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2021 Timetables


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One season the port of Arromanches did have 2.5 million passengers and 500,000 vehicles.

I think we all make the mistake in not appreciating the ways and means. A port may have excellent facilities but if the access and approaches are limited HGV's and holiday traffic will look elsewhere.

Yeah, the French BFenthusiasts website has been on strike from about 5 minutes before it went live. And that was 15 years ago. Ed. 

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13 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I imagine that some highly paid person thought of the Sea Lounge !

Mind you, they would have to have been British !

Stena Line call some of their bars C-View Lounge (I think Hollandica/Britannica do at Harwich; Germanica, Scandinavica, Vision and Spirit definitely do, Europe used to but I think it is all just Barista now).

The lounge on Galicia looks very similar to the Stena Plus lounge on the existing E-Flexers, so wondering how much they are planning to fiddle with the layout. The reclining seats lounge looks like it is where the Hugge Reclining Seats lounge is on the Stena ships. The self-service is down a deck on the Stena examples, directly behind it is the galley so am starting to wonder if Galicia won't have an a la carte restaurant? Stena don't have a la carte restaurants on those ships either, instead it's table service (so sort of a la carte equivalent) if you pay to go in Stena Plus. So start wondering if this means they're dispensing with a la carte on Galicia and to get breakfast, lunch and dinner in a location other than the self-service or the salon du the (imagining that must be in the reception/atrium lobby where Barista is on Stena) as the description from their website and scale of the lounge has given me that hint... but I could be far adrift of course, they might just be cutting a chunk out of the self-service to go a la carte or not offering self service at all. Hopefully won't be too long before BF reveal all now that they don't need to get us all excited about Honfleur any longer.

 

Open all day (closed overnight), the lounge offers a host of complimentary services:

  • Hot and cold drinks - tea, coffee, juices and soft drinks
  • Variety of snacks like fruit, nuts and olives
  • Variety of sweet cakes and desserts
  • Continental breakfast selection
  • Afternoon selection of cold buffet foods
  • Dinnertime selection of hot and cold buffet foods
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Bretagne was dry docked this year wasn't she? So she could in theory run all winter. I think Armorique is due in the dry dock though, as is MSM, presumably CF as well, as she always goes annually. What with her new engines and coivd, PA should be remarkably well rested..

Nice to see Barfleur returning for the duration though.

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33 minutes ago, ZinedineBiscan said:

Is there any intel when the St Malo timetable will be released?  I pushed my April trip to September back in March rather ahead of the voucher offer but need to move it to April 21 now.  😟

It should be next Wednesday & Jane is saying on Twitter that St Malo will continue over the winter

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2 hours ago, hf_uk said:

I heard BF crew work 2 weeks on 2 weeks off. Is that normal throughout other countries, regardless of the base wage?

1 week on, 1 off. Other countries vary massively. Depends on the nationality and company but for ferries, I think 2 on 2 off is common. But can be longer for some nationalities.

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2 hours ago, Seashore said:

I'm wondering what the C stands for, I'm assuming it's Commodore Covid Club Lounge... although I'm guessing it's just as easily coronavirus.

Perhaps it's just on Deck C. 

 

2 hours ago, hf_uk said:

I heard BF crew work 2 weeks on 2 weeks off. Is that normal throughout other countries, regardless of the base wage?

I think there's a crew change every week otherwise it makes the schedules more complicated. That's why CF calls in at Roscoff every Monday morning. 

Ed. 

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1 hour ago, Seashore said:

Stena Line call some of their bars C-View Lounge (I think Hollandica/Britannica do at Harwich; Germanica, Scandinavica, Vision and Spirit definitely do, Europe used to but I think it is all just Barista now).

The lounge on Galicia looks very similar to the Stena Plus lounge on the existing E-Flexers, so wondering how much they are planning to fiddle with the layout. The reclining seats lounge looks like it is where the Hugge Reclining Seats lounge is on the Stena ships. The self-service is down a deck on the Stena examples, directly behind it is the galley so am starting to wonder if Galicia won't have an a la carte restaurant? Stena don't have a la carte restaurants on those ships either, instead it's table service (so sort of a la carte equivalent) if you pay to go in Stena Plus. So start wondering if this means they're dispensing with a la carte on Galicia and to get breakfast, lunch and dinner in a location other than the self-service or the salon du the (imagining that must be in the reception/atrium lobby where Barista is on Stena) as the description from their website and scale of the lounge has given me that hint... but I could be far adrift of course, they might just be cutting a chunk out of the self-service to go a la carte or not offering self service at all. Hopefully won't be too long before BF reveal all now that they don't need to get us all excited about Honfleur any longer.

 

Open all day (closed overnight), the lounge offers a host of complimentary services:

  • Hot and cold drinks - tea, coffee, juices and soft drinks
  • Variety of snacks like fruit, nuts and olives
  • Variety of sweet cakes and desserts
  • Continental breakfast selection
  • Afternoon selection of cold buffet foods
  • Dinnertime selection of hot and cold buffet foods

If they are sticking with the basic layout the location of the truckers restaurant on the Stena ship would make an ok-sized a la carte.

