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Cotentin - Returning to Brittany Ferries in 2021


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Would it not be wise to transfer NORMANDIE to Le Havre to reopen the route to passengers and replace it at Ouistreham with COTENTIN ? By cutting timetables in Portsmouth so that NORMANDIE is always in Le Havre when MONT-SAINT-MICHEL is in Portsmouth like current schedules. COTENTIN would be aligned with the schedules of NORMANDIE.

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A few of her from the pilot boat this morning. 

Hope this is ok - uploaded to you tube.    

The only place she can go right now is back down the canal towards the sea. Any other direction and she's likley to get a bit stuck. Ed

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I think that the premier freight port in North West France (when added to a few more ports and wharfs) deserves the best freighter that BF own.

When covid is over (next year), we will need the Normandie  on the Ouistreham route to accommodate the passenger traffic.

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27 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I think that the premier freight port in North West France (when added to a few more ports and wharfs) deserves the best freighter that BF own.

When covid is over (next year), we will need the Normandie  on the Ouistreham route to accommodate the passenger traffic.

classement ports français - Recherche Google

more frequencies on Cherbourg and more frequencies on Le Havre while balancing with Ouistreham, it is undoubtedly more interesting for the passengers, it widens the Hinterland. Should the Cotentin be transformed by June because we are announcing a reopening of the Le Havre / Portsmouth route to passengers next June? The timetable is still not up to date.

 

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The Portsmouth - Le Havre route is suspended to passengers until further notice.  It is only running as a freight service because of the contract with the UK government to provide guaranteed space if required.  The freight timetables currently go up to early April, to the end of Barfleur’s stint.  BF has stated that Cotentin will take over the freight route after then - not sure why she is not showing in the timetables yet (presumably either because they have just not got round to it or because they are not yet in a position to confirm the need to continue sailings past that time).

Normandie is committed to the Ouistreham route through the entirety of the current timetable period - for pretty obvious reasons, but lest anybody was not aware, her intended replacement new build for the Ouistreham route was cancelled and there are therefore no current plans for her replacement.

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2 hours ago, Gareth said:

The Portsmouth - Le Havre route is suspended to passengers until further notice.  It is only running as a freight service because of the contract with the UK government to provide guaranteed space if required.  The freight timetables currently go up to early April, to the end of Barfleur’s stint.  BF has stated that Cotentin will take over the freight route after then - not sure why she is not showing in the timetables yet (presumably either because they have just not got round to it or because they are not yet in a position to confirm the need to continue sailings past that time).

 

Catching up on this thread (wow if this was a social club we'd be on the tenth round of drinks discussing this one!)

 

I think there are a few facts getting confused.  So here is my understanding!

There are two separate Brittany Ferries/DFT Contracts to provide capacity.

Poole - Cherbourg for 3 months.

Portsmouth - Le Havre for 6 months. (A portion of space).

Hence COTENTIN moving to Le Havre when ETRETAT is returned to her owner (as stated in the press release) 

Whilst it hasn't been publicly stated, it is an open fact within BF that pandemic circumstances permitting, the company would likely carry passengers on COTENTIN  this summer.

COTENTIN is a de facto direct replacement for ETRETAT.

Stena operated STENA BALTICA successfully with passengers.  She has 8 cabins with ensuite bathrooms, though the rest have the much-discussed "shared" bathrooms.  It's perhaps not ideal but I think if the detail is made clear to passengers both in advance and onboard, it is maybe not as critical as some think.

For me it is just great news if the Le Havre route continues to be open.  

 

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7 hours ago, RickOShea said:

I think there are a few facts getting confused.

I don’t think there’s anything in your post that contradicts mine, Rick.  The different durations of the Poole and Le  Havre contracts is interesting - I don’t think those details were widely known.  But my post was a factual summary of the state of play as indicated in the published BF timetables and their press releases, and was intended to explain (again!) why it is not correct, in a thread in the News forum, to suggest that Normandie might be moving to Le Havre this year.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

I don’t think there’s anything in your post that contradicts mine, Rick.  The different durations of the Poole and Le  Havre contracts is interesting - I don’t think those details were widely known.  But my post was a factual summary of the state of play as indicated in the published BF timetables and their press releases, and was intended to explain (again!) why it is not correct, in a thread in the News forum, to suggest that Normandie might be moving to Le Havre this year.

