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SAILING UPDATES: 2020 Latest News


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11 minutes ago, Millsy said:

I agree but I don't think they'd be high up the list of most PE outfit targets.

Agreed, which is why I mentioned the long term infrastructure fund that bought 75percent of Condor or Stena that own a number of the BF vessels, it is not a short term Private Equity sale.

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My son wanted to see the Pont Aven come in and we hung around for the Connemara too. The Pont Aven even gave a blast of the horn as he waved from the round tower. 

Can I just say that’s terrible news about your wife - I for one would like to pass on heartfelt thoughts to you both as I’m sure other Enthusiasts will as well.... Chris

When did they install that massive bird on the mast? Is that to scare the hell out of the seagulls and stop them from pooping on the poop deck?! 😉

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12 hours ago, cvabishop said:

Yes Ian, we will agree to disagree. Your own trip sounds fine. We visited the area many years ago and loved it. 'Green Spain' dos get overlooked by many heading for the Costas.

If you do decide to go I hope the sailings work out OK and maybe quarantine will have been lifted or at least modified by then. We just hope we can get back to Greece next year. Unfortunately a ferry isn't an option!

We have been visiting that area for about 20 years its only since I retired we have started to explore further afield. At this time a touring option would definitely be risky, Quarantine does not really come into the equation for us and I cannot see that being lifted in the foreseeable future.

Once the school holidays are over  the retired folk fill the boats to Spain a lot of them/us will probably be going for a long time and others not bothered about quarantine. In normal times you need to book early for crossings in the first two weeks in September.   Did not BF say the Spanish bookings are holding up probably for the reason I have suggested.

What do you reckon nil nil or one all 

Ian

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I'll settle for one all, we've both had our say.

Certainly do your touring when you can as circumstances permit. I suffered an eye stroke in January which has put one eye out of action. At the moment the other one is OK and it is safe to drive if you can still meet the DVLA regs which I can but I'm not so sure I'd want to drive extensively on the continent with a dodgy left eye at the moment as we have been doing up until now. As you get older the likelihood of bits failing or falling off increases surprisingly quickly and it doesn't take much to severely curtail your options and lifestyle. Fortunately since I retired we have been doing a lot of travelling and have that under our belts at least.

Colin

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21 hours ago, David Williams said:

Amorique is now showing full from the 8th September from Plymouth, guess that is the next ‘consolidation’

They have started to making the PA Portsmouth crossings full now for September, guess that is the next one !

BF have said that they will announce it all tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, David Williams said:

They have started to making the PA Portsmouth crossings full now for September, guess that is the next one !

BF have said that they will announce it all tomorrow.

St Malo crossings ditto from the beginning of September looking like Bretagne withdrawn from service as well.

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I wonder (fear) if this will be the last of time we will see Bretagne. If BF are in survival mode, and since St Malo is a very pax orientated route, then it must be high up on the "at risk" list. Especially with no real idea if things will be much different next year.

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Its beginning to look like the only passenger routes from the beginning of September are Portsmouth Caen, 2 ship operation and the Cap from Portsmouth to Spain. The Etretat is still shown on the freight timetable as operating Portsmouth Cherbourg but it will be freight only until the beginning of November when it will replace the Kerry on the Rosslare to Bilbao service. Looks like the Kerry will leave the fleet as might the Connemara.

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2 hours ago, David Williams said:

They have started to making the PA Portsmouth crossings full now for September, guess that is the next one !

BF have said that they will announce it all tomorrow.

We have been thinking about this and half expected the Cap sailings to be cancelled and moved to the Pont. It still could happen this way if they have blocked out Pont Aven to allow transfer from the Cap which I believe will be pretty full for the first couple of weeks in September. Tomorrow will tell

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30 minutes ago, Lapper said:

The Connemara rotations to Cherbourg and Le Havre have been removed from the timetable from the beginning of September onwards.

Interesting that they were removed and not just showing as full, however wasn’t that meant to be the Etretat as Connemara was meant to be switching to Bilbao before that got cancelled.

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Armorique and Bretagne to be laid up, Etretat not returning to service. Connemara no longer going to Spain, Pont-Aven doing all the Plymouth routes and no longer sailing to Portsmouth. News was published at 00:01 so was clearly under press embargo until today:

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/brittany-ferries-laying-up-ships-4436907

So leaves:

Pont-Aven: Plymouth-Roscoff, Plymouth-Santander, Roscoff-Cork.

Cap Finistere: Portsmouth-Bilbao/Santander

MSM: Portsmouth-Ouistreham

Normandie: Portsmouth-Ouistreham

Connemara: Portsmouth-Cherbourg/Le Havre

Kerry: Rosslare-Bilbao, Rosslare-Roscoff

Pelican: Poole-Bilbao


Laid up: Armorique, Bretagne, Barfleur, Normandie Express, Etretat

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Brittany Ferries confirms post-August schedule changes, as demand slumps

19 August 2020

Following the imposition of quarantine on travellers returning from France and the effect this has had on existing reservations as well as forward demand, Brittany Ferries today confirms changes to scheduled services. The news follows a weekend in which 35,000 passengers either cancelled or delayed their travel plans with the company. Forward demand for autumn sailings is also extremely weak.

As a consequence, the company has been forced to change its schedules, with the first changes applying from the end of August. The following ships and route amendments have now been confirmed:

Brittany Ferries Armorique will be laid up from 31 August. She currently serves the Plymouth to Roscoff route.

Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven will replace Armorique on the Plymouth to Roscoff route from 10 September with three return trips per week. Pont-Aven will also continue to operate one return sailing from Plymouth to Santander and from Roscoff to Cork during the week.

Brittany Ferries Bretagne will be laid up from 7 September. She currently serves the Portsmouth to St Malo route.

Brittany Ferries Etretat will not resume crossings, as planned: Connemara will continue to operate the Cherbourg and Le Havre rotations from Portsmouth, but will no longer serve Spain.

“We warned over the weekend that schedule changes were likely, as quarantine measures have led to a significant drop in demand for our services,” said Christophe Mathieu, director general Brittany Ferries. “This is not something we want to do. However, in the context of a terrible summer season we have no choice but to consolidate sailings that, by virtue of lack of passenger numbers, are uneconomic to run. These extraordinary decisions are regrettable and we apologise in advance to all those whose travel plans will be disrupted.”

Around 50,000 passengers with existing bookings will be affected by the schedule changes. Brittany Ferries apologises in advance for the inconvenience and will do all it can to accommodate displaced customers on other services. The call centre is expected to be very busy in the days ahead. Passengers are therefore asked to wait for notification of any change to their booking and – where possible – to make alternative arrangements via the My Booking facility on the website:

For more visit: https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/coronavirus

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1 hour ago, Jim said:

This makes for grim reading :(

Agreed but it’s (a) decisive, (b) shows they had thought this through and had a plan if quarantine was brought back and (c) those who wish to/can cross the Western Channel still have a few options. Dark times indeed and we’re all battening down the hatches for the coming months to ensure there is some sort of a future once life starts improving again which it surely will, but not just yet though...:(

Chris

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I’m glad in a way that they are making such drastic decisions the summer season is over there’s no end in sight to the quarantine so it seems to be the logical decision to minimise overheads and batten down the hatches, hopefully we won’t see mass redundancies amongst the staff but it seems inevitable.

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I’ve read through the latest press release but it’s left me unsure as to what is still running? Is the Pont Aven still going to be doing it’s scheduled run between Portsmouth and Santander in September? We’re hoping we won’t be receiving a your trip is cancelled email. 

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Consolidating Services, a message from our CEO

Hello from Brittany

It’s been a difficult year for our customers, our colleagues and our business.

Quarantine measures have compounded the considerable difficulty we’ve already faced this year as the global pandemic tightened its grip on Western Europe. Sadly, we must again take extraordinary measures in the short-term to assure our long-term survival.

In recent days we’ve witnessed many tens of thousands of customers moving from their sailings to avoid the impact of the various quarantines being introduced globally. We’re now witnessing a severe drop in demand through the Autumn and must react accordingly.

After considerable scrutiny of passenger numbers and consultation with our crews and partners, we now have a solution that will safeguard sailings to and from the UK, France, Spain and Ireland in the immediate future. We’ve managed to consolidate our fleet plan and still deliver enough space for all customers to travel safely and enjoyably in the coming weeks, but I accept, and regret, it will not be a perfect solution for all.

The immediate consequence of this situation is a change to schedules, beginning at the end of August. Changes to the following ships and routes are now confirmed:

  • Armorique will be rested from 31 August. She currently serves the Plymouth to Roscoff route
  • Pont-Aven will replace Armorique on Plymouth-Roscoff route from 10 September with three return trips per week
  • Pont-Aven will also continue to operate one return sailing to Santander (from Plymouth) and one return sailing from Roscoff to Cork during the week
  • Bretagne will be rested from 7 September 2020. She currently serves the Portsmouth to St Malo route
  • Economie services to Spain will be withdrawn and customers upgraded to our classic service on Cap Finistère or Pont-Aven

We’ve now begun the process of contacting everyone who will be impacted by this exceptionally difficult decision. This process will take time but if you are affected, you will be contacted by email.

You can also change your own sailing through the My Booking facility on our website.

In most cases we’ll be able to move sailings to something very close to the itinerary currently booked. We’ll write to you to confirm any changes and detail your options accordingly. I anticipate everyone affected being contacted, in date order, within two weeks. I’ll keep you posted here with likely response times as I suspect it may well take some time to get through all the changes.

We’ve pulled in as many people as possible from around the business to help make this difficult decision as easy for customers as it can reasonably be.

It isn’t possible to know now how quarantine arrangements will change in the coming weeks. The only thing I can be sure of today is the profound impact they are having on our business.  We will continue to monitor that impact and strive to react to all developments swiftly and conclusively.

I’m sorry for the disappointment this message may bring and trust you can understand our situation. We have every intention of long-term survival and have a comprehensive five-year recovery plan in place to assure that. These extraordinary measures, by no means unique to our business, are a necessary step on our journey to recovery.

Thank you for your support and understanding, we’re looking forward to being of continued service to you.
 

Christophe Mathieu

CEO Brittany Ferries

Last updated: 19 August 2020

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That covers what we know already but I would imagine it was important BF staff were kept fully in the loop before everything went public. The one word of interest is that Armorique and Bretagne are being rested, which makes me think they'll be back at some stage over the coming months, especially Armorique covering the 2 Caen vessels during refit. We'll see......

Chris

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18 hours ago, Lapper said:

The Connemara rotations to Cherbourg and Le Havre have been removed from the timetable from the beginning of September onwards.

They are back in until the 1st Nov now, they just removed the Etretat and put the Connemara back in, still no update on the Winter timetable, I imagine that will wait a few weeks.

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