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BF Confirms Fourth New Ferry (Third E-Flexer)

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1 hour ago, jonno said:

Berth 1 would take an E-Flexer, max length on that one is 215m, I think it's around 225 overall... possibly Stena are thinking of replacing Horizon with No 8, the last of the 214m variant?

Again that scenario is now a little more realistic now Oscar Wilde is being moved on. I've been told that the 240m versions are destined for the Baltic.

I was also told that the first two BF E-Flexers were put back 12 months due to berth improvements needed at Portsmouth, another dolphin is required on berth 3, and the relocation of the terminal in Santander which is due to begin early next year and finish by 2022.

BF are particularly cosy with Stena, I doubt they'd do anything to jeopardise the relationship by attempting to compete for business at Rosslare or Cherbourg. With the guaranteed income generated by the charters and eventual sales, I wouldn't be surprised if Stena think the same regarding the western channel.

They're looking after each other.

Any idea if Plymouth would take a 215 metre vessel without modification?

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29 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

Any idea if Plymouth would take a 215 metre vessel without modification?

I don't think so. I think I have seen it mentioned in the past that it is only 200 metres in length. Although, would possibly be worth considering extending with much development occurring around Plymouth over the next few months/years that is sure to draw custom.  

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1 hour ago, hf_uk said:

That's a fair point Jonno, but do you not think that a big part of the experience and character comes from the differing physical aspect of the ships? The size, speed, layout, position of restaurant, shops etc... ?

Not necessarily - I am pained to liken things to the airline industry, but take the different experience airlines offer essentially on the same planes. In an age where travel is a commodity and not a luxury I'm not so sure that people are as concerned with the physical aspects as they may once have been. 

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1 hour ago, hf_uk said:

Any idea if Plymouth would take a 215 metre vessel without modification?

No chance without modification. I think dropping another outrigger to give an overall length of around 220/230m to take one would be beyond Millbay Pier.

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2 hours ago, hf_uk said:

That's a fair point Jonno, but do you not think that a big part of the experience and character comes from the differing physical aspect of the ships? The size, speed, layout, position of restaurant, shops etc... ?

Maybe so, you could say that a lot of their character comes from how they behave at sea which in many cases comes from how their differing shapes are manipulated by wind and tide but for me apart from the external appearance many western European ferries are very similar inside, Posh eatery at the back, standard eatery at the front with a singular large or a couple of little shops in between with a bar next door. It's the carpets and wall coverings which set them apart, I mean, take the comments @Fine Whine made regarding W.B.Yeats, for him she's let down badly be how she looks inside and looking at some images I'd agree, do you really want zigzag patterned carpets at sea or black floors which look like they're covered in snail trails?

What's important is that BF has found a good balance and a decor which works, internally they're mostly warm and welcoming and in some instances you can at times forget you're aboard a cross channel ferry.

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Who are Brittany Ferries Chartering the E-Flexers from? Stena RoRo, I presume. 

I don't think Stena RoRo chartering three E-Flexers to Brittany Ferries would, in any way, stop Stena Line from launching competing services against Brittany Ferries. If Stena Line see an opportunity for expansion, into a profitable market, they will take it. 

It's just good business. 

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What interesting news! I was surprised when BF opted for a second. Now a third! 

I think the reason they haven't mentioned deployment is because they are still waiting to see how the Cork-Roscoff/Santander operation does in the next couple of years, as it has only been running a year after all.

Perhaps they'll have this third vessel on UK-Spain with Galicia transferred after two years to the Irish operations - as Galicia won't be LNG. 

With this development, I think they will sell Cap Finistere. Although the Le Havre suggestion does seem a good idea!

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14 minutes ago, georgem7 said:

What interesting news! I was surprised when BF opted for a second. Now a third! 

I think the reason they haven't mentioned deployment is because they are still waiting to see how the Cork-Roscoff/Santander operation does in the next couple of years, as it has only been running a year after all.

Perhaps they'll have this third vessel on UK-Spain with Galicia transferred after two years to the Irish operations - as Galicia won't be LNG. 

With this development, I think they will sell Cap Finistere. Although the Le Havre suggestion does seem a good idea!

CF would still suit the Irish market over a newbuild I think...

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Guy's no ship longer than 190m can use the linkspan at Ringaskiddy. The Tivoli & City Quays relocation included an option to either build two new freight berths for the container terminal or build one and extend the ferry berth, they chose freight. There isn't even any scope to extend the outrigger which PA or Connemara tie on to.

Cruise liners use the 360m deepwater berth at Ringaskiddy as an overflow but thats really for container ships.

Pont Aven or a Visentini are the longest vessels which can moor there now or in the future. It would be great to see Cap Finistere serving Cork/Roscoff & Santander but unfortunately it'll never happen.

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16 minutes ago, The Ferry Man said:

Turns out that this is e-flexer number 9! They might overtake the Visentinis as the most common ferry!

https://www.vesselfinder.com/news/15014-Stena-RoRo-signs-contract-for-a-ninth-Stena-E-Flexer

Technically she's No7 of the 214m vessels, Stena haven't announced whether they are taking up the option of the 8th and final one, I reckon that one will replace Stena Horizon. The other two are the first of the possible four 240m variant.

BF No's IV, VI & VII are also slightly modified having 375 cabins as the dedicated car deck is removed with the GT increased by 400t, Stena's No's I, II & III earmarked for the Irish Sea are only being fitted with around 175 cabins, same goes for the DFDS No V

Yeah, it's getting like the Superfasts too.

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Well if BF are planning to sell Cap Finistere within the next few years there's surely not much point in converting her to run on LNG.

