journey length too which makes it even less signigficant unless it results in particularly inconvenient arrival and departure times. In many cases it may make no real practical difference as long as it is is just the one night on board.

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In the write up on the new ships there's a lot of talk of how fuel efficient they are, will this mean they could run virtually flat out all the time with out burning extra fuel?  With the Cap and PA fuel consumption sky rockets when going to fast.

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