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SAILING UPDATES: 2020 Latest News

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1 hour ago, Paully said:

Perhaps you could tell us how many times you have flown with them to gain this insight?

Many Times.... > My wife use to be cabin crew and worked a season with them before moving on to a legacy carrier ‘Down south’

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, jonno said:

 

The other is a shipping company which isn't ABTA bonded and just like every other ferry company in Europe isn't being particularly protected and now none of them are offering refunds to anyone, a voucher system only with the blessing of all of the governments involved. Stena have killed a route forever and made hundreds redundant, I don't read about their travellers incessantly moaning that they're being offered vouchers and not a refund. Maybe their travellers don't have the same sense of entitlement, who knows?

The internet is great platform for anyone to bitch and moan and throw their dummies out because they're not getting their own way. The situation is what it is regardless of what people want and everyone needs to take a deep breath, learn a bit of philosophical pragmatism and get on with it... but they won't, they'd rather see a company go bankrupt in order to get what they want and in time it'll give them another platform for them to moan about their lot in life because they'll want and feel they're entitled to travel by ferry but by then there'll be no ferries for anyone to sail on.

You may call it a sense of entitlement they probably feel it is an entitlement. If I was four figures down to a company that has habitually based their marketing on enticing customers to deposit large sums of cash with them now for a service to be provided months ahead, based on tariffs that are opaque at best, I might well be bitching and moaning online. I may not want to develop, what were your words,  "philosophical pragmatism" if I have bills to pay, nothing coming in and little in the bank. I might feel it was an expensive luxury. BF are going to re-emerge into a very different customer environment and to prepare for that they don't seem, in my view, to have put a foot right.

Edited by Millsy
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1 hour ago, daves_pad! said:

Many Times.... > My wife use to be cabin crew and worked a season with them before moving on to a legacy carrier ‘Down south’

Good..then you`ll know how good they are..Cabin service is where BA used to be

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Sailings have been cancelled up to June 15th which looks like they were done today as yesterday they were up till June 1st.

Also on the freight they have got the freight timetables up till June 15th.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Macc2010 said:

Sailings have been cancelled up to June 15th which looks like they were done today as yesterday they were up till June 1st.

Also on the freight they have got the freight timetables up till June 15th.

Makes sense, hopefully these will be the last of the French cancellations, however I suspect Spain and Ireland may last longer

Edited by David Williams
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This is for Holidays and Flights but I presume it will include ferries. - Coronavirus: Abta explains exactly what your holiday refund rights are. (Story Updated May 18th 2020)

 

The UK's travel association has spoken out on holiday refunds, as thousands of passengers remain out of pocket over flights and hotels cancelled due to coronavirus.

In a statement to the Mirror, Abta described the government's 14 day deadline for refunds as "impossible" due to the sheer volume of claims currently being processed on the back of the virus outbreak.

It's now pushing for the 14 day time frame to be extended to four months to give operators and agents enough time to claim back refunds from airlines and other third party companies.

Over the past week, Mirror Money has heard from dozens of holidaymakers who remain out of pocket due to coronavirus cancellations.

They say they've waited weeks for refunds that were promised 'within 48 hours'.

In some cases, families say they're no longer able to contact their travel agent, while others are being offered credit notes or vouchers instead - some to the value of just half the total amount paid.

So what are your rights under official guidelines?

If your package holiday has been cancelled, you are legally entitled to a choice of either a full cash refund, a credit note or a date change.

However, many customers say they are being forced to accept vouchers because 'refunds are not an option'. This is illegal and you can dispute it.

If you do opt for a cash refund, be aware that the money could take weeks, or possibly months to arrive.

"It is simply impossible at this time of crisis for many travel businesses to provide cash refunds in 14 days, as they are waiting for refunds themselves from airlines and hotels that have closed as a result of the pandemic."

"If possible, amend your holiday or travel arrangements to another date, don’t cancel – this will mean you have a holiday to look forward to in the future, and it will help your travel provider maintain its cash flow through the short-term challenges.