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13 minutes ago, ollie@portsmouth said:

Regarding Plymouth to Roscoff winter closure they state in Twitter ", we are in extraordinary times and unfortunately, we are not currently in a position to operate services that normally run at a financial loss".

Very sad if Ply-Ros becomes properly seasonal. 

Afraid it is called market forces,ask yourself would you run a ferry if you were losing money?With this virus everyone are tightening there belts to reduce running costs.stay safe

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Which other routes would fall into the category of “running at a financial loss”?

I’d assume now that Le Havre is just duplication so it’ll go to allow for everything to be concentrated on Ouistreham? Maybe it’ll free up a linkspan for a competitor to come along. Sending Galicia for crew change in Cherbourg rather than Le Havre is probably an indication of they’re pulling out of Le Havre. Not just Covid but Brexit is coming next year.

St Malo is busy in Summer but is it viable outside of mid May to mid Sept? Does that make it viable at all?

No mention of further French route updates other than Le Havre and St Malo so do we have to assume Normandie Express is laid up or a goner for now?

Assuming Etretat charter ends, Connemara goes to Roscoff to replace Kerry, Cotentin is presumably on her way back but a conversion to a passenger ship might be doubtful expense right now. I do wonder if we’ll see Cotentin on the Spain routes replacing Pelican and/or Cap Finistere? They might see PA + CF + GA + freighter as too much right now. Could it be that PA runs a midweek to St Malo and CF at the weekend? Yes, it’s all doom and gloom speculation but I think there’s a shock to come next week and they’ll pull the Covid card - valid or not - in order to dispose of the oldest ship in the fleet and the one that doesn’t have scrubbers.

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After the arrival of Galicia it looks like Pont-Aven is no longer visiting Portsmouth if I can correctly extrapolate the following:

Fri 13:15 Plym - Fri 19:45 Ros
Fri 22:00 Ros - Sat 10:00 Cork
Sat 16:00 Cork - Sun 07:00 Ros
Sun 09:45 Ros - Sun 14:00 Plym
Sun 16:45 Plym - Mon 12:15 San
Mon ??:?? San - Tue ??:?? Plym
Tue 20:00 Plym - Wed 07:00 Ros
Wed 09:00 Ros - Wed 13:15 Plym
Wed ??:?? Plym - Thu ??:?? San
Thu ??:?? San - Fri ??:?? Plym

So Pont-Aven must be doing 2x Santander round trips back to the original Mon/Wed and Tue/Thur pattern of years past, 2x Plymouth and 1x Cork rotations so no time to go to Portsmouth based on the above, it just looks impossible. Maybe whilst the Roscoff to Plymouth and Cork routes are closed in the winter she'll sail up from Santander-Plymouth-Santander but be based in Portsmouth so can take on the St Malo route at weekends when she'd normally be pootling over to Cork.

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49 minutes ago, Seashore said:

After the arrival of Galicia it looks like Pont-Aven is no longer visiting Portsmouth if I can correctly extrapolate the following:

Fri 13:15 Plym - Fri 19:45 Ros
Fri 22:00 Ros - Sat 10:00 Cork
Sat 16:00 Cork - Sun 07:00 Ros
Sun 09:45 Ros - Sun 14:00 Plym
Sun 16:45 Plym - Mon 12:15 San
Mon ??:?? San - Tue ??:?? Plym
Tue 20:00 Plym - Wed 07:00 Ros
Wed 09:00 Ros - Wed 13:15 Plym
Wed ??:?? Plym - Thu ??:?? San
Thu ??:?? San - Fri ??:?? Plym

Doesn't leave much time anywhere for a crew change?

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Cap Finistere can go fast, but is massively overpowered. The Superfasts might be fast in conventional terms but they don’t employ any new technology to do that, it’s just pure brute force that makes them go so fast. That’s why Stena run theirs much more slowly because they’re vastly more efficient and far cheaper to run at around 19-20 knots than at 27-28 knots.

Maybe the fast way down to Spain will now be Plymouth on PA, she could go more slowly but she’d miss out that Tues/Weds return to Roscoff. Galicia won’t be fast but she’s ultra efficient, Stena Estrid and Edda can maintain 18 knots on one engine (useful for Estrid as the other one hasn’t be working!). Does CF now need to pelt it down there at the same speed? Portsmouth to Spain looks like it maybe be a slower and certainly less luxurious option now that PA is off it in Summer.

Perhaps CF only does two Spain returns? Perhaps she calls in to Le Havre once a week? But why maintain a base in Le Havre for one crossing? With capacity restrictions on passengers there’ll be fewer car on car decks and therefore Normandie/MSM have more space for freight.

I’d put money on CF going to St Malo in winter at least, with Bretagne doing a short 4/5-month season. Or between Cap Finistere and Bretagne, one of them goes either into cold layup or gone from the fleet forever.

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2 minutes ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Doesn't leave much time anywhere for a crew change?

