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She trialled all 5 berths at PIP.

I’m sure others will have better shots but just caught her gliding into the harbour 

Not a great photo but here she is leaving Portsmouth, taken from Normandie courtesy of FW! Her trial was to Cherbourg earlier this year... Chris

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59 minutes ago, Khaines said:

 

So NEX replaces Rapide and Liberation replaces NEX (if we follow that logic as proved by these berthing trials), so does Rapide replace Liberation? Or are you simply suggesting that BF abandon their high-speed service and Liberation continues as usual? Ed. 

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8 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

So NEX replaces Rapide and Liberation replaces NEX (if we follow that logic as proved by these berthing trials), so does Rapide replace Liberation? Or are you simply suggesting that BF abandon their high-speed service and Liberation continues as usual? Ed. 

All that he said was that NEX could replace Rapide.  Not me suggesting anything, I am just repeating back what I was told from a chat yesterday.  This is purely an opinion from who I was talking to, and might not come to fruition at all.  We were talking about Cotentin and Barfleur, and he mentioned he reckoned they possibly could get rid of NEX and she COULD replace Rapide and that she costs BF to much money to run.  This is from a BF employee, I have no idea if it will happen or not.  Presume Liberation will continue as she is if that does happen.

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OK, so the opinion of your contact seems to be that this five-year plan doesn't include a role for NEX on cost grounds. That makes sense although I for one will be sad to lose the option of a high-speed crossing. As BF own her outright and the resale market is presumably bad right now, it perhaps makes sense to charter her to Condor (or via some other internal financial arrangement). I wonder what they have planned for Rapide in that case? Backup, sale or scrapping? Ed. 

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12 minutes ago, tecnosam6 said:

Well it could be a possibility I suppose. A very Rapide like Incat has appeared for sale in the UK... http://www.boatersresources.com/boat-for-sale/1996-Custom285FastRoPaxFerry-Used-438653

Interesting! Thanks. The date appears to be a year out for Rapide although the location is correct. 1996 would probably mean it's the old Express or Vitesse but both of those should be in Greece and not the UK. I've been on Rapide many times and the photos look like her so let's see what happens. Ed

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14 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Interesting! Thanks. The date appears to be a year out for Rapide although the location is correct. 1996 would probably mean it's the old Express or Vitesse but both of those should be in Greece and not the UK. I've been on Rapide many times and the photos look like her so let's see what happens. Ed

Looking at the specs of the Rapide/Vitesse on Wikipedia, it seems to point towards the Rapide. Passenger capacity is listed as 900 for the Rapide, whereas it's 740 for the Vitesse. 

It seems strange to me they've looked to Portsmouth for 'contingency' having never done so before. Totally speculating here but I wonder if there's scope for a return to a shared BF/Condor service that we saw in the past:

Liberation - Portsmouth > Cherbourg > Portsmouth for BF, followed by a Channel Islands return for Condor
NEX - Poole > Channel Islands > St Malo > Channel Islands > Poole for Condor

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4 minutes ago, Jim said:

I wonder if there's scope for a return to a shared BF/Condor service that we saw in the past:

Liberation - Portsmouth > Cherbourg > Portsmouth for BF, followed by a Channel Islands return for Condor
NEX - Poole > Channel Islands > St Malo > Channel Islands > Poole for Condor

I was thinking something similar but they do need the morning departure from St Malo for the day trippers.

This could prove interesting to follow.

We did unfortunaltely hear of numerous job losses at Condor recently and that may be the Rapide crew being laid off prior to her sale. Hopefully some might be re-employed on NEX but if she's not reflagged then they will be French only.

I know the cousin of one of Rapide's crew and will see if I can get any information later in the week.

Ed

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3 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

I was thinking something similar but they do need the morning departure from St Malo for the day trippers.

Flipping it around... a French-crewed NEX could always start from St Malo. Not the most sociable hours for a day-trip, but then again Liberation's 2 round trip schedule from the UK showed they aren't opposed to anti-social times.

Potentially, that could also allow for a Portsmouth > St Malo routing with a change in the CIs.

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6 minutes ago, Jim said:

Flipping it around... a French-crewed NEX could always start from St Malo. Not the most sociable hours for a day-trip, but then again Liberation's 2 round trip schedule from the UK showed they aren't opposed to anti-social times.

Potentially, that could also allow for a Portsmouth > St Malo routing with a change in the CIs.

Somewhere back in the old Condor thread we were discusssing similar options and the idea of one ship starting in Poole and the other in St Malo and doing a complete rotation each day, each way was mooted. That provided more inter-island optons (2 each way each day) and more UK-CI options (2 fast crossings - morning and afternoon/evening both ways) and a lunchtime option from Jersy to St Malo and back. The only loss is the mid-morning arrival in St Malo but overall it looks like a pretty good combination. Ed

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10 hours ago, Jim said:

. Totally speculating here but I wonder if there's scope for a return to a shared BF/Condor service that we saw in the past:

Surely this has to be the most likely outcome of BF taking a stake in Condor, I can’t for the life of me think of any other logical reason why they would have done so.