"If you are not able to amend your holiday to another date, your travel provider may offer you a Refund Credit Note instead of an immediate cash refund."

Under Abta guidelines, these coupons can be exchanged for cash if you change your mind at a later date.

"This Refund Credit Note can be used to rearrange a holiday at a later date and, in the meantime, it is protected by ABTA / ATOL if your original booking had that protection, so you would be reimbursed if the travel company failed financially.

"If your travel company is able to provide a cash refund, please be patient. They are dealing with a huge number of customers, and with offices closed and staff working from home, it’s a real challenge.

"ABTA will keep an eye on the situation and encourage ABTA Members to do all they can, but it’s not unreasonable at the moment to expect the process to take upwards of a month."

Consider using Section 75 or chargeback to get your money back.

Section 75 is part of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This means your credit card provider is jointly responsible for any breach of contract or misrepresentation by a retailer or trader. It's valid on transactions between £100 and £10,000.

If you paid using a debit card, get in touch with your bank or building society and ask for a chargeback refund. This is at their discretion, so the sooner you act, the better.

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According to the BBC rolling news, the following was announced today, not sure how literally to take it, however the implication is that Portsmouth - Cherbourg may exist for another 9 weeks.

_______________________________________________________________

Cross-channel ferry operators and other freight firms, including Eurotunnel, are to get £35m in financial support to ensure the continued supply of "vital" food and medical supplies to the UK.

The cash injection will support routes operated by Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O, Seatruck and Stena.

UK ministers said the intervention would protect 16 key routes between the UK and France and between Britain and Northern Ireland, which were at risk due to the pandemic.

Those in line for support over the next nine weeks include:

  • Portsmouth-Santander
  • Portsmouth-Cherbourg
  • Dover-Dunkerque
  • Dover-Calais
  • Tilbury-Zeebrugge
  • Hull-Zeebrugge
  • Harwich-Hoek van Holland

Announcing the move in Parliament, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it would "protect the movement of goods and services in and out of the UK, safeguarding the flow of supplies across the UK".

He said the agreement was part of joint efforts by the UK, France and the Republic of Ireland to minimise economic disruption.

___________________________________________________________

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The professional association, the voice of the ferry sector, breathes after the publication by the European Commission of guidelines aimed at easing the travel restrictions currently weighing on passenger transport. Just in time so as not to completely lose the summer season.

Highly sensitive file. How can we return to unrestricted free movement and restore the integrity of the single market, a prerequisite for economic recovery, let alone in the tourism and transport sectors? The strategy for getting out of containment is not an obvious one. The immediate news gives a taste. While the European Commission has just issued a user manual, Spain and Italy have unilaterally announced their calendar without consulting their neighbors. Obviously a snub to the directives published on May 13 by the European Commission advocating "a coordinated and gradual approach" between Member States. 

The European roadmap, collected in a 16-page document, mentions three sets of criteria to be taken into account in order to "  assess whether the time has come  " to open internal borders: the convergence of epidemiological situations within States, the adequate health systems and monitoring capacities.  Travel restrictions should first be lifted in areas where, on the basis of guidance from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), there is a steady improvement in the epidemiological situation , and when sufficient hospital, testing, surveillance and contact tracing capabilities are in place ", Indicate the guidelines. A map covering the levels of transmission and contamination, the rates of admission to the intensive care unit and the percentage of tests carried out will be made available to the Member States for this purpose.

A stepwise approach

For the Commission, the opening of borders must first depend on the ability of States to guarantee that measures, such as physical distance, can be applied throughout the duration of a journey, from the point of departure to the point of departure. arrival, including when crossing the border. And in situations where physical distancing is more difficult to implement, it considers that effective tracing and detection of suspected cases can represent equivalent levels of protection.