Sorry Gareth - didn't mean to imply I was contradicting you, just clarifying various points on this thread, and as your post was the last, the DFT contracts.  Such as that the Le Havre route isn't entirely being run for the purpose of the contract (unlike some services covered by the scheme).

And yes - absolutely correct.  No chance of NORMANDIE at Le Havre within the current view on the horizon!

 

 

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When the DFT contracts were announced it was said "Should the contracts not be required, termination costs would reflect a fraction of the full contract amount."

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-secures-critical-freight-flows-as-uk-nears-end-of-transition-period

I guess that means we may see some changes in February if there are no freight issues at Calais.

 

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21 hours ago, RickOShea said:

Whilst it hasn't been publicly stated, it is an open fact within BF that pandemic circumstances permitting, the company would likely carry passengers on COTENTIN  this summer.

Do you think theres a good chance this will happen?  

If the prices are reasonable and the Sailing times fit my plans then I'd use her. 

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55 minutes ago, chid679 said:

Do you think theres a good chance this will happen?  

If the prices are reasonable and the Sailing times fit my plans then I'd use her. 

My understanding is that it is almost certain SUBJECT to how the world is.  Obviously, if travel remains difficult, it could get blown out of the water.

As for prices - capacity won't be huge so don't hold your breath for low prices. 

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I doubt there will be much need.  With the two Caen ships and normal service at Poole, St Malo and Roscoff (which is currently what the timetables indicate), there will probably be more than enough passenger provision for the custom they are likely to have this season.  Don’t forget, quite apart from the reluctance that many will have to go out of the country, BF also has a mamouth reputation-rebuilding task to undertake after the customer relations shambles of last Spring.  I reckon it will be several years before their passenger custom gets back to levels which cannot be catered for on the main four UK - France routes.

Same reason why NEX is not in the schedules for next year as well, probably.

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29 minutes ago, Gareth said:

I doubt there will be much need.  With the two Caen ships and normal service at Poole, St Malo and Roscoff (which is currently what the timetables indicate), there will probably be more than enough passenger provision for the custom they are likely to have this season.  Don’t forget, quite apart from the reluctance that many will have to go out of the country, BF also has a mamouth reputation-rebuilding task to undertake after the customer relations shambles of last Spring.  I reckon it will be several years before their passenger custom gets back to levels which cannot be catered for on the main four UK - France routes.

Same reason why NEX is not in the schedules for next year as well, probably.

Mind you - conditions permitting I believe NEX will be back too.

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To be quite frank, I think any company worth their salt will be reviewing the plans daily. We will not be out of this mess for a long time yet. Anyone who makes travel plans for this summer are probably bonkers. A lot of people just are not going to bother, even if borders open up the hoops that need jumping through is going to put people off. There will be some, but the numbers are going to stay low. Same for the airlines.

It would not surprise me to see the Gov contract cancelled (as alluded to above), the Barfleur stays in Caen and the Cotentin remains where it is.

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1 hour ago, Danim24 said:

To be quite frank, I think any company worth their salt will be reviewing the plans daily. We will not be out of this mess for a long time yet. Anyone who makes travel plans for this summer are probably bonkers. A lot of people just are not going to bother, even if borders open up the hoops that need jumping through is going to put people off. There will be some, but the numbers are going to stay low. Same for the airlines.

It would not surprise me to see the Gov contract cancelled (as alluded to above), the Barfleur stays in Caen and the Cotentin remains where it is.

Well indeed.

 

You just know know that ferry firms have their "best case" plan to run full services in Summer 2021 (in BF's case, all ships and routes back) but that's subject to how the world looks and we simply don't know.

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1 hour ago, Danim24 said:

To be quite frank, I think any company worth their salt will be reviewing the plans daily. We will not be out of this mess for a long time yet. Anyone who makes travel plans for this summer are probably bonkers. A lot of people just are not going to bother, even if borders open up the hoops that need jumping through is going to put people off. There will be some, but the numbers are going to stay low. Same for the airlines.

It would not surprise me to see the Gov contract cancelled (as alluded to above), the Barfleur stays in Caen and the Cotentin remains where it is.

Agreed on all counts.  There will be no need to enhance passenger provision beyond what is already in the timetables, and even what is there may be pared back depending on how things go.

As far as freight goes, indeed, the government contract will be cancelled or terminated if it transpires it is not necessary.  The Le Havre freight timetable was “last updated” this morning, and the only reason they have not added the aspired Cotentin sailings to this yet must be because they are still reserving judgement on whether they will be needed.

