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3 hours ago, jonno said:

It was the way I wrote it, should have said up to deck 7. Both Rotterdam ships are huge freight luggers when compared to BF's largest ship, the E-Flexer which is the same length.

The Prides only have an extra 200 lane metres but have the capacity to carry 400 HGV's plus 250 cars/small vans, you'd be lucky to fit 140 HGV's on Galicia maximum and have to leave the cars behind.

I think your figures are wrong regarding this. Pride of Rotterdam has 3300 lanemetres and then the dedicated car deck for 250 cars. The Ulysses has 4076 lane metres and can only carry 240 trucks. Where you get your 400 HGV's for the Pride of Rotterdam from I don't know. 

 

Edited by Stena Galloway
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Occasionally required to work with ABP for my job, never a hassle to have to down to the docks for a meeting in Hull. During my times around there though I have noticed that unloading/loading does tak

Are you sure it's not the Duke of York to the US prosecutor's office? Ed. 

Ferry travel was better in the early 80s when the Tor sisters were the best UK ferries in terms of comfort and class by a mile. Very sad to see where we are now with P&O.

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2 hours ago, Danim24 said:

Which begs the question, why did BF go down this route? With the ever-increasing need for more freight lane meters on most routes, the motorway of the seas and train capacity increasing through France, I don't get it. A Pride of Hull type ship could possibly negate the need for the Pelican.

I doubt that, just look at the numbers. The Rotterdam Prides carry 400 a day, Pelican does 200 a week. When 2 E-Flexers arrive Pelican won't be needed anyway.

 

3 hours ago, VikingVoyager said:

Interesting information. Do you knowhow many HGVs the older pair can take?

The ships have 2250 lane metres, deck 3 & 3A - E Deck is split with a hoistable ramp and used for passenger vehicles. Deck 2 - F Deck is freight & deck 1 - G Deck is for also freight.

The Zeebrugge Prides can only carry 4m high trailers. (This restriction was part of the reason why I.F. decided to sell Oscar Wilde.)

Accommodation begins on deck 4 - Green Deck and also has the restaurant. Deck 5 - Red Deck has accommodation the large shop & show bar and finally deck 6 is Blue Deck, last of the accommodation, lounge and cinema.

Deck 7 is A Deck and is for the crew.

That's as high as she goes. Her passenger capacity was also lowered to 880 after the 2017 refit.

She has the same propulsion as Bretagne in very similar confined spaces meaning fitting scrubbers would be a none starter.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Stena Galloway said:

I think your figures are wrong regarding this. Pride of Rotterdam has 3300 lanemetres and then the dedicated car deck for 250 cars. The Ulysses has 4076 lane metres and can only carry 240 trucks. Where you get your 400 HGV's for the Pride of Rotterdam from I don't know. 

 

https://www.poferriesfreight.com/freight/content/pages/template/news_and_info_fleet_information_Hull_-_Rotterdam_Hull-Rotterdam.htm

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8 minutes ago, jonno said:

I'm pretty sure that's a mistake. If you read it, it says "400 freight or 250 cars". By P&O's wording cars have suddenly become bigger than freight. 

Also what are they designating freight as? Is it just trailers? Is it truck and trailer? 

Edited by Stena Galloway
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9 hours ago, jonno said:

I doubt that, just look at the numbers. The Rotterdam Prides carry 400 a day, Pelican does 200 a week. When 2 E-Flexers arrive Pelican won't be needed anyway.

My point being that I don't think the E-Flexers are not much of an improvement in freight carrying numbers. They are for fuel savings only. I also admit to not being a fan of the E-Flexers so my opinion maybe biased. There a far better-looking designs out there, that can carry more freight whilst maintaining passenger comfort ie, Tallinks Megastar for one. Admittedly not much of an upgrade in lane meters, but there are many 4000+ lane meter designed ferries that look far better and allow expansion. They are probably more expensive to charter and run, but if BF were looking to expand freight capacity, help remove trucks from the road, which would have been offset somewhat.

'If' they expanded their freight carrying capacity it may bring the cost of a passenger ticket down, but then again...!

4 hours ago, Le Quiberon said:

A photo of Pride of Hulls scale model and vessel stats

Which points out the 400 figure is only achieved with double stacked containers. So 'unaccompanied' freight. 

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1 hour ago, Danim24 said:

Which points out the 400 figure is only achieved with double stacked containers. So 'unaccompanied' freight

Probably more like 330 HGVs in total (assuming that one HGV takes up the space of two containers and that you can't stack HGVs - Irish Ferries tried it on the Epsilon once though)

*Edit - unless the container space can't be used by HGVs for some reason

Edited by VikingVoyager
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39 minutes ago, VikingVoyager said:

Probably more like 330 HGVs in total (assuming that one HGV takes up the space of two containers and that you can't stack HGVs - Irish Ferries tried it on the Epsilon once though)

 

Quite impressive really when you consider the 'Spirits' in Dover are of similar dimensions but can only carry 180 HGV's!