Following this logic by appreciation criteria, Brussels recommends a gradual approach: “  The transition from stage 0, which corresponds to the current situation, to the following stages must be carried out in a flexible manner, with the possibility of reversing in case of deterioration of the epidemiological situation. In this regard, plans must be made to allow the restrictions to be reinstated without delay or to be lifted sooner than expected depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation  . ”

Information between states, capital

Guardian of everyone's rights, the EC recalls that any decision to authorize travel on its territory or to particular regions or areas must be made in a " non-discriminatory, objective, proportionate and based only on considerations relating to the public health ”. Coordination and communication between Member States seemed to him to be a prerequisite.

The last step - general lifting of restrictions and controls at internal borders - "will take place  when the epidemiological situation in the EU is sufficiently favorable and homogeneous  ", but without interrupting "  the necessary health measures (personal hygiene, social distancing, etc.) ) which are in place within the territory of the Member States and by continuing to carry out large-scale information campaigns '.  

As for restrictions on non-essential movement applied at the Union's external borders, Brussels recommends that the Member States or those associated with the Schengen area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) extend the application of the directives at least until June 15.

Save the season

The professional association, which defends the interests of ferry operators, has welcomed the guidelines of the European Commission, largely reflecting its suggestions. The professional union, which hopes to be able to save the summer season and says it is " ready to go ", had for its part published its own directives to its members for a safe recovery. It recommends in particular the marking of social distance, the reduction of passenger capacity, the control of the number of people admitted into contact spaces, the ban on open buffets, the generalization of card payment, the intensification of cleaning and disinfection and authorization for passengers to stay in their vehicle during short distance trips…

The sector, bound to the transport of goods for two months, crosses a difficult pass and sails by sight. Passenger transport, which had been literally suspended , is still subject to a number of constraints. P&O Ferries, which has just announced the dismissal of 1,100 people to ensure the survival of the company, alone embodies the difficulties of a sector subject to " ever-increasing financial losses  ".

  The ferry will likely be the preferred mode of transportation when the restrictions are lifted. It respects social distancing and applies drastic security measures,  ”believes Mike Corrigan, president of the professional association.

http://www.journalmarinemarchande.eu/actualite/shipping/interferry-assure-que-le-secteur-est-pret-pour-la-relance

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26 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

There is a possibility that Condor could resume sailings to Jersey (but not Guernsey apparently) from next month depending on how the restrictions change in the coming days. 

https://t.co/rZ792fs6EB?amp=1

Ed

Not that this is really BF Sailing updates, however I note that this may be a way around the quarantine rules St Malo - Jersey - UK. I also note that Condor is reducing the workforce.

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20 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Not that this is really BF Sailing updates

It's 25% BF saiilings perhaps. 😀Ed. 

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Roscoff -Rosslare - UK  75% Brittany Ferries maybe .

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This is the latest update from Condor, taken from their website. 

------

The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significantly reduced passenger numbers, due to government regulations and public health restrictions and fewer people have been able or willing to travel. Condor will therefore be operating significantly fewer high-speed services this summer.

Services are expected to resume on 19th June, Condor Rapide will Initially operate, four return services operating between St Malo and Jersey on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Condor Liberation will initially operate two return services between the UK and Jersey on Saturdays and Mondays.

The revised summer schedule does not include sailings to or from Guernsey for the period of June to the end of August, however we hope to resume sailings from September onwards, subject to Guernsey’s restrictions on travel being lifted. If you wish to book with us from September onwards

Sailings will be subject to UK, French and Jersey governments’ restrictions on borders, quarantine and general advice on essential travel being lifted.

If you have a booking you will be contacted by a member of our team about an alternative sailing. Please bear with us we are very busy in this unprecedented time.

Ed

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A message from our CEO

We now have well-established plans for the measures that will be taken aboard our ships when we return to service. However, I’m afraid I’m still unable to share a definitive date for when that might be. During this period of uncertainty, I thought it might be helpful to start this message with some of the geo-political challenges we face.

Quarantine: as you may have heard, there have been several changes to rules governing quarantine among the four countries we serve (UK, France, Spain, Ireland). Understandably many travellers are keen to understand what they should expect once they arrive in a country, and how that activity may be monitored.  

