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Gareth

SAILING UPDATES: 2019 Latest News

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Anyone booked up to the 14th can get a refund if a 're route doesn't suit .. that's just 2 weeks notice to arrange alternative travel. I would take a refund now even though I'm not sailing till the 29th but apparently that's not an option yet. All I need is another 'delay' announcement  in a week or so and im left with very little time to sort things out. The closer we get to peak season the more difficult it will be to find availability. 

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1 hour ago, hf_uk said:

 But I wonder if this is related?

It's not.

 

1 hour ago, Gareth said:

They really need(ed) to charter in a replacement.  Difficult I know, but there must be something out there available, and something’s better than nothing.

A suitable vessel could be a months travel away. Plus crewing time, familiarisation, classification stuff. If a non barebone charter was seeked, then that limits options further. Plus potential union problems. Seems unlikely they'd kick up a stink given the situation, but I wouldn't put anything past them.

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33 minutes ago, scarlton said:

It's not.

 

A suitable vessel could be a months travel away. Plus crewing time, familiarisation, classification stuff. If a non barebone charter was seeked, then that limits options further. Plus potential union problems. Seems unlikely they'd kick up a stink given the situation, but I wouldn't put anything past them.

Agreed.  It’s one of those things that really only becomes “the right thing to do” in hindsight in situations like this, if the period out of service turns into months rather than weeks.  But as long as the hope remains for a return to service within a relatively short time, it is rarely a practical solution in foresight.

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2 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Taken from the EchoLive.ie:

 

The Cork to Roscoff ferry service has been cancelled until June 14 after suffering setbacks in repairing the Pont-Aven vessel.

It was hoped the vessel would be returned to service in time for this weekend's sailings from Ringaskiddy.

However, Brittany Ferries confirmed today that sailings on the company’s Cork/Roscoff route have had to be cancelled this weekend (Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st June) and the following weekend (Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June), as well as a number of sailings on the company’s Plymouth/Santander and Plymouth/Roscoff routes.

The Pont-Aven experienced hydraulic failure early last week and another ship was brought in to service to ensure passengers at the time would not be affected.

Technicians have been working to repair the ship’s starboard steering gear but have suffered a setback. The delay has come as they wait on replacement parts to be sent to their shipyard in Damen, Brest.

Once arrived and fitted, the Pont-Aven then needs to undergo comprehensive checks before the vessel can be allowed back into service.

Some sailings from the Cork to Santander route will be diverted in order to help passengers stuck in Roscoff or Cork to get home.

Customers who were scheduled to depart soonest will be contacted first and offered a full refund if arrangements to travel on another service can’t be made.

Due to the high number of passengers affected by the cancellations, Britanny Ferries have advised customers to not call the customer service phone number and wait to be contacted.

Speaking about the cancellation, Christophe Matthieu, Britanny Ferries CEO said: “I would like to apologise profusely for the further delays to the return of our flagship Pont-Aven, and the disruption that this will cause to travel plans.”

 Tony   Quick question  Is this  worse then summer of 2004 with the pont out  action ?  

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45 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Agreed.  It’s one of those things that really only becomes “the right thing to do” in hindsight in situations like this, if the period out of service turns into months rather than weeks.  But as long as the hope remains for a return to service within a relatively short time, it is rarely a practical solution in foresight.

An advantage many airlines have. If they don't have a spare aircraft, it's easy and quick to charter one.

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58 minutes ago, smith85 said:

 Tony   Quick question  Is this  worse then summer of 2004 with the pont out  action ?  

The technical issue in 2004 meant the ship was stuck in Plymouth for 2 days, this seems much worse, however, there are still other vessels that sail between Ireland and France which there wasn't back then.

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Saw the new update from BF at 1700 Tuesday, and us with a booking for 8/6 from Cork. Got a quick response from BF via Twitter offering Connemara 2230 on 7/6 or 0830 9/6. Neither suited so refund on its' way. Rapidly booked Irish Ferries but 8/6 sailing already fully booked (block booking by BF?) so sailing 10/6. This is our second cancellation in as many weeks, so two Flora restaurant dinners missed, including bread rolls. Can't afford dinners in W B Yeats' Lady Gregory restaurant at €60 a time. 

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6 minutes ago, BigDW1946 said:

block booking by BF

I doubt BF have booked all the available space directly but they might be directing passengers over to IF if the timings suit. I think IF would probably prefer to sell what's left themselves with it being their first full season with W B Yeats. 

 

9 minutes ago, BigDW1946 said:

Lady Gregory restaurant at €60 a time. 

That's a bit eye-watering. Forget triangular bread rolls, for that price I'd want a Rolls-Royce! 

Ed. 

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7 hours ago, scarlton said:

An advantage many airlines have. If they don't have a spare aircraft, it's easy and quick to charter one.

I think, also, that it was probably much more common for ferry companies to charter at short notice back in the days of yesteryear.  In the 80s, for example, when ferries were out of action unexpectedly, they were almost always replaced by a chartered-in ferry at short notice (and for short-term roles, even just for a few weeks).  Back then, (a) ferries were smaller and more basic, with less route-customisation in their designs, (b) there were plenty more ferries around, with a few almost always laid up and ready for charter at any one point, (c) most routes were short-sea day crossings, and even the overnights were just short crossings like Cherbourg and Le Havre, so it didn't matter so much how well suited the ferry was to the route, and (d) passenger expectations of the facilities and services on their ferries were far less demanding.

These days it is a much more difficult option, with very much fewer possibilities, and it's a mistake to think that a ferry could just be mustered to fill in for Pont Aven in the same way that one could be summoned up to, say, fill in for Horsa at Folkestone.