It looks like it would be a Sunday morning as that’s 2h45m in Roscoff as opposed to 2h on Wednesday morning and 2h15 on a Friday night. They’re all published times except the Santander crossings, but looking at the published schedule she can’t be doing anything else other than what’s published. But she seems to be doing mostly 5h15m crossings on Plymouth-Roscoff so it’s hardly as fast as she can go, so there’s some room to make up time if delayed?

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5 minutes ago, Seashore said:

 

Perhaps CF only does two Spain returns? Perhaps she calls in to Le Havre once a week? But why maintain a base in Le Havre for one crossing? With capacity restrictions on passengers there’ll be fewer car on car decks and therefore Normandie/MSM have more space for freight.

Quite simply because Le Havre is the first commercial port in France and needs a cross-Channel link all year round. The port authority has invested heavily in the terminal, and I can't imagine BF no longer serving its main port used for the armament of its ships... there's a backtment. Also, don't forget that the quality of the supply attracts demand. With Etretat and Connemara, it's a survival waiting for better.

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Yes, it could have a better year round service. Doesn’t mean Brittany Ferries have to provide though?!

On a slimmed down Portsmouth to Cherbourg (NEX gone) and St Malo (potentially?) service then Ouistreham is better placed to pick up the passengers. I remember early 2000s when I lived in Pont-Aven I’d have to trek to Ouistreham or Le Havre in winter as all the Breton ports were unserved in winter. Looks like we may be back to that.

BF are in trouble financially, they’ve said, and whilst they have a loan it’s exactly that, it must be paid back. They also have not endeared themselves with customers in the whole refund debacle that isn’t unique to BF by any means, as a whole the travel/tourism industry has done itself no favours and has come off pretty poorly, but BF are up there with Hoseasons and Skyes Cottages as being one of the worst for declining refunds. Try to talk to them, I’ve not, and you’ve got a company hanging on the goodwill of customers to a few staff members - BF would be lost without Jane!!

Perhaps BF have just grown too complacent. I’d love to see a ship with a big “S” on a red funnel sail out of Le Havre every day. Or you never know, a displaced Calais Seaways could make an unlikely return, but possible DFDS could. The best news for Le Havre in the long run is that BF stop hogging the linkspan with a token service that’s just about stifling competition. Your passion for Le Havre is magnifique but BF are not going to move from Ouistreham to Le Havre... not going to happen.

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Just a quick note to record that a number of off-topic posts have been removed.  This thread is about the 2021 timetables, which have been part-released, what they show and by extension what can be logically inferred from what has been published about those bits that haven’t yet.  It is not about speculative discussion of what BF might / might not / should / should not do about certain ports / routes at some other point in the future not connected with these published timetables.  (And especially not where those speculations have already been aired ad nauseam in the forum). 😉

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Had an email yesterday from BF offering 20% of 2021 fares but only on UK routes. Tweeted to ask about Irish routes abd given a link but inly for 15% off (poor relations again). Checked new timetables to find now two sailings a week (Cork-Roscoff) next summer (PA & A) but no timetables from Rosslare-Roscoff. And no timetable for Rosslare-Bilbao for 2021

 

Edited by BigDW1946
Addition information ref Rosslare-Bilbao
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1 hour ago, BigDW1946 said:

Checked new timetables to find now two sailings a week (Cork-Roscoff) next summer (PA & A) but no timetables from Rosslare-Roscoff. And no timetable for Rosslare-Bilbao for 2021

 

Agreed Dave, I have a feeling BF are putting some serious thought into their Irish routes. With IF retreating from Rosslare up to Dublin ( not an entire success by the way) while scuttling their Roscoff service, and Stena passing up the opportunity to put Superfast X on the Cherbourg run their is now potential to grow the business IMHO.
Chris

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9 hours ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Doesn't leave much time anywhere for a crew change?

I've seen crew changing on a Tuesday evening when the PA did the Tuesday crossing. With the new timetable she will be in Roscoff three times every week.

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There will still be plenty of time in PA’s schedule for catching up delays.

From 1315 Weds to 1315 Fri is 48 hours, which is exactly the time PA needs for a round trip to Santander - expect the timings to be dep Plymouth 1615 on Weds, arriving Santander 1245 Thursday, dep Santander 1545 Thurs arriving Plymouth 1015 Friday.

However, from 1400 Sun to 2000 Tues is 54 hours.  6 more than needed.  So plenty of space to catch up, and then there is the slow steam overnight to Roscoff, now on Tuesdays.  The Sunday departure to Santander is clearly going to be later than previously - 1615 at the earliest (if they stick with the current Sunday turnaround time) but probably nearer 1700.  And then departure from Santander on Mondays could be anywhere between 1615 and 2200 in order to get back to Plymouth by 1700 on Tuesdays.

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Galicia’s Spanish schedule is clearly going to be something like:

dep Portsmouth 0900 on Tuesdays and Fridays

arr Santander 1400 on Wednesdays and Saturdays

dep Santander 1700 on Wednesdays and Saturdays

arr Portsmouth 2000 on Thursdays and Sundays

This is what will fit around the published Cherbourg timetable exactly, and they are going to clearly allow 28 hours for her passages to and from Spain.  (As widely expected).

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