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BF Refit Season 2019-20

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2 hours ago, David Williams said:

I imagine that any cost savings are more to do with the drop in passenger numbers, The enclosed article mentions an overall drop of 6.6% of passengers last summer.

<<This year Brittany Ferries’ summer period (July to September) was hit by an overall 6.6% downturn in passenger numbers. Routes linking Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth with destinations in France suffered the most.  However, the company believes passengers will return in 2020 and wishes all those operating in the travel sector a brighter year ahead.>>

 

https://brittanyferriesnewsroom.com/ferry-good-news-for-pets-and-their-people-in-2020/

The problem with 2019 was Easter, for instance here in the Leeds area the schools were closed between March 29th and April 15th, the kids only got a long weekend at Easter nothing more. Not many travelled over the official period. This happened in many areas across the country, early holiday figures couldn't be counted so Easter looked bad.

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12 hours ago, David Williams said:

I imagine that any cost savings are more to do with the drop in passenger numbers, The enclosed article mentions an overall drop of 6.6% of passengers last summer.

<<This year Brittany Ferries’ summer period (July to September) was hit by an overall 6.6% downturn in passenger numbers. Routes linking Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth with destinations in France suffered the most.  However, the company believes passengers will return in 2020 and wishes all those operating in the travel sector a brighter year ahead.>>

 

https://brittanyferriesnewsroom.com/ferry-good-news-for-pets-and-their-people-in-2020/

I'll be interested to see how the overall passenger numbers for 2019 compared to the previous year. 

BF won the Telegraph Best Ferry Operator award recently which might be suggest Telegraph readers like quiet, underused ships!  However, I'm not sure BF want it that way. 

One observation is them pricing themselves out of certain people's price bracket. I came back to France on the 29th Deecember via DFDS to Dieppe and overheard other passengers on board saying they were using that route due to it being so much cheaper than BF. I paid 138€ return for a car and 2+2 and if I add in the extra miles on each side and tolls then the total was around 200€. That compares to at least 450€ via Cherbourg and around 600€ via Ouistreham for the dates I wanted, and I booked in late July! If BF had priced it at 300€ I'd have used them for sure and maybe even paid extra for day cabins. As it was they seemed too expensive for what they offered plus given the risk of a rough crossing there is no certainty that my wife and children would have used any of the extra services available on board thereby negating the point of paying more (vomiting onto newly laid carpet doesn't feel any more satisfying than onto scuffed laminate). As it was on both DFDS crossings the kids sat in the video area and watched a couple of free movies to distract them and then we had something to eat.

Some people have also commented on how they use the ferries to get away from distractions and do some work. Due to the nature of my job, every daytime crossing (and a few overnight on Bretagne/PA) I've taken with BF or DFDS in the last 3 or 4 years has been the same. I tend to get sent 'urgent' translations at the last minute and alsways take the opportunity to do them in quieter areas of the ship. It's actually quite satisfying to make more money during the crossing than it actually costs you to sail. You could therefore argue that it would make more financial sense to cross on BF but that would eat into my 100% profit and I'd have even less time to enjoy the amenities.

Ed 

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BF`s losses must be eyewatering....presently, in low season, 4 vessels on charter, one because of the late arrival of Honfleur (penalties waived) and still no firm arrival date. Huge repair and maintenance bills, massive wage bill at French union rates (DFDS only have French officers) and declining forward bookings. Hence 15% discount offer. The present unrest in France, CRS in Ouistreham this morning, cannot help when people are deciding where to go for 2020 holidays.

    I love BF optimism for greater numbers to be carried, but maybe optimism is all they have left at the moment. I know we are considering cutting our losses and heading elsewhere at the moment...Don`t want to but............

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15 minutes ago, Paully said:

DFDS only have French officers

The guy in the upstairs bar on DFDS Cote d'Albatre was definitely French. A woman asked if him he had a copy of the Guardian newspaper and he said that maybe the shop downstairs had some. She then wondered aloud if there were any left and he gave a very convincing shrug. The sort of shrug that can only come from generations of genetic optimisation and intensive study of expert techniques while at the same time providing a facial expression mixing regret and sadness that he was not given responsibility for complicated tasks like newspaper selling with indifference and astonishment that anyone would expect him to be able to accomplish two activities at once. Having said that, he sold me a perfectly acceptable cup of PG Tips (does BF still insist on Twinnings?) and chocolate muffin and was very pleased when I put the change into the tips basket. Ed

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6 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

The guy in the upstairs bar on DFDS Cote d'Albatre was definitely French. A woman asked if him he had a copy of the Guardian newspaper and he said that maybe the shop downstairs had some. She then wondered aloud if there were any left and he gave a very convincing shrug. The sort of shrug that can only come from generations of genetic optimisation and intensive study of expert techniques while at the same time providing a facial expression mixing regret and sadness that he was not given responsibility for complicated tasks like newspaper selling with indifference and astonishment that anyone would expect him to be able to accomplish two activities at once. Having said that, he sold me a perfectly acceptable cup of PG Tips (does BF still insist on Twinnings?) and chocolate muffin and was very pleased when I put the change into the tips basket. Ed

Yup, he was French alright 🤣

Edited by Paully

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24 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

The guy in the upstairs bar on DFDS Cote d'Albatre was definitely French. A woman asked if him he had a copy of the Guardian newspaper and he said that maybe the shop downstairs had some. She then wondered aloud if there were any left and he gave a very convincing shrug. The sort of shrug that can only come from generations of genetic optimisation and intensive study of expert techniques while at the same time providing a facial expression mixing regret and sadness that he was not given responsibility for complicated tasks like newspaper selling with indifference and astonishment that anyone would expect him to be able to accomplish two activities at once. Having said that, he sold me a perfectly acceptable cup of PG Tips (does BF still insist on Twinnings?) and chocolate muffin and was very pleased when I put the change into the tips basket. Ed

You truly know your in France when you get the shoulder shrug, numéro 1

 

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1 hour ago, Paully said:

BF`s losses must be eyewatering....

