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BF charters a new ship

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Here's the Press Release, to save clicking on the link:

Brittany Ferries is finalising the one-year charter of an additional ship ahead of the 2020 season. She will be operated by Brittany Ferries from November 2019 until November 2020. The goal is to deliver additional flexibility to a route network that connects France, the UK, Spain and Ireland.

The ship is to be chartered from Stena Ro-Ro and currently sails between Ancona and Trieste in Italy. The Visentini-class vessel will be the third of its kind on the Brittany Ferries fleet, joining Etretat and Connemara in November.

“This charter is an important step in our 2020 season planning,” said Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO. “We know that our flagship Pont-Aven will be out of service for at least ten weeks in the winter for the replacement of one of her four engines. This will leave a significant gap in capacity across our network.

“We also need to be sure that our fleet can cope with any potential delays in the delivery of our next cruise-ferry Honfleur, ahead of the busy 2020 summer season. For these two reasons, we have taken the prudent decision to charter a new vessel for one year.

“Furthermore, and given what we learnt from Government Brexit no-deal preparations in March and April, we believe it is sensible to generate additional capacity to prepare for the impacts of Brexit, should it happen at the end of October and should our services be needed.”

The new charter will take over Brittany Ferries sailings from Cork to Santander, extending the operating window for this service. The route, which represents the first time Spain and Ireland have been connected by ferry in their history, was opened in May 2018 for an initial two-year trial.

Connemara, which operates between Cork and Santander today, will be brought under the French-flag. This is six months earlier than originally planned and reinforces Brittany Ferries commitment to the employment of French seafarers.

Following her re-flagging, Connemara will be free to cover scheduled dry-dock periods for other vessels over the winter and to release Etretat (currently operating Portsmouth to Le Havre) to cover services from the UK to Spain in April.

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1 hour ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Possibly 'AF Michela'

Probably, Adria didn't really want her for another year after they'd bought California Star from Baja the same week as they announced the charter extension.

We knew they'd need cover from April when BDS returns although with PA gone for over two months Bretagne wont be rested now either so it's a prudent move although either Stena Lagan or Mersey is being replaced in November, I'm sure BF passengers would have much preferred one of those.

I must say I'm becoming a little concerned as BF seem to be too heavily reliant on other carriers cast offs or designs... Etretat, BDS, Connemara and now a 3rd Visentini, they really are beginning to lower our travel expectations.

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I am a bit lost...

The article suggests that the new ship will replace Connemara, and Connemara will move to Le Havre. But won't Normandie be on Le Havre with the delivery of Honfleur?

I am assuming Baie de Seine is leaving the fleet and will Etretat take her place? Weren't there suggestions Etretat would also be leaving the fleet once Honfleur arrives?  

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I think this is what happens:

Normandie will move to Le Havre when, and only when, Honfleur arrives. As that date is uncertain she is staying put for the moment. 

This new ferry replaces Connemara between Ireland and Spain using an international crew when the latter is reflagged to France and adopts a French crew.

Connemara then moves to Portsmouth - Le Havre freeing up Etretat to provide cover on a range of routes (if she fits the ports) while other ferries are away for refits etc. She is the most BF-ified of all the Economie ferries so is less of a shock.

PA is away for quite some time so Bretagne will stay on for longer than usual (and maybe not be laid up at all) while the flagship is out of action. 

Ed. 

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4 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

I think this is what happens:

Normandie will move to Le Havre when, and only when, Honfleur arrives. As that date is uncertain she is staying put for the moment. 

This new ferry replaces Connemara between Ireland and Spain using an international crew when the latter is reflagged to France and adopts a French crew.

Connemara then moves to Portsmouth - Le Havre freeing up Etretat to provide cover on a range of routes (if she fits the ports) while other ferries are away for refits etc. She is the most BF-ified of all the Economie ferries so is less of a shock.

PA is away for quite some time so Bretagne will stay on for longer than usual (and maybe not be laid up at all) while the flagship is out of action. 

Ed. 

Spot on Ed. The Visentini's can get in everywhere which will include Caen when the berth is lengthened for Honfleur.

I think your point regarding the international crew aboard Connemara's replacement is a crucial & valid one.

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AF Michela has had quite a career and is probably more interesting than the bog standard Visentini. She's also from the earlier generation so rather different in some ways.

Adria Ferries hadn't been clear about their plans as it was thought the new purchase could replace the old AF Francesca which is, or was supposed to be, on her way out. 

Most of the internal images on the company's website are of the Francesca but this is her:

61bis.jpg

 

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The BF news room press release states that the ship sails between Ancona & Trieste... I hope not or our friends in Cork will be in for a long wait.

AF Michela sails to Albania, neither Adria nor any other passenger ferry sails between Ancona & Trieste. 

I think capitano de nave knows if he's heading north or south, clearly BF don't.

 

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Do you think they'll do anything with the 3 dormitories she has? The AF website suggests she should be a step up from the others. More similar to BDS than Etretat? 

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16 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

We also need to be sure that our fleet can cope with any potential delays in the delivery of our next cruise-ferry Honfleur

Very sensible decision, it looks like BF are taking early 2020 delivery for the Honfleur with a pinch of salt.

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8 hours ago, jonno said:

AF Michela sails to Albania, neither Adria nor any other passenger ferry sails between Ancona & Trieste. 

I believe that it is via Durres and it refers to the ship & not the passengers !

image.png.46484b58e086537754640e17fad17edd.png

Edited by David Williams

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17 hours ago, jonno said:

Probably, Adria didn't really want her for another year after they'd bought California Star from Baja the same week as they announced the charter extension.

We knew they'd need cover from April when BDS returns although with PA gone for over two months Bretagne wont be rested now either so it's a prudent move although either Stena Lagan or Mersey is being replaced in November, I'm sure BF passengers would have much preferred one of those.

I must say I'm becoming a little concerned as BF seem to be too heavily reliant on other carriers cast offs or designs... Etretat, BDS, Connemara and now a 3rd Visentini, they really are beginning to lower our travel expectations.

Is this not a similar situation to when the Vdl left and the Pont le'Abbe came in until the new build arrived?

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10 hours ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Do you think they'll do anything with the 3 dormitories she has? The AF website suggests she should be a step up from the others. More similar to BDS than Etretat? 

Dormitories?  A step up ?  That really is Economie. Count me out.

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7 minutes ago, wortley said:

Dormitories

Why don't they just make them large pet-friendly shared cabins and stick all the four-legged passengers and their owners in together? What could possibly go wrong? Ed. 😀

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36 minutes ago, wortley said:

Dormitories?  A step up ?  That really is Economie. Count me out.

But better than a seat? It is after all how many hostels across the world work

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