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Le Quiberon

Silja Serenade/Silja Symphony - Jan 2020.

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Just now, jonno said:

I doubt that as although she's pushing 170m and considering her design, her freight capacity is poor, only Bretagne's is less... and I'm not going into the the SPC's & EIG's again. 

:)

She is versatile as a vessel  - but the freight capacity is low for that reason. if she had the same height deck 5 as Cotentin it would be very good. But for whatever reason, Plymouth has hung onto her and good job! 

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One thing I found strange on my Baltic trip was that a vessel with the grandeur of Silja Europa trundles across a short 3.5 hour crossing at a low rate of knottage on Helsinki - Tallin. Seems a bit overkill to me, she should be on a long haul route. I know it is targeted as a mini cruise but it seems like a waste, given she plys a very short stretch of water.

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16 minutes ago, Le Quiberon said:

One thing I found strange on my Baltic trip was that a vessel with the grandeur of Silja Europa trundles across a short 3.5 hour crossing at a low rate of knottage on Helsinki - Tallin. Seems a bit overkill to me, she should be on a long haul route. I know it is targeted as a mini cruise but it seems like a waste, given she plys a very short stretch of water.

She'd go down a treat on the UK-SANTANDER mini-cruise:)

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37 minutes ago, Le Quiberon said:

One thing I found strange on my Baltic trip was that a vessel with the grandeur of Silja Europa trundles across a short 3.5 hour crossing at a low rate of knottage on Helsinki - Tallin. Seems a bit overkill to me, she should be on a long haul route. I know it is targeted as a mini cruise but it seems like a waste, given she plys a very short stretch of water.

Passengers are essentially on board her for 20- odd  hours though, very few book her as a point to point option. That's the key difference, for a large chunk of pax on Silja and Viking, and especially on the Europa, Cinderella and the Turku route, the ships are the destination in a way that doesn't apply to BF.

They also on the Stockholm routes still have duty free to prop them up.

The Olau ships were fine combination day/night ships designed for the sort of schedule they ran on to Le Havre. They've ended up as overnight ships by default but weren't really conceived like that. They do have ok-ish freight capacity but when you look at the way the W Channel freight market has developed since they were introduced, and at how passenger volumes have stagnated, they were clearly not the right ships any more by the time P&O pulled the plug. 

Just imagine though how things would have gone had P&O got Athena and Kalypso instead of the Olaus in 1993/94 - it would have been amazing for a while and the mini cruise market would have blossomed more than it did - but almost certainly given their lack of freight capacity P&O dodged a bullet there. 

Edited by hhvferry

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I was supposed to do the 22 hour Europa mini cruise however it was unavailable for one day while I was over there. I was intrigued at the prospect of very slow;y traversing a short stretch of water and then spending the whole evening and night in dock. Seemed unusual to me, however, I will be doing it in the summer.

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26 minutes ago, Le Quiberon said:

I was supposed to do the 22 hour Europa mini cruise however it was unavailable for one day while I was over there. I was intrigued at the prospect of very slow;y traversing a short stretch of water and then spending the whole evening and night in dock. Seemed unusual to me, however, I will be doing it in the summer.

I imagine if you're not completely blotto by about 9pm you're potentially breaching Tallink's terms and conditions. 

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7 minutes ago, hhvferry said:

I imagine if you're not completely blotto by about 9pm you're potentially breaching Tallink's terms and conditions. 

I am guessing its a completely different set up to the star/megstar sailings then?

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I did Helsinki to Tallin back in 1989 before the wall came down and the USSR broke up. My vivid memory of the ship was smoke, fag smoke, everywhere, needed a knife to cut through it. Back then the Finns went over wearing 2 layers of clothing, sold the outer layer for local currency which they spent on booze to keep them warm on the way back. If you could smuggle in some windscreen wipers you owned the place....

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5 hours ago, hhvferry said:

Passengers are essentially on board her for 20- odd  hours though, very few book her as a point to point option. That's the key difference, for a large chunk of pax on Silja and Viking, and especially on the Europa, Cinderella and the Turku route, the ships are the destination in a way that doesn't apply to BF.

They also on the Stockholm routes still have duty free to prop them up.

The Olau ships were fine combination day/night ships designed for the sort of schedule they ran on to Le Havre. They've ended up as overnight ships by default but weren't really conceived like that. They do have ok-ish freight capacity but when you look at the way the W Channel freight market has developed since they were introduced, and at how passenger volumes have stagnated, they were clearly not the right ships any more by the time P&O pulled the plug. 

Just imagine though how things would have gone had P&O got Athena and Kalypso instead of the Olaus in 1993/94 - it would have been amazing for a while and the mini cruise market would have blossomed more than it did - but almost certainly given their lack of freight capacity P&O dodged a bullet there. 

Talking of duty free... I haven't really kept up with the changes around this for Brexit. Without starting a whole new Brexit yarn, does anyone know - the amount you can bring back from France in terms of wine / beer etc... is that still unchanged at the moment? And presumably, BF have not done any new 'oldskool Duty Free' deals onboard yet have they? 

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7 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

Talking of duty free... I haven't really kept up with the changes around this for Brexit. Without starting a whole new Brexit yarn, does anyone know - the amount you can bring back from France in terms of wine / beer etc... is that still unchanged at the moment? And presumably, BF have not done any new 'oldskool Duty Free' deals onboard yet have they? 

Nothing changes till 1 Jan 2021 as far as city is concerned.

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The Europa's 20-hour cruises are indeed a spectacle; as of the Viking Cinderella's. There is only one objective; duty-free alcohol. Drink it and then struggle off with copious amounts for later.

I don't think the question on the Serenade/Symphony's forward viewing platform was answered, so, belatedly, I can confirm that even access them via the outside sundeck on Deck 12. You just need to keep walking forward. However, they are usually only open while in port and while navigating through the archipelago at each end. During the main voyage, they are closed and locked off, . Sometimes, they only open when the ship has departed.Gabriella, like Mariella, also has a full viewing platform that is typically open.

It appears that they are only used on the two Helsinki lines. Neither the Isabelle, to Riga, or the Amorella, to Turku, ever seem to have  theirs open.of

it is scary just how much traffic on the Baltic routes is entirely mini cruise. I think they will be very badly hit due to coronavirus, even when sailings resume.

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On 23/03/2020 at 20:03, RAS said:

The Europa's 20-hour cruises are indeed a spectacle; as of the Viking Cinderella's. There is only one objective; duty-free alcohol. Drink it and then struggle off with copious amounts for later.

I don't think the question on the Serenade/Symphony's forward viewing platform was answered, so, belatedly, I can confirm that even access them via the outside sundeck on Deck 12. You just need to keep walking forward. However, they are usually only open while in port and while navigating through the archipelago at each end. During the main voyage, they are closed and locked off, . Sometimes, they only open when the ship has departed.Gabriella, like Mariella, also has a full viewing platform that is typically open.

It appears that they are only used on the two Helsinki lines. Neither the Isabelle, to Riga, or the Amorella, to Turku, ever seem to have  theirs open.of

it is scary just how much traffic on the Baltic routes is entirely mini cruise. I think they will be very badly hit due to coronavirus, even when sailings resume.

Thank you for answering this question I found it so hard to find and access this front deck, maybe it was closed as it was dark and winter time. 

I don't think I could think of much better than viewing the archipelago from the bow deck. I am very surprised that the Viking vessels have front facing decks also.

I was planning on returning to the Baltic in early July although this now seems unlikely. If not I will wait till late summer/autumn.

Once again thanks,

LQ.

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