Yes.  For a company with BF’s standards to shelve a refit and cut back on maintenance in order (according to what Tony reported) to stem losses is an indication that the financial situation must be of great concern in the boardroom.

Makes the decision to invest money into Condor at this time quite a strange one.

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On the Bretagne last year I bought a Haynes Manual, not about cars but entitled Haynes Explains the French...Owners workshop manual.......Its hilarious if you ever get chance to read it...All your prejudices in one volume. Very funny though.

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I recommend Pierre Daninos's novel "Major Thompson lives in France" Les Carnets du Major Thompson in French, with a sequel Tout Sonia (not sure if it is translated). dated perhaps but just brilliant in poking fun at both nations. For the younger at heart, Asterix of course!

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I have this book, some very interesting takes on British preconceptions of the French.  She is great, I love her explanation as to what the British think French country chic is.  Basically window boxes of geraniums and window shutters...😁  And she talks about how the British are taking over the French countryside..😄

https://www.amazon.co.uk/They-Eat-Horses-Dont-French/dp/1781854440

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Report from Ouest France - Sunday 12th January 2020.

Brittany Ferries. - The "Mont Saint-Michel" on the loose in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

The Mont Saint-Michel, flagship of Brittany Ferries is stationed in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, quay of Normandy, until January 31, 2020, for maintenance work.

Regulars at the ferry terminal will have noticed the unusual presence, at the quay of Normandy, of Mont Saint-Michel , one of the jewels of Brittany Ferries, for maintenance operations which will last until January 31, 2020.

New logos

These controls will mainly focus on propulsion, vehicle access gangways, and lifeboats. The new company logos will also be painted on the sides of the boat.

The maintenance of the Barfleur , a ship usually assigned to Cherbourg, took place in December in Santander, Spain. The Breton armament justifies these crossovers "according to the calendars and availabilities of the shipyards" .

Five North Cotentin companies mobilised

Five businesses from the Nord-Cotentin are mobilised on Mont Saint-Michel . The ferry will resume its daily rotations from February 3, 2020 between Ouistreham and Portsmouth, where it has been positioned since 2002.

 

Not a fully correct report from Ouest France - Mont St Michel is not the flagship, and she will resume service from Cherbourg to Portsmouth on February 3rd 2020, not Ouistreham.

Edited by TonyMWeaver
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The original article actually says “un des fleurons de la Brittany Ferries” “one of the flagships of Brittany ferries” a subtle but significant difference.

Maybe @Cabin-boy or one of the other more fluent French speakers could give us a better  interpretation .

https://www.ouest-france.fr/normandie/cherbourg-en-cotentin-50100/brittany-ferries-le-mont-saint-michel-en-relache-cherbourg-en-cotentin-6685825

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In the original article the word 'fleuron' is actually repeated twice and appears to have been translated differently each time as both 'flagship' and 'jewel', neither of which really apply but that's how the French press do things. 

If Ouest France (or any customer) had asked me to translate the article I'd probably have gone for "one of Brittany Ferries' key vessels" in the opening sub-title and then "one of the company's most important ships" in the second paragraph and then would have tweaked the entire article for style purposes. Translating French press reports is one of the more complicated jobs as word count and attention grabbing expressions are the priority. 

Ed. 

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'Pont-Aven' seen alongside in Gdansk, thanks to "Just Ferries" for the photo. The Stern of Irish Ferries 'Ulysses' can be seen on the right of the image.

82541257_2771427376212304_302111908020879360_o.jpg

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16 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

We need a picture of the great big hole that’s being cut to get the engine out.

Patience......it will be worth waiting for. They just have to remove her block of flats first.

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6 minutes ago, Paully said:

Patience......it will be worth waiting for. They just have to remove her block of flats first.

if they didn’t have so many ships and just concentrated on her it wouldn’t take as long.

Lots of ferries.

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With the advent of electric propulsion modules (whether they are fueled by LNG or diesel or whatever) surely it makes sense for the actual engines to be located in more accessible locations on board so that removal, upgrades and repair is much easier. The only problem with that I assume is the weight and ensuring the vessel still has the correct centre of gravity. Ed. 

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8 hours ago, neilcvx said:

We need a picture of the great big hole that’s being cut to get the engine out.

I believe there are removeable sections of the deck on the car deck for access to the engine spaces . She's back in the water now so not a good time for cutting holes in the hull for something below the waterline .

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6 minutes ago, Chef said:

I believe there are removeable sections of the deck on the car deck for access to the engine spaces . She's back in the water now so not a good time for cutting holes in the hull for something below the waterline .

Yep it’s been mentioned before that it would be done via the car deck , the external photos certainly aren’t showing anything new or work being done.

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Might be winching it out and stick it on the back of a flatbed and drive it off................simples🤣

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Some more photos of Pont Aven in Gdansk from "Just Ferries". Unfortunately, the Admin from the Just Ferries Group is leaving Gdansk later today so these will be the last from him.

 

8.jpg

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Interesting to see that she is moored side-on to the quay. That means there is no way that any large machinery is being driven on and off her. Perhaps they loaded what they need beforehand and are now just working inside to install all the lifting gear and will move her again when needed. Ed. 

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24 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Interesting to see that she is moored side-on to the quay. That means there is no way that any large machinery is being driven on and off her. Perhaps they loaded what they need beforehand and are now just working inside to install all the lifting gear and will move her again when needed. Ed. 

We need a man on the inside a mole , but definitely not a rabbit.

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