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The airlines are finding it hard at the moment to charter in capacity...Due to the 737Max grounding everything decent is already taken..Tui had some terrible 23hr delays on Monday as a result of chartered in aircraft going tech...So not just BF finding the going a grind and we are no where near peak season yet.

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7 hours ago, Gareth said:

I think, also, that it was probably much more common for ferry companies to charter at short notice back in the days of yesteryear. 

Not that yesteryear in other parts of Europe...  For instance when Balearia laid up their HSC Cecillia Payne (formerly Irish Ferries Jonathan Swift) during the 2018/19 winter season from the Palma-Ibiza-Denia-Ibiza-Palma rotation, they chartered in the Nissos Chios from Hellenic Seaways to service it, as they did not have an alternative conventional ferry capable of maintaining the necessary headway for that rotation. 

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1 hour ago, Halfcrown said:

Not that yesteryear in other parts of Europe...  For instance when Balearia laid up their HSC Cecillia Payne (formerly Irish Ferries Jonathan Swift) during the 2018/19 winter season from the Palma-Ibiza-Denia-Ibiza-Palma rotation, they chartered in the Nissos Chios from Hellenic Seaways to service it, as they did not have an alternative conventional ferry capable of maintaining the necessary headway for that rotation. 

I think being Winter season is the big point with that, try getting a ferry at short notice during the Summer.

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That's a fair point

Although I am guessing that it's not summer across the whole globe, however I accept this might not be relevant.

 

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5 minutes ago, Halfcrown said:

That's a fair point

 Although I am guessing that it's not summer across the whole globe, however I accept this might not be relevant.

 

There will be a ferry which is available for a short-term charter somewhere, probably as much to do with logistics than anything. Have BF in the past chartered a ferry for the Short-Term as cover?

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10 hours ago, Gareth said:

I think, also, that it was probably much more common for ferry companies to charter at short notice back in the days of yesteryear.

Very true, I remember that BF quickly found a charter when Armorique I ran aground heading into St Malo... which too ran aground. One of the reasons why preloved passenger ferries are so expensive is due to the lack of availability, there was a period of about a decade just after 2000 when hardly any ferry companies ordered new tonnage.

9 hours ago, Paully said:

The airlines are finding it hard at the moment to charter in capacity...Due to the 737Max grounding everything decent is already taken.

Yep TUI currently have 4 737 Max in their fleet, the 737 800 is very much their 'go to' aircraft. Their need shows just how dire the grounding program has been especially when you consider they also have two partner companies, Smartlynx (A320) & Air Explore (737 800) whose job it is to take up the shortfall... At least UK carriers don't use them so they've not had the same problems.

 

15 minutes ago, MichaelBF said:

There will be a ferry which is available for a short-term charter somewhere, probably as much to do with logistics than anything.

There's nothing out there, they wouldn't put themselves though such online negative press and possible future brand insecurity if there were.

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10 hours ago, Gareth said:

I think, also, that it was probably much more common for ferry companies to charter at short notice back in the days of yesteryear.

Very true, I remember that BF quickly found a charter when Armorique I ran aground heading into St Malo... which too ran aground. One of the reasons why preloved passenger ferries are so expensive is due to the lack of availability, there was a period of about a decade just after 2000 when hardly any ferry companies ordered new tonnage.

9 hours ago, Paully said:

The airlines are finding it hard at the moment to charter in capacity...Due to the 737Max grounding everything decent is already taken.

Yep TUI currently have 4 737 Max in their fleet, the 737 800 is very much their 'go to' aircraft. Their need shows just how dire the grounding program has been especially when you consider they also have two partner companies, Smartlynx (A320) & Air Explore (737 800) whose job it is to take up the shortfall... At least UK carriers don't use them so they've not had the same problems.

 

15 minutes ago, MichaelBF said:

There will be a ferry which is available for a short-term charter somewhere, probably as much to do with logistics than anything.

There's nothing out there, they wouldn't put themselves though such online negative press and possible future brand insecurity if there were.

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3 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

And now back to reality, when’s she going to be sailing again 15th of June?

I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. 

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The 15th is a Saturday so that rules out her weekend crossing to Cork unless they plan on running her over in the morning and back again overnight to try and regain her 'normal' schedule on the Sunday. I think the fact they have given a date suggests they are confident that she will be back. Ed. 

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If she's back on the 15th I really hope there are no more issues ... that's as fine a cut off point as I can give myself.

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28 May 2019

Regretfully we have been advised Pont-Aven will not resume service before 14 June, as a consequence, we are in the process of contacting affected clients in departure date order, prioritising those with the most imminent departures and offering them a choice between a reroute when available or full cancellation.

We apologise for the disruption caused, if your sailing has been affected you will receive notification from our Customer Services team, they will endeavour to find an alternative date. If you prefer to cancel your booking and make alternative arrangements we will provide a full refund for any bookings due to travel between now and 14 June – please email refund@brittanyferries.com “

They have given the refund process it’s own email address.

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21 hours ago, Gareth said:

Agreed.  It’s one of those things that really only becomes “the right thing to do” in hindsight in situations like this, if the period out of service turns into months rather than weeks.  But as long as the hope remains for a return to service within a relatively short time, it is rarely a practical solution in foresight.

 

That's fair enough then - but companies keep spare props for their vessels. You cannot keep a spare engine - agreed, but when it comes to something such a servo / hydraulic parts, which are generally cheaper and easier to fit than a prop, it still seems strange to have no contingency.

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