Each country is tackling the issue differently which for us is particularly challenging. Until such time as there is manageable alignment between our destinations, it is hard for me to offer any guarantees about how quarantine may impact them.  

We are working closely with national and regional governments, but this is a global issue that is out of our hands. It’s important to note though that government websites have the most up-to-date information and should always be consulted prior to travel to ensure you have the right advice and documentation. For our part, we’ll do our best to keep our own information up to date – and we will ensure you have links to relevant sites for latest info. 

Travel Restrictions: this is another challenging topic, without a consistent cross-country approach. It presents further difficulties for us in terms of passenger services (and clear advice) and is one of the reasons I suspect a staggered resumption of services is likely.  

At present, Spain is closed to international travel until the end of June and I’ve read worrying reports today that British tourists might have to wait longer than other nationalities for a return, we can only wait for further developments. Ireland is restricting internal travel to 20km which presents a further challenge. These measures are subject to change of course, but both demonstrate the impact on our planning (and yours I’m sure!) at the moment.

WHO guidelines: the World Health Organisation (WHO) has published several guidelines to prevent the risk of spreading and/or contracting the virus. These include social distancing, the wearing of masks and regular hand washing. Typically in the summer our larger ships will carry up to 2K passengers and accompanying crew.  

If we are to follow those guidelines - and of course we must – normal passenger volumes have to be cut quite drastically. We’ve also implemented other key changes on board (you can find out more in the Your Sailings section of these pages).  

You will understand too that those who are responsible for your safety, must themselves be kept safe and secure. Protecting our crew from any risks while working has therefore been a key project for us and I’m confident in the measures we have already started adopting on freight-only services. These are sensible, creative and adaptable. If we communicate these measures effectively I know passengers and crew will sail together with confidence this summer.  

Supply Chains: Our fleet operations are complex, with 12 ships linking 12 ports in four countries. Restarting these operations following a three-month stoppage is far from simple, with a wide range of factors to consider. We need to make operational arrangements both on board and in port, we have to supply our ships with everything from fuel and water to regionally sourced foods, and we need to ensure that we have all the necessary crew and shoreside colleagues to operate safely and securely. 

All these preparations depend on intricate supply chains, each of which has been impacted by confinement, travel restrictions, availability of key goods and interruption to supply.  

For many years we’ve endeavoured to source our supplies locally as much as we can; this is part of our commitment to the regions we serve. Thankfully this means fewer food miles and shorter supply chains. However I suspect there may well be some availability issues when we first return, and that it will take some time for things to return to normal as restrictions ease and production returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Bookings: Moving to other matters, I know some of you have been unable to get through to speak to colleagues on the phone and are wondering whether we’ve received your contact forms. Response times are improving as we have more people returning to the offices making a great impact on our backlogs. If you’ve submitted a form with a question or request, it will be answered. Please try not to email other addresses or multiple forms, as it substantially slows the process down for everyone. You can keep up to date with the latest response times in the Getting in Touch section of these pages, if you’ve not heard back from us after that response time has lapsed, I understand (and apologise accordingly) but if not, please do bear with us.

In other news, I’m pleased to confirm that we’ll be extending the opportunity for people to amend their upcoming 2020 bookings free of charge for the time being. I understand some anxiety about travel remains and will keep this offer in place for a limited time.

That was a long message, but I hope it gave some background into some of the mitigating factors affecting our return to passenger services. I look forward to speaking to you all again on Wednesday, and trust that wherever you are, you are safe and well.

All the very best

Christophe Mathieu

CEO Brittany Ferries

Last updated:  1 June 2020

 

https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/coronavirus/ceo-message

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3 minutes ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Agree, there are a couple on here like that, those who hate certain ferries and moan about the company and those who feel the need to post pointless comments. If they don't like it, then they are not real enthusiasts.

