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Val de Loire Cork 1998/99


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14 minutes ago, Andy said:

Thanks for sharing these! Still the finest ship BF ever let go of.

Agree with you there Andy. Many pleasant summer Sunday afternoon sailings from Plymouth sitting on deck with a cold beer and the smell of slowly roasting Lamb Gargantua drifting up from the galley

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I Loved the Val De Loire & Quiberon serving Plymouth well with distinction in my childhood, The two vessels were probably the cause of my affection with BF & Sea travel....   That was a vintage period when the BF product and service was top notch!

Mind you, in the 80’s till early 00’s, Brittany Ferries actually valued their customers unlike nowadays! 

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I never understood many of our members' love of VdL. I found her claustrophobic and lacking an individual style and character. To my eye she also looked pretty ugly. Notoriously hard to park in strong crosswinds too ...

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I vaguely remember sailing on her in late 90s as a kid

Didnt she have cabins below the car deck/water line? I’m pretty sure I remember travelling through corridors that were water tight ones. Remember mum saying if the ship would sink, we be locked down there...?

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37 minutes ago, PGTV said:

I vaguely remember sailing on her in late 90s as a kid

Didnt she have cabins below the car deck/water line? I’m pretty sure I remember travelling through corridors that were water tight ones. Remember mum saying if the ship would sink, we be locked down there...?

Yes she did, on decks 1 & 2, much like the Bretagne still does today. There are plenty of stairwells and lift access though!

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13 minutes ago, colin said:

Didn't she have a pool in her bowels as well?

I think she did. Makes you wonder how they got away with it - surely having cabins below the waterline cannot be legal these days. The pool I think was turned into a cinema with the new owners. 

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1 hour ago, colin said:

Didn't she have a pool in her bowels as well?

Yeah > on Deck 1, next to the cinema.... The pool (or fitness centre?) had a small gym with male/female sauna.

The ‘gym’ from memory only Consisted of a rusty exercise bike & a bench press with no weights 😂 

oh, the memories 😂 

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Would I be right in saying that she has actually spent most of her career with DFDS - 14 years now I think? 

This ship probably truly started my fascination for ferries, as I was lucky enough to sail on her to Spain with my family as a 10-year-old in Summer 1993. I still have a copy of the special anniversary book somewhere which my mum bought for me from the shop (I think it may be in my parents attic!). Seem to recall it was hardback and called 'from the land to the sea' or something like that. 

I like what she has become with DFDS but I think her original incarnation, and everything BF did with her, was hard to better. 

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I was absolutely fascinated by her in my youth but sadly never got the chance to sail on her in BF colours, although I have in recent years under the guise of 'King Seaways.'

There was a huge media frenzy when she joined the fleet in '93 and she was in the headlines so often as she was involved in so many controversial incidents, from grounding in Plymouth port, the failed ETA bombing (which would have been catastrophic) and numerous MOB's as well as staring on the TV documentary 'Ferry Tales.'

Its hard to believe she only weighs in at 31000 GT she looks and feels so much bigger. I always felt she looked her best in that classic BF livery (the previous one to the current was introduced just as she left the fleet) - as I have said many times the 'Brittany Ferries' typeface and logo was absolutely huge and looked so intimidating. 

 

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On 10/10/2020 at 18:49, daves_pad! said:

Yeah > on Deck 1, next to the cinema.... The pool (or fitness centre?) had a small gym with male/female sauna.

The ‘gym’ from memory only Consisted of a rusty exercise bike & a bench press with no weights 😂 

oh, the memories 😂 

First mini-cruise to Spain. Cabin 0205... if you needed to drop something back there was enough time to head down to Deck 2, send the lift to Deck 1, run to the cabin to drop off whatever and get back to hit the button to catch the lift on the way back up.

Was always glad when the Val was on the St Malo route as made seizing the opportunity to travel on her much easier.

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  • 2 months later...
On 10/10/2020 at 16:08, colin said:

I never understood many of our members' love of VdL. I found her claustrophobic and lacking an individual style and character. To my eye she also looked pretty ugly. Notoriously hard to park in strong crosswinds too ...

We all have different perceptions, to me your description entirely matches my (first and since always unaltered) feelings toward Bretagne. As a frequent user of the St Malo route in the past it was a real downgrade when VDL was replaced by the Bretagne, the ship Val had replaced both to Santander and St Malo.

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VdL was seen as giving "more" in what BF wanted on the Spain route at the time. OK, economically probably correct.

But, Bretagne was designed for BF and is still infused with the character of the company and Brittany. Not just colour schemes or pictures hung on walls, but a totally integrated package. She has faults, many of which have become more obvious over time, but she still has that special something. BF officers and crew are deeply attached to her, which I have not come across amongst those that I know regarding VdL.

But I fully accept that we can, and should all be different. That is what makes Europe and the EU so amazing.

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Reasons I think people love VDL:

  • The huge press coverage when she was introduced to the fleet.
  • Her sheer size in comparison to every other vessel in the fleet at the time.
  • Application of livery, unique striping and the huge intimidating BF typeface and logo.
  • She was on a TV documentary so was known even amongst the general public.
  • Was often featured in national press: the failed ETA bombing which brought huge national attention, numerous MOB's and blockades.
  • Involved in a few self inflicted incidents including groundings and rough crossings.

The key for me was the well run media campaign by BF when she was intoduced and the huge press coverage she had, for more than any vessel before or after.

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1 hour ago, Le Quiberon said:

Reasons I think people love VDL:

  • The huge press coverage when she was introduced to the fleet.
  • Her sheer size in comparison to every other vessel in the fleet at the time.
  • Application of livery, unique striping and the huge intimidating BF typeface and logo.
  • She was on a TV documentary so was known even amongst the general public.
  • Was often featured in national press: the failed ETA bombing which brought huge national attention, numerous MOB's and blockades.
  • Involved in a few self inflicted incidents including groundings and rough crossings.

The key for me was the well run media campaign by BF when she was intoduced and the huge press coverage she had, for more than any vessel before or after.

Don’t forget the animal rights demonstration every Friday from Plymouth on the Val. She used to carry live animals on the Friday night crossing - so these animal protestors used to block Millbay.

From memory it got quite nasty as it gained more exposure from the media  - hence I think BF no longer carries live animals?

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35 minutes ago, PGTV said:

BF no longer carries live animals?

And of course didn't, doesn't and will never carry the ones with the long ears and the fluffy tail, whose very name must not be uttered on board ....

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