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9 minutes ago, Danim24 said:

Quite impressive really when you consider the 'Spirits' in Dover are of similar dimensions but can only carry 180 HGV's!

True but I wonder how slow they are to load. Not an issue on the routes they serve.

We've always been on the main freight deck on both of the Zeebrugge and Rotterdam ships. I think that on the Zeebrugge pair that's deck 2/F (i.e. the upper freight) while on Rotterdam pair that's deck 3 (the lower freight deck). Must admit, I'd not noticed that there was a full freight deck above, as shown on this picture, and I've never seen it being loaded.

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Honestly? I think they're all a little fudged regardless... As a minimum an HGV requires 17m, a car given 5m.

2 hours ago, Danim24 said:

My point being that I don't think the E-Flexers are not much of an improvement in freight carrying numbers.

I agree that the E-flexer is about lowering fuel costs and secondly rationalising the services offered to customers... BF realised that both Cap Finistere & Bai du Seine are and were very popular and were full even without the bling and expansive multiple eateries offered by Pont Aven.

Reading the press releases and listening to the interviews it seems clear that Spain will become a 3 ship operation, the three E-Flexers.

Not including Pelican in terms of pax accommodation and max freight capacity take a look at what BF have had over the past 5 years and compare it to what it'll be after 2023.

2015 -2020. 3446 berths & 274 freight... 2023 onwards 3045 berths & 379 freight.

Personally I wouldn't really compare the services to what Megastar offers, again they're two different products targeting different markets. Megastar is a floating duty free shopping mall with next to no berths. She's a floating Trafford Centre. The rest of the Tallink fleet have no real freight capacity either, it's minimal at best - think Bretagne.

The only one up there with any HGV capacity is Viking Grace with the ability to carry 75 trucks separate from the car decks. Yes she's beautiful and very comfortable but for all that she cost a fortune, Viking Glory will be pushing €280 million when eventually handed over, and if she ever appeared in BF colours we'd still have those bemoaning the speed she does.

Same goes for Color Magic & Fantasy, they too will only do 22kts max and have less than 1300 lane metres. There's no place for them on any route sailing from the U.K. or Ireland.

The two which in their heyday may be classed as their equivalent, the Geordie Peter Pans owned by DFDS are on a countdown for replacement as, guess what? They want more freight lanes on the route.

Ultimately this is the reason why BAI chose to sell VDL when a ship had to go to cover debt and, coming full circle back to P&O, was a major contributing factor in the demise of VDL's sisters and Pride of Bilbao at Portsmouth.

Freight may only be 15% of BF's business but as is being experienced now, it's the only thing keeping them afloat. 

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

Honestly? I think they're all a little fudged regardless... As a minimum an HGV requires 17m, a car given 5m.

I agree that the E-flexer is about lowering fuel costs and secondly rationalising the services offered to customers... BF realised that both Cap Finistere & Bai du Seine are and were very popular and were full even without the bling and expansive multiple eateries offered by Pont Aven.

Reading the press releases and listening to the interviews it seems clear that Spain will become a 3 ship operation, the three E-Flexers.

Not including Pelican in terms of pax accommodation and max freight capacity take a look at what BF have had over the past 5 years and compare it to what it'll be after 2023.

2015 -2020. 3446 berths & 274 freight... 2023 onwards 3045 berths & 379 freight.

Personally I wouldn't really compare the services to what Megastar offers, again they're two different products targeting different markets. Megastar is a floating duty free shopping mall with next to no berths. She's a floating Trafford Centre. The rest of the Tallink fleet have no real freight capacity either, it's minimal at best - think Bretagne.

The only one up there with any HGV capacity is Viking Grace with the ability to carry 75 trucks separate from the car decks. Yes she's beautiful and very comfortable but for all that she cost a fortune, Viking Glory will be pushing €280 million when eventually handed over, and if she ever appeared in BF colours we'd still have those bemoaning the speed she does.

Same goes for Color Magic & Fantasy, they too will only do 22kts max and have less than 1300 lane metres. There's no place for them on any route sailing from the U.K. or Ireland.

The two which in their heyday may be classed as their equivalent, the Geordie Peter Pans owned by DFDS are on a countdown for replacement as, guess what? They want more freight lanes on the route.

Ultimately this is the reason why BAI chose to sell VDL when a ship had to go to cover debt and, coming full circle back to P&O, was a major contributing factor in the demise of VDL's sisters and Pride of Bilbao at Portsmouth.

Freight may only be 15% of BF's business but as is being experienced now, it's the only thing keeping them afloat. 

Great post as always! 😀

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3 hours ago, IanN said:

Neither do I 😊

Me too, so far.