Tony,  I’ve been a member on this site for over 15 years and before that on its previous incarnation, and like you I’m getting fed up of this constant moaning, which I think needs to stop before I turn my back on this site for good. 

Be thankful for what you’ve still got and that your still alive. Let’s hope we can all get out of this dire situation ASAP!

I am missing being able to book a meal in the Still & West and enjoying a nice bite to eat and a pint of ale surrounded with the people I love.

No holiday for us either this August but again I still have my family and we will make the most of a rubbish situation. 

Take care everyone and let’s try and be positive. 

 

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Enthusiasm is good. It helps to dampen the over-reaction of people who might not understand all the links in the chain. 

Enthusiasm shouldn't blind to the things that are fundamentally wrong. 

Enthusiasm shouldn't diss those for whom this is an annual saved-for holiday.

Enthusiasm shouldn't blind us to those who are significantly out of pocket. Why should a family subsidise a company ? Our holiday is still up in the air for us (and BF haven't contacted us at all at all), we can handle it, we're both at work but many many people aren't.

We're enthusiasts but we're all still people and the humongous majority of BF's customers aren't enthusiasts, are undergoing so many stresses & strains and need some bit of clarity.

 

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The idea that if you happen to have an opinion that a ferry company is not handling a particular situation well makes you not an enthusiast is absurd.  I have been an avid ferry enthusiast for 48 years.  In that time, many ferry companies have got things wrong.  Doesn’t make me not an enthusiast.  Townsend Thoresen got one thing very badly wrong.  Doesn’t negate the fact that Townsend Thoresen held a particularly fond spot in my enthusiasm.  Brittany Ferries handled this current situation very badly, at least initially. The fact that I hold that view does not negate the fact that Brittany Ferries holds a particularly fond spot in my current-day enthusiasm.  The suggestion that enthusiasm equates to mindless support for everything a company does is, frankly, a touch offensive.

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I don’t particularly like one ferry that is extremely popular with most other forum members the highlight of my holiday is driving on to a Brittany ferry preferably one of the ones I really like I would say that makes me an enthusiast as @Gareth says I’m not impressed by their handling of this situation as an enthusiast I expect better of them.

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Being an enthusiast simply means having an interest in the subject. 

In the case of BFE, there may be forum-members who are enthusiastic about one or more of the ships themselves, the high-quality service provided by the company,  the picturesque routes they serve,  the destinations they offer or package-holiday options available (or a combination of those factors).

When one of those elements is found to be wanting or falls below expectations then the enthusiast is likely to become a critic, first as a gentle reminder to any company representatives reading and then to provide critical feedback in the hope that it will make a difference.

Bad experience will probably turn the enthusiast into a cynic (not necessarily a hater or moaner) and that's likely to manifest itself in the way they reference the company, its ships and its services. 

The rules of the forum seem pretty clear and are often repeated. The current situation is unique, and may be generating extra negative comments right now, but thses opinions will contribute to setting the benchmark for those standards we hope to see return in the future. 

Ed

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Nothing I can really add to the above few posts, well said. Enthusiasm, and what is perceived to constitute it, should not be confused with rose-tinted spectacles. 

It does however sadden me to read some of the posts we've had to remove as despite numerous reminders there continue to be posts of an unpleasant and unhelpful nature. Current situation or not, you're all better than that. Right?

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I have had my own interest in the ships for a long time now but I do feel it's now coming to an end with the problems that it may well face for a long time.

We have been doing trips to and from Le Havre, since taking a home here but at this time we have been apart when all trips was stopped to the every day traveller, now with the lack of facts, with what the cost will be due to the fact of reduced numbers at this time if they can restart and needing the use of a cabin for a short crossing it will be a long time before any sort of the norm will come back.

Many of us in the past, have been happy with BF, in their handling of problems, and fingers are being pointed at them over this, please remember that their hands are tide due to government's on which ever side of the pond and so they don't know what to do next, but I am sure the best is being done with any information that is given to them by any of the government's.

 

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