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1 hour ago, jonno said:

Guy's no ship longer than 190m can use the linkspan at Ringaskiddy. The Tivoli & City Quays relocation included an option to either build two new freight berths for the container terminal or build one and extend the ferry berth, they chose freight. There isn't even any scope to extend the outrigger which PA or Connemara tie on to.

Cruise liners use the 360m deepwater berth at Ringaskiddy as an overflow but thats really for container ships.

Pont Aven or a Visentini are the longest vessels which can moor there now or in the future. It would be great to see Cap Finistere serving Cork/Roscoff & Santander but unfortunately it'll never happen.

So Jonno, can I just confirm that neither CF nor any of the three new E-flexers will fit in Cork so whatever BF decide to do with the four vessels they will have to be UK to Spain and /or France? That leaves PA as the only ship to be able to offer an enhanced Cork to Spain service. Which ships in the above list would fit in St Malo? Is PA again the only one? Thanks. Ed. 

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Several posts have referred to Cap Finistere being converted to run on LPG. Although I pop in daily I don’t remember ever seeing that, when was it announced?

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40 minutes ago, nick hall said:

Several posts have referred to Cap Finistere being converted to run on LPG. Although I pop in daily I don’t remember ever seeing that, when was it announced?

I've read that too but I can't remember where it was. I think it was on one of the French Media websites.

 

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At no time have I said that Cap Finistere is being converted to LNG. I said that BF are looking at giving her Hybrid engines meaning she will be able to run on MGO or LNG.

The text is in the press release which refers to Pont Aven having Wartsila's ProFins. This is the section.

"For the past two years, Brittany Ferries has partnered with CEA Tech in France. Several projects are underway, including the development of a long-range broadband link that would use land-based transmitters to obviate the use of satellite-at-sea. A second study focuses on hybrid energy solutions for Cap Finistère, Brittany Ferries cruise-ferry that sails from the UK to Spain. The last is exploring the long-term implementation of fuel cells for powering certain of her on-board systems."

Expending that kind of energy and investment in R&D specifically tailored for her tells me that BF have no plans to sell. BF don't do off the shelf conversion, they do bespoke.

 

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5 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

So Jonno, can I just confirm that neither CF nor any of the three new E-flexers will fit in Cork so whatever BF decide to do with the four vessels they will have to be UK to Spain and /or France? That leaves PA as the only ship to be able to offer an enhanced Cork to Spain service. Which ships in the above list would fit in St Malo? Is PA again the only one? Thanks. Ed. 

That's right, of all the cruise ferries BF have serving Spain now or by 2023 only Pont Aven is suitable for Cork.

Cap Finistere will fit Le Havre, Cherbourg, Roscoff.

E-Flexer will fit Cherbourg.

Yes again, Only PA out of the Spanish ships will fit St Malo, it's why BF are looking for a yard to build a smaller cruise ferry for the route, they only need 1500 - 1700 berths and only carry around 26 freight vehicles overall a day.

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1 minute ago, jonno said:

That's right, of all the cruise ferries BF have serving Spain now or by 2023 only Pont Aven is suitable for Cork.

Cap Finistere will fit Le Havre, Cherbourg, Roscoff.

E-Flexer will fit Cherbourg.

Yes again, Only PA out of the Spanish ships will fit St Malo, it's why BF are looking for a yard to build a smaller cruise ferry for the route, they only need 1500 - 1700 berths and only carry around 26 freight vehicles overall a day.

Cap Finistere just about fits in Plymouth - so perhaps Plym-Ros for some sailings maybe to help out Armorique. 

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17 minutes ago, jonno said:

That's right, of all the cruise ferries BF have serving Spain now or by 2023 only Pont Aven is suitable for Cork.

Cap Finistere will fit Le Havre, Cherbourg, Roscoff.

E-Flexer will fit Cherbourg.

Yes again, Only PA out of the Spanish ships will fit St Malo, it's why BF are looking for a yard to build a smaller cruise ferry for the route, they only need 1500 - 1700 berths and only carry around 26 freight vehicles overall a day.

Thanks. So if we accept the logic that, as CF does on Monday nowadays, each ship needs to call into a French port once a week for a crew change then the new E-Flexers will each do two return trips to Spain per week from Portsmouth and a single return to Cherbourg. Ed. 

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30 minutes ago, jonno said:

 and only carry around 26 freight vehicles overall a day.

Is the demand artificially constrained by Bretagne’s size though. 

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2 hours ago, nick hall said:

Is the demand artificially constrained by Bretagne’s size though. 

She can carry a maximum of 78 overall per day.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Thanks. So if we accept the logic that, as CF does on Monday nowadays, each ship needs to call into a French port once a week for a crew change then the new E-Flexers will each do two return trips to Spain per week from Portsmouth and a single return to Cherbourg. Ed. 

Maybe Ed although at the moment we're all under the impression that they'll have French crews and be French registered but if they don't sail to France, is this a requirement?

BF have already broke the mould by giving them Spanish names and Salamanca will be Spanish fuelled.

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I would be astonished if the new ships were not French-crewed.  Firstly, it is part of the brand.  (Ok, I know the brand is being evolved at the moment, but still).  Secondly, it would plunge the company into an industrial relations crisis.  Thirdly, it would compromise flexibility to divert/redeploy ships within the fleet.

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Me too. I just can't see them wanting to take the risk. Unless of course they register the ships elsewhere (Spain or UK) in which case the French unions would be hard pressed to justify any complaints. However, the diverting/redeploying argument is somewhat obsolete as they won't actually fit anywhere else (except Cherbourg) and if the required diversion is due to an emergency, and not a regular occurrence, then that wouldn't be a problem. Ed. 

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