I think the main attraction for BF is to do with finances and a large part of that comes from two things:

  • Low purchase price for Stena due to buying in bulk from China (not without risk but it seems to have paid off) which presumably translates to low charter costs
  • The very fact that they can charter them - three brand new ships with largely interchangeable crews - how else could BF do that, even in good times?

The E-flexer design itself doesn't appear to be massively revolutionary, it just reflects the market conditions it was designed under. Others have come up with efficient hull designs and realised that by building a long ship, you get a lot of space on board.

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Occasionally required to work with ABP for my job, never a hassle to have to down to the docks for a meeting in Hull. During my times around there though I have noticed that unloading/loading does take a while,there can't be many hours of the day where they are not, but then again there are fewer tractors then elsewhere to load so I suppose it's relatively steady away. I prefer watching them load the freight in Europort though, been a few times where some quite special items have been loaded on last, or you see the last minute motor home desperately trying to make the crossing. 

There are by the way a couple of videos from P&O that are quite nice reminders of the positives of ferry travel.  Although the music isn't always entirely to my taste!

 

 

 

Edited by Tumnus2010
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The Rotterdam sisters are very large vessels in terms of gross tonnage but you don’t feel that on board as a lot of the vessel is dedicated to garage space - similar to the Harwich sisters.  The Silja sisters are effectively the same size in terms of gross tonnage but you feel it because more space is dedicated to passenger facilities. The Rotterdam sisters are effectively huge ropax ships, they are marketed as ‘cruise ferries’ but they don’t come anywhere near the beauts you see in the Baltic which are very custom designed to their routes and services. L’Q.

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10 hours ago, Le Quiberon said:

The Rotterdam sisters are very large vessels in terms of gross tonnage but you don’t feel that on board as a lot of the vessel is dedicated to garage space - similar to the Harwich sisters.  The Silja sisters are effectively the same size in terms of gross tonnage but you feel it because more space is dedicated to passenger facilities. The Rotterdam sisters are effectively huge ropax ships, they are marketed as ‘cruise ferries’ but they don’t come anywhere near the beauts you see in the Baltic which are very custom designed to their routes and services. L’Q.

Very true, which is kind of what I was saying earlier - in terms of on board experience, they are very similar to the Zeebrugge pair. As it happens though, they both suit their route pretty well - there's a decent shop, eating options and entertainment for your one night on board. There's no need for much day time activity

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On 22/12/2020 at 00:43, jonno said:

The Zeebrugge Prides can only carry 4m high trailers. (This restriction was part of the reason why I.F. decided to sell Oscar Wilde.)

 

Max 4.7m in certain lanes I believe and they have a strengthened area for special heavy cargos.  I've certainly seen some interesting stuff come off them while waiting to get off. I wonder how much trade P&O will lose by dropping the Zeebrugge RoRo service, as clearly not everything they take is box shaped for the Elizabeth.

P&O North Sea seem to be offering a superior service to BF at the moment for Freight Drivers certainly well above the Galicia. Single cabins have been the norm for quite some time, the food offer has been improved and a packed lunch offered for the onward journey. And I think they are also giving drivers discounts in the shops though that might be a Dover thing.

 

 

Edited by Timmy
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When freight is your bread and butter you always ensure the drivers are well looked after. They do sometimes influence ships/crossings and companies. BF on the other hand only had freight as 15% of the business so regarded passengers as their first priority. That, however, may well have changed during this ongoing emergency.

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Last night, Pride of Bruges departed Zeebrugge for her last return trip (presumed) ever.

 

On arrival from Hull on New Year's Eve she will move to Rotterdam for refit cover before joining Pride of York in layup for the beach or sale. Presumably she will also be laid up in Rotterdam.

Tonight's departure from Hull brings to an end over 40 years of passenger service to Zeebrugge.

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Additionally would presume that tonight's departure from Hull will be the last from King George Dock and through the lock. 

She's likely to use the River Berth whilst covering the Rotterdam routes. 

Some nice footage from crew on board last night on Facebook showing her departure from Zeebrugge with "Time to say goodbye" by Andrea Boccelli blasting out from the ships PA as she turned off the berth. 

I've always found Zeebrugge a useful port to get to and from. I do hope this is not the end of pax services to Belgium, but I fear it is.

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Pride of Bruges departed Zeebrugge for Europort this morning and will cover for Pride of Hull, which is currently making its way down the Maas to drydock at Damen Velrome. Pride of Bruges' last departure from Hull is scheduled to be Monday 25th January.

I wonder when the last time both of the old Prides were in Europort together? Could well have been 20 years ago when they were operating the route regularly? 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Pride of Bruges will depart Hull shortly, for probably the final time. On arrival in Europoort tomorrow morning she will unload and then head back to Zeebrugge for lay up, awaiting disposal. Pride of Hull is due back in service tomorrow following refit.

Sad times. 

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