Brigitte’s comment about NEX being too costly run is slightly false in the sense that any ferry, train, bus or other means of transport is deemed too costly if it doesn’t generate enough income to pay the costs of running it. Where her source is correct is yes, fastcraft consume significantly more fuel than a conventional ferry and it’s the more expensive marine diesel rather than heavy fuel oil. They are expensive to run but if you can get an average of say two thirds capacity paying the normal fare (as opposed to discounted day trip rates) then they can be profitable. A shared service stopping at Cherbourg before continuing on to the CI seems to make a considerable amount of sense to me and I’m sure the reason why Lib has now trialled in both ports.

Complete conjecture of course, we’ll hopefully learn more in the coming weeks and months

Chris

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1 hour ago, Fine Whine said:

Surely this has to be the most likely outcome of BF taking a stake in Condor, I can’t for the life of me think of any other logical reason why they would have done so.

Brigitte’s comment about NEX being too costly run is slightly false in the sense that any ferry, train, bus or other means of transport is deemed too costly if it doesn’t generate enough income to pay the costs of running it. Where her source is correct is yes, fastcraft consume significantly more fuel than a conventional ferry and it’s the more expensive marine diesel rather than heavy fuel oil. They are expensive to run but if you can get an average of say two thirds capacity paying the normal fare (as opposed to discounted day trip rates) then they can be profitable. A shared service stopping at Cherbourg before continuing on to the CI seems to make a considerable amount of sense to me and I’m sure the reason why Lib has now trialled in both ports.

Complete conjecture of course, we’ll hopefully learn more in the coming weeks and months

Chris

Biggest issue is Portsmouth to Cherbourg on NEx is usually fairly busy - how much space would there be for pax carrying on to the CI? Certainly would make boarding interesting - row for Cherbourg, row for Guernsey, row for Jersey

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1 hour ago, Fine Whine said:

fastcraft consume significantly more fuel than a conventional ferry and it’s the more expensive marine diesel rather than heavy fuel oil.

 

Conventional Ferries can only use HFO if they have scrubbers fitted, otherwise they must use low Sulphur (0.5%) fuel which is more expensive.

Some areas have banned certain scrubber systems because they are deemed not effective.

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The reason Liberation didn't work for the CI was that Condor replaced two vessels with one. It would be unwise I would have thought to simply replace Rapide with NEX it doesn't solve the problem of only two vessels. If Rapide was to be used as an inter island ferry only it would reduce it's workload while at the same time provide some contingency to cover for mechanical problems on NEX or Liberation. No one knows what will happen in January but whatever transpires it's a great opportunity for the CI to promote day/short term stays to those that don't want the inevitable extra problems that will be associated with continental travel. 

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3 minutes ago, Rattler43 said:

No one knows what will happen in January but whatever transpires it's a great opportunity for the CI to promote day/short term stays to those that don't want the inevitable extra problems that will be associated with continental travel. 

However, they will lose the advantage of duty free - the BF Ships will have that as well

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7 minutes ago, David Williams said:

However, they will lose the advantage of duty free - the BF Ships will have that as well

What happens if the UK to CI crossing passes through French waters (or even calls in at Cherbourg) on the way? Can they then continue with duty free sales?  Ed  

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3 minutes ago, Rattler43 said:

@Jim Do you think it might be an idea that now BF is a part owner of Condor the CI might deserve a slightly more prominent position on BFE rather than being being under  the "Other Ferry Operations" banner?

In a sense, they already have their own little special¬†section under ‚ÄúChannel Islands‚ÄĚ. ¬†But for the time being, they are still a separate operating entity to Brittany Ferries. ¬†For me, the time to consider integrating them into the main BF forum is if/when Condor becomes integrated into the BF operation. ¬†From what we‚Äôve heard so far, there are no current plans to do that.

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6 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

What happens if the UK to CI crossing passes through French waters (or even calls in at Cherbourg) on the way? Can they then continue with duty free sales?  Ed  

Would that matter so long as any goods weren't landed or sold inside territorial waters? 

13 minutes ago, David Williams said:

However, they will lose the advantage of duty free - the BF Ships will have that as well

What are CI taxes? They always used to be very low and were always much less than in the UK. Presumably they could offer duty free if they wanted to, they are not controlled by the UK.

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33 minutes ago, Rattler43 said:

The reason Liberation didn't work for the CI was that Condor replaced two vessels with one.

One of the many!

One vessel, only capable of operating one round trip per day.  4 daily sailings down to 1, removal of any choice of route and sailing time.  Early problems with reliability (which were partly solved by going down to the single daily sailing).

She really was a spectacular lesson in how to destroy your own market with one shot to the foot.

Now, take a shorter crossing, between two large ports with plenty of space that she can be confident of being able to operate to reliably, one that she can comfortably manage two daily round trips on, one that is very popular as a fast ferry service in the summer......those who’ve travelled on her wax lyrical about how pleasant she is to sail aboard.....enter a new lease of life?

Remind me, where were those berthing trials again! ūüėĀ

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13 minutes ago, Rattler43 said:

What are CI taxes? They always used to be very low and were always much less than in the UK. Presumably they could offer duty free if they wanted to, they are not controlled by the UK.

I believe that  the Channel Islands are duty free (like the Canaries), therefore up to now this was a benefit compared to going from France. Come next year it will go as both Condor and BF can sell Duty Free.

Re Promoting Condor to the main boards, when they recognise Club Voyage and give us the 30% discount I will be in favour of it !

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