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Tumnus2010

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Looking in the BF thread about the forthcoming new arrivals to the BF fleet in the next few years. I've been wondering whether in fact we might see quite a change in a number of ferries serving us over the next few years. We know about the 2 new Irish Ferries  ships, plus the incoming e-flexers to Stena on the Irish Sea, but I also read that P & O are building 2 new ships for Dover in the next few years.

Presumably we can also expect a change in the DFDS Newcastle duo and the P & O Zeebrugge duo in the not too distant future as well. In  5 years time we could have a vastly different line up of ferries operating to and from Britain.  

 

Hopefully good times ahead then! 

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1 hour ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Looking in the BF thread about the forthcoming new arrivals to the BF fleet in the next few years. I've been wondering whether in fact we might see quite a change in a number of ferries serving us over the next few years. We know about the 2 new Irish Ferries  ships, plus the incoming e-flexers to Stena on the Irish Sea, but I also read that P & O are building 2 new ships for Dover in the next few years.

Presumably we can also expect a change in the DFDS Newcastle duo and the P & O Zeebrugge duo in the not too distant future as well. In  5 years time we could have a vastly different line up of ferries operating to and from Britain.  

 

Hopefully good times ahead then! 

P&O have built and expanded terminal at Zeebrugge although it's due to the large freight rise on their route from Tilbury which now sees most of their UK imports of everyday consumables. They are looking at the possibility of a 2nd river berth on the Humber and are in discussion with a Chinese yard with the intent of replacing both of the Zeebrugge heading ferries. They were launched 32 years ago.

I think DFDS announced earlier this year that they have began to think about replacing the their two ships at Newcastle. Again both vessels are already into their 30's. They're also having an E Flexer for Dover.

 

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7 minutes ago, jonno said:

P&O have built and expanded terminal at Zeebrugge although it's due to the large freight rise on their route from Tilbury which now sees most of their UK imports of everyday consumables. They are looking at the possibility of a 2nd river berth on the Humber and are in discussion with a Chinese yard with the intent of replacing both of the Zeebrugge heading ferries. They were launched 32 years ago.

I think DFDS announced earlier this year that they have began to think about replacing the their two ships at Newcastle. Again both vessels are already into their 30's. They're also having an E Flexer for Dover.

 

Thanks Jonno. Forgot about the  e-flexer at Dover. 

 

Presumably we can expect the current Rotterdam ships to transfer to Zeebrugge in the future? Although they'd have to build the side loading facilities for the car deck at the port, if I remember correctly there's not a huge amount of available space there for that. 

Stena Europe must be on the cards to go too..

Edited by Tumnus2010

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2 hours ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Thanks Jonno. Forgot about the  e-flexer at Dover. 

 

Presumably we can expect the current Rotterdam ships to transfer to Zeebrugge in the future? Although they'd have to build the side loading facilities for the car deck at the port, if I remember correctly there's not a huge amount of available space there for that. 

Stena Europe must be on the cards to go too..

Not exactly. If P&O decide that another river berth is realistic to allow for larger tonnage Pride of Rotterdam will remain as she's Dutch owned. Also if ABP decide another berth is too expensive or not feasible the new Zeebrugge sisters will be built narrower to allow entry through the lock. I think that answer is what P&O are waiting on.

I don't know whether the Belgian ships need or P&O want the same onboard separation for the vehicles that the Dutch ships have.

As you say Stena Europe must be reaching the end of the road although there's nothing coming out of Stena Towers. She's still popular at 37.

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Pride of Bruges is Dutch owned and registered too though isn't she?

It will be interesting to see what ABP come back with in Hull then. A second river berth makes sense in some ways behind the current one, but with the ship facing towards Hull. I wonder if they might consider enlarging the locks again as an alternate  option. If they pulled out of King George Dock completely it would i suppose leave more from for freight operations. 

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8 minutes ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Pride of Bruges is Dutch owned and registered too though isn't she?

It will be interesting to see what ABP come back with in Hull then. A second river berth makes sense in some ways behind the current one, but with the ship facing towards Hull. I wonder if they might consider enlarging the locks again as an alternate  option. If they pulled out of King George Dock completely it would i suppose leave more from for freight operations. 

