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The Future of Le Havre as a Ferry Port


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Ramsgate is looking for ferries as well as Le Havre. Is that a possible business opportunity for the ill fated Seaborne freight company, or for Mr Eiamunk who entertained persuasively for many months

They only provide subsidy to ferry companies that don’t have Ferries.

Seems to be a whiff of double standards in this topic: It's ok to have a dig at Le Havre but not the other (magical) BF ports. Anyway, the solution is clear. Close Ouistreham and Le Havre and tow

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3 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Gosh this thread is proving popular!  Maybe I should start another one about Weymouth! 🤣

 

There has never been the excellent service of the P&O in Weymouth ... Weymouth is rather a kind of St Malo 😉  there are also cormorants when you get there by boat

Edited by LHCity
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18 minutes ago, LHCity said:

I was responding to Gareth's remark, which said that only the Seine Maritime still had two cross-Channel links. Theories are confronted with geographic realities. Finally you show that the most logical solution is to concentrate everything between Ouistreham and Dieppe => Le Havre !

No, you were definitely replying to me.

Concentrating everything in Le Havre makes no sense if Cherbourg has no all-year-round service. it does usually but may not in future. There are enormous numbers of second-homes in Calvados and Manche and without a regular service to Ouistreham that's a problem out of season. Le Havre doesn't serve as big a catchment area as Ouistreham, and never can. 

Ed. 

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18 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Gosh this thread is proving popular!  Maybe I should start another one about Weymouth! 🤣

In fact this thread has had more traffic in the last 18 hours than Le Havre has had all year.

Ed. 

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3 hours ago, David Williams said:

Tourists will fit their plans around timetables, however the area around Le Havre is not as appealing to UK visitors as the other 'Holiday' ports that BF serve - there is something magical about all of the other BF French ports (I don't know what Cherbourg is like !), Le Havre just offers some containers made into an Arch !

Speaking as someone with no BF loyalties, the magical nature of their ports has pretty much zero impact on whether I use them or not (I'd extend that to absolute zero in the case of Ouistreham and Le Havre).  

Proximity to onward journey (we've used Ouistreham and Roscoff - though it morphed into Brest while we were sleeping), price (hence we've never been to St Malo) and timing (we almost booked the Le Havre overnighter as it was the most civilised) are far greater factors.

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2 hours ago, David Williams said:

Is that going to exist or is it just part of the expansion wishes of Le Havre ?

It is an inter-municipal cooperation around a geographical reality: The estuary. Everyone thinks that this prefigures a future Metropolis (in the administrative sense of the term). https://www.estuairedelaseine.fr/.  This corresponds to the area of direct influence of Le Havre for home / work mobility

For those who are interested in history, it takes exactly a departmental project of the XIXth century which should have been called Seine Maritime (at the time when the current "Seine Maritime" was called Seine Inferior), or "Porte Océane"

 

 

2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

No, you were definitely replying to me.

Concentrating everything in Le Havre makes no sense if Cherbourg has no all-year-round service. it does usually but may not in future. There are enormous numbers of second-homes in Calvados and Manche and without a regular service to Ouistreham that's a problem out of season. Le Havre doesn't serve as big a catchment area as Ouistreham, and never can. 

Ed. 

Of course ... but we come back to the P&O / Thoresen scheme.

At that time Le Havre covered both the hinterland of Dieppe and Ouistreham (at a time when the Pont de Normandie did not yet exist !!!)

 

2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

In fact this thread has had more traffic in the last 18 hours than Le Havre has had all year.

Ed. 

Note that this is the only line that saw its passenger traffic increase last year.

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

Le Havre doesn't serve as big a catchment area as Ouistreham, and never can. 

If you are thinking of passengers with holiday homes in northern France. What about anyone in the west or Midlands who wants to head south and east and hates the drive to Dover?

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For me it failed purely because it happened to be served by P&O. Faced with an overall market that had shrunk and successful competition at port that kind of split the difference between their two offerings, they threw in the towel.  Had it happened that BF were running the PO - LH, I think it would be Ouistreham that would have closed.

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Not sure Le Have is well located for onward travel, both passenger & freight.

If I was Chairman of Nick Line I’d build a berth at Honfleur and sail there.

And my crowd funding page to buy a half complete cross channel ferry is linked ......

Edited by nick hall
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4 hours ago, David Williams said:

I don't actually agree, the overnight crossing from the UK is often the most popular on any route and Le Havre offered that and a bed is a bed (especially if you are allowed to stay in it for an extra hour). The return time was a perfectly normal time. Tourists will fit their plans around timetables, however the area around Le Havre is not as appealing to UK visitors as the other 'Holiday' ports that BF serve - there is something magical about all of the other BF French ports (I don't know what Cherbourg is like !), Le Havre just offers some containers made into an Arch !