As you say, Danim, they must surely be keeping all of this under review on a day-by-day basis.

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Interesting to see how much BF have lost in Euro-GBP currency exchange.

 

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/frances-brittany-ferries-in-dire-straits-due-to-double-brexit-covid-whammy/

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Rattler43 said:

Interesting to see how much BF have lost in Euro-GBP currency exchange.

 

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/frances-brittany-ferries-in-dire-straits-due-to-double-brexit-covid-whammy/

 

 

In fairness they`ve always, since 1973, been at the mercy of the exchange rates. Their business plan, so far, has been 85% passenger traffic reliance, with the overwhelming numbers paying in Sterling. The difficulty just varied in depth.

  It will be interesting to see if their business plan changes with a different emphasis on routes and freight.

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6 hours ago, DorsetWillsy said:

A few of her from the pilot boat this morning. 

 

IMG_20210108_082039.jpg

 

Nice photos. But even Armorique's funnel wasn't the far offset before scubberising which centered her up. My recollection from many trips may be wrong, starting after Arm's maiden passenger voyage from Plymouth, having had to run empty from Roscoff. Had a chance to meet some of the BFE "top men" and a BF free glass of champers on the way back, her first actual passenger voyage from Roscoff.

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1 hour ago, colinschandler said:

Nice photos. But even Armorique's funnel wasn't the far offset before scubberising which centered her up. My recollection from many trips may be wrong, starting after Arm's maiden passenger voyage from Plymouth, having had to run empty from Roscoff. Had a chance to meet some of the BFE "top men" and a BF free glass of champers on the way back, her first actual passenger voyage from Roscoff.

I think it's just the angle of the photo Colin, the ramp to the upper deck is between the funnel and the Starboard side.

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On 07/01/2021 at 11:06, RickOShea said:

Sorry Gareth - didn't mean to imply I was contradicting you, just clarifying various points on this thread, and as your post was the last, the DFT contracts.  Such as that the Le Havre route isn't entirely being run for the purpose of the contract (unlike some services covered by the scheme).

And yes - absolutely correct.  No chance of NORMANDIE at Le Havre within the current view on the horizon!

 

 

That is why in the longer term I mentioned the possibility of transferring Normandie to Le Havre and leaving Mont Saint Michel in Ouistreham in addition to Cotentin. With good marketing we could include the two ports (Le Havre and Ouistreham) on the same schedule with always 3 departures from Portsmouth, 1 to 2 departures from Le Havre and Ouistreham (with Normandie and Mont Saint Michel). Cotentin could strengthen Ouistreham if need be.  Simple personal reflection, because I am convinced of the complementarity of the two ports for passengers with a comparable and qualitative offer. It could expand the Hinterland from France to Portsmouth. I know many here are attached to their habits, but this may be a way of thinking in the post-Brexit context.

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11 hours ago, Gareth said:

As far as freight goes, indeed, the government contract will be cancelled or terminated if it transpires it is not necessary.  The Le Havre freight timetable was “last updated” this morning, and the only reason they have not added the aspired Cotentin sailings to this yet must be because they are still reserving judgement on whether they will be needed.

There are studies in progress for a liaison with Ireland. The schedule is not yet fixed but could impact the schedules of the Portsmouth boat, which occupies the place for hours between its arrival and departure.

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10 hours ago, LHCity said:

I know many here are attached to their habits

I’m not sure how aware you are if the irony of that remark LHC (! 😉), but I think you’ll find that there is plenty of creative speculation from many posters in the appropriate parts of the Discussion forum about theoretical possibilities for the future.

This particular thread, though, is in the News forum, and it is simply the case that we are aware of the facts of what the published BF timetables and press releases actually say.

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On 08/01/2021 at 10:43, Rattler43 said:

Interesting to see how much BF have lost in Euro-GBP currency exchange.

 

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/frances-brittany-ferries-in-dire-straits-due-to-double-brexit-covid-whammy/

 

 

There is a worrying quote in that article:-

Quote

“We benefit from the state-guaranteed loan that we haven’t entirely used up. It has allowed us to avoid defaulting on our payments.

In the Cotentin press release they said:-

Quote

“Having the right mix of vessels for our fleet gives us a fighting chance of emerging from the current crisis in good health. 

These are not the most positive of statements, If we don't get a decent summer season, I suspect that things will be very difficult for BF,

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