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Galicia - Inauguration - 27th November


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Save the date! The inauguration ceremony for Galicia's entry into the Brittany Ferries fleet will be taking place virtually on the 27th November.  Everyone will be able to take part via a weblink

Unfortunately 9h arrival turned out to be South African time - she was tying up when I got down to the port at 8h so only just getting light. She does look mighty impressive though, will try agai

What's the crusade for? We're into the 5th page of this nonsense. Every Ro-Pax and passenger ferry at sea has different levels of accommodation. Are we to begin rattling our sabres at t

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35 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Joking aside, it's a pretty good presentation of the ship and its facilities I thought.

Agreed, it provides a great overview of the ship along with glimpses behind the scenes, which highlight the cutting edge technology in use onboard.

Interesting that the murals in the playroom showed Portsmouth, Plymouth, Santander, Rosslare and St Malo... though I'm sure I'm just reading too much into that ;) 

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Brittany Ferries’ new ship sets sail online

Today French and Spanish ferry operator Brittany Ferries unveiled the latest addition to its fleet, Galicia. Due to the pandemic the debut event for the new ship took place virtually, in an online inauguration ceremony – a first for the company and the maritime sector.

The brand-new super-ferry, built at the CMJL shipyard in Weihai, China, is the first in a trio of sisterships – and represents a key milestone in Brittany Ferries’ fleet renewal programme. Galicia’s future sisterships Salamanca and Santoña will arrive in 2022 and 2023.

 Galicia is an ‘E-Flexer’ class ferry. At 215 metres long she is the largest-ever Brittany Ferries ship and will carry over three kilometres of freight and passenger vehicles.

“Galicia’s arrival marks the start of a bright new future for Brittany Ferries,” says CEO Christophe Mathieu. “When we ordered her, we could never have imagined the current pandemic situation and its impact on trade, travel and tourism. But she is our symbol of hope and optimism, and above all our confidence in a much brighter future on the horizon,

“Our customers demand modern, comfortable and environmentally-friendly sea travel. We can only meet their expectations by introducing new, advanced and innovative ships. Galicia is a vital first step in our fleet renewal programme, and proof of our ongoing commitment to our customers, partners and colleagues in the years to come.”

 Jean-Marc Roué, Brittany Ferries’ chairman added: “This has been a challenging year for our customers, and also for my colleagues across our business in France, the UK, Spain and Ireland,

“But this is a new start, and Galicia is a sign of hope for all of us. She will be followed by two beautiful sister ships: Salamanca in 2022 and Santoña in 2023. The entire project demonstrates our conviction and our ambition to continue serving our passengers, and our all-important freight clients, as well as the regions we serve during the years to come. We know that without them there would be no Brittany Ferries, and no Galicia.

 We made this investment before the pandemic hit, but we still believe in this decision. Galicia will be kinder to the environment. She’ll be more efficient. And of course – she will be crewed by expert, welcoming French seafarers – an aspect our British customers appreciate. These three new ships are just the start of a bright new future for our company and most importantly our customers”.

Galicia will serve routes linking Portsmouth and Santander (northern Spain) and Portsmouth and Cherbourg (Normandy).

In a first for French-owned Brittany Ferries, Galicia has been built from the keel up with the ship’s Iberian destination at heart. A warm, relaxing and authentic Spanish holiday ambiance will fill  the ship’s interiors, with décor, paintings, photography, sculptures and murals inviting passengers to take a journey through the towns, countryside and coastlines of northern Spain, and to delve into the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the region that bears her name. The theme will even extend to the food and drinks served on board, with authentic Spanish dishes and drinks on the menu in bars and restaurants., and its interior