PS St Malo is an important passenger line with low Frequencies !

Le Havre is actually very interesting and with some well-directed and well-targeted promotion could and should appeal to the UK market, particularly weekend / mini breakers. Great beach, with a wide choice of refreshments, much for the "culture vultures' – modern art and of course the postwar architecture – plenty of shops (including the Docks) and sightseeing (boat tours, the funicular etc etc). To say nothing of the surrounding area – think Deauville, Honfleur, Fecamp and Etretat to name but a few.

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7 minutes ago, nick hall said:

Not sure Le Have is well located for onward travel, both passenger & freight.

If I was Chairman of Nick Line I’d build a berth at Honfleur and sail there.

And my crowd funding page to buy a half complete cross channel ferry is linked ......

Quick access to the Autoroute network, train service to Paris and beyond...

 

5 minutes ago, kenw said:

Le Havre is actually very interesting and with some well-directed and well-targeted promotion could and should appeal to the UK market, particularly weekend / mini breakers. Great beach, with a wide choice of refreshments, much for the "culture vultures' – modern art and of course the postwar architecture – plenty of shops (including the Docks) and sightseeing (boat tours, the funicular etc etc). To say nothing of the surrounding area – think Deauville, Honfleur, Fecamp and Etretat to name but a few.

Oddly, P&O from Dover have even promoted 'Le Havre' as a destination in the past... with a picture of Honfleur.

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1 hour ago, VikingVoyager said:

If you are thinking of passengers with holiday homes in northern France. What about anyone in the west or Midlands who wants to head south and east and hates the drive to Dover?

Try Newhaven to Dieppe with three crossings per day in summer. 😱

 

1 hour ago, VikingVoyager said:

Making it a more attractive port....!

If you want to go to those areas obviously, yes. But Ouistream is right in the middle of Calvados so covers more of it better and if you want to go to Orne you need to get your head looked at. 😜

Ed.

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57 minutes ago, VikingVoyager said:

For me it failed purely because it happened to be served by P&O. Faced with an overall market that had shrunk and successful competition at port that kind of split the difference between their two offerings, they threw in the towel.  Had it happened that BF were running the PO - LH, I think it would be Ouistreham that would have closed.

That's an interesting thought. Mind you I keep remembering how old I am getting and realise that youngsters may not know just how P&O let things decline before they pulled the plug. The let's get totally hammered going to Cherbourg  and back crowd on PoB at the CFT every Friday night was a sight to behold and must have put off oodles of potential customers and the on board experience became quite mediocre. One particularly appalling experience on the Portsmouth Express - a day it was working - was enough for us to say never again.

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3 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Try Newhaven to Dieppe with three crossings per day in summer. 😱

 

If you want to go to those areas obviously, yes. But Ouistream is right in the middle of Calvados so covers more of it better and if you want to go to Orne you need to get your head looked at. 😜

Ed.

I might, but then I'm in Yorkshire. If I lived in the Midlands or south west I'd place Newhaven in the same bucket as Dover.

I know nothing of Orne. I was just making the point that the lack of things to waylay travellers (which I think was your point with respect to Dieppe) is not a bad thing for most of us. 

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4 hours ago, Gareth said:

The P&O Olaus would have been worthy recipients of the names that they were earmarked to have (Etretat and Honfleur).  Such a shame that probably the two most iconic tourist attractions in Normandy have had their names wasted on subsequent fiascos.

Thank goodness for Barfleur in that case, and I never thought I'd ever say that. Ed. 

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I remember a very pleasant P&O day return to Le Havre in 2002 ( I think ) with 2 overnight cabins for less that £100- we needed to go to a Notaire!
 

Only problem was that docking on return was delayed as she managed to damage HMS St Albans prior to getting to her berth.

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4 hours ago, David Williams said:

ps and for me Le Havre has got worse since they removed the 3 car underpasses on the road out !

Have they? Sacrilege! That shows how long it's been since I last bothered to go there. It was always so much fun watching the car in front trying to remember of he had roof-bars attached or not when hurtling towards the plastic flaps and diving to the right at the last minute just in case. Ed

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1 hour ago, LHCity said:

Note that this is the only line that saw its passenger traffic increase last year.

Four hours ago you said:

'I think today it is not an important passenger line because the frequencies are low and the vessels unsuitable for passengers.'

It's not hard to generate an increase if you start low enough is it?  You just need one non-strike-interupted crossing extra (tough to achieve I'll admit in Le Havre) and, BINGO. 

Ed. 

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