I don't think she has been Dutch owned for around 20 years. She was certainly wholly Dutch owned prior to P&O buying into North Sea Ferries but I'm sure the ship passed to P&O when Nedlloyd either went belly up or sold up, can't remember which. I'd need to dig out a dusty tome or two.

I river berth similar to what is on the Mersey may work, the Humber's tides are nowhere near as bonkers but it may get in the way of the deck 7 side loading having two of them stern to stern.

There's a 6 metre beam difference between the Dutch and Belgian ships not to mention the length. I doubt the inner wall of the lock has that in it to spare. Depth isn't an issue.

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Pride of Bruges is owned by P&O North Sea Ferries BV which is a subsidiary of P&O North Sea Ferries Ltd. These two companies are the inheritors of the old P&O/Nedlloyd arrangement and still pool revenue and profits under the 1981 revenue sharing agreement despite being now part of the same group.

Pride of Rotterdam is owned by P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam BV which is another subsidiary in the P&O Ferries Holdings group. But both ships are owned by P&O Dutch companies.

Edited by hhvferry
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I guess this helps explain why the Prides of Bruges/Rotterdam remain Dutch flagged but the York/Hull are flying the Bahamas flag.

I wonder who will be first to invest, P&O or DFDS? It wasn't very long ago that many of us thought closure or freight-only would be the most likely outcome for both routes, so it's good to hear the mood music sounding more positive at least!

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Both pairs 1986/87 builds aren't they? With P&O having spent money on them last year you'd think DFDS might get in first. As you say though @Ryan_H it's good it's looking promising. I'd  thought like you that they might be closing them when their time was up 

Would the DFDS pair be employed elsewhere on the network?

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33 minutes ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Both pairs 1986/87 builds aren't they? With P&O having spent money on them last year you'd think DFDS might get in first. As you say though @Ryan_H it's good it's looking promising. I'd  thought like you that they might be closing them when their time was up 

Would the DFDS pair be employed elsewhere on the network?

DFDS spent a few bob on the twins a year or two ago and are about to redesign the restaurants on board but yes I think DFDS will possibly have new tonnage first. They don't want cruise ferries and Ropax are built quicker.

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If DFDS don't want cruise ferries for the Amstedam route does this mean the record number of passengers travelling on this route isn't an important consideration when considering the currents route's replacements?  I take it anything ro pax related won't have anything like the 1,600 cabin berths the current route's ships have. So the end result will be less passengers - albeit less of the less profitable mini cruise party passengers? 

Edited by Nick Hyde

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3 hours ago, neilcvx said:

The Stena pair have over 1300 passenger beds maybe they have something like that in mind.

It would make sense. Do DFDS carry much freight from Newcastle? 

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it's hard to believe DFDS wouldn't want to continue to cater for the minicruise market, therefore any new vessels will surely feature plenty of 'entertainment' options and other money-spending opportunities ;) 

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DFDS want both as both sectors are growing. They carried over 600,000 passengers last year and movements of overnight U.K bound flower & mushroom deliveries have risen over 30% in just 2 years. All three UK - Holland carriers are enjoying good times.

2 hours ago, Nick Hyde said:

I thought they didn't carry much freight but I could wrong.

It wasn't their biggest money maker but freight began to grow quite swiftly about 3 years ago and they now offer a full supply chain service.

The Port of Tyne is on the up generally.The Trust Port has invested heavily and manufacturers are beginning to take notice, for instance it now receives just over 40% of all U.K raw tea imports, the substantial coal import has been replaced with more lucrative wood pellets and they are the U.K's 2nd largest vehicle export hub.

1 hour ago, Ryan_H said:

it's hard to believe DFDS wouldn't want to continue to cater for the minicruise market, therefore any new vessels will surely feature plenty of 'entertainment' options and other money-spending opportunities ;) 

Ryan I think their mini cruise market is becoming a little more sophisticated. DFDS are now investing a lot more in onboard entertainment especially on their themed cruises, Level 42 this month, I'll be 1st in the queue when it's Midge Ure or OMD! Their day trip with coach travel to Amsterdam Centraal Station is a huge money spinner for them, it's a great day out.

I agree with Neil, something along the lines of the Stena twins is probably what they have in mind.

Edited by jonno

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21 minutes ago, jonno said:

DFDS want both as both sectors are growing. They carried over 600,000 passengers last year and movements of overnight U.K bound flower & mushroom deliveries have risen over 30% in just 2 years. All three UK - Holland carriers are enjoying good times.

It wasn't their biggest money maker but freight began to grow quite swiftly about 3 years ago and they now offer a full supply chain service.

The Port of Tyne is on the up generally.The Trust Port has invested heavily and manufacturers are beginning to take notice, for instance it now receives just over 40% of all U.K raw tea imports, the substantial coal import has been replaced with more lucrative wood pellets and they are the U.K's 2nd largest vehicle export hub.

Ryan I think their mini cruise market is becoming a little more sophisticated. DFDS are now investing a lot more in onboard entertainment especially on their themed cruises, Level 42 this month, I'll be 1st in the queue when it's Midge Ure or OMD! Their day trip with coach travel to Amsterdam Centraal Station is a huge money spinner for them, it's a great day out.

I agree with Neil, something along the lines of the Stena twins is probably what they have in mind.

They've actually got OMD coming up 16-18 November but apparently it's sold out :(

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2 hours ago, Ryan_H said:

They've actually got OMD coming up 16-18 November but apparently it's sold out :(

It beats the Belgian line dancing contest we witnessed on Pride of York a few years back. Mind you, huge numbers turned up and they coped admirably with the force 9 gales too.

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14 minutes ago, Tumnus2010 said:

It beats the Belgian line dancing contest we witnessed on Pride of York a few years back. Mind you, huge numbers turned up and they coped admirably with the force 9 gales too.

Was it wavy line dancing then?

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DFD's future plans on the Newcastle-Ijmuiden (for Amsterdam) route are extremely interesting.

With record numbers of passengers it would be foolish for the to close the route as they have with their other North Sea offerings. With the two vessels in operation being very popular, and in good working operation I would assume they envisage to use them for some time yet - this is highlighted by the money invested in their recent refurbishments.

For this operation a cruise-ferry is necessary, I have read thoughts on using something similar to the Stena Brittanica/Hollandica but as good as they are they are not cruise ferries and would not be suited to the route.

And this is where the problem lies...DFDS are unlikely to go for a new build on this route, and there are not many cruise ferries (post 2000) available to purchase.

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There’s surely only so long they can go on for , I’m sure I read that they aren’t that fuel efficient and are inefficient to load plus the other disadvantages of older vessels, I reckon DFDS will have before long a tough decision to make.

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I agree with this Neil, The Val was deemed as being a fuel guzzler 20 years ago.

However the key point is that DFDS do not have a lot of options to choose from in terms of replacements, hence why they haven't been replaced and as much money has been spent on them to keep them going.

It is fair to say that the key clientele for this operation (a) have no knowledge of ferries and do not know their age etc and (b) could not give a monkeys as long as there is a bar and they will land in Amsterdam the morning after. 

If the route was not viable they would have closed it years ago as they did Norway, Germany and Denmark. Bergen, Hamburg and Esjberg in the eyes of many do not have the pull that Amsterdam has.

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The point being though at some point operating costs will render the boats obsolete, I reckon DFDS are already exploring options for replacement ships given the length of time it will take to build replacements and I suspect the clientele would be happy with something like the Stena Harwich pair , I suspect DFDS will be savvy enough to market that type of ship to make them popular enough to be profitable enough.

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Is the passenger - freight balance right for that kind of ship?  I was always under the impression that Newcastle-Ijmuiden was passenger-heavy, freight-light.  Might be wrong.  But, if so, the kind of ship needed is quite different from the standard designs of glorified ropaxes that tend to get built these days.  Tricky.

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I doubt any replacements at Newcastle will be anything close to Stena's Harwich pair but rather more along the lines of a RoPax similar to Mont St Michel. Docking in Ijmuiden is a bit like parking a HGV in a side street. They don't have the facilities that either P&O or Stena have at Rotterdam, they certainly don't have the footprint in order to service anything like an 8 freight deck 62,000 tonne vessel.

The Felison cruise terminal isn't in the same place as the Felison ferry terminal, you can't swing a cat where DFDS moor, the ferries must position themselves outside the dock prior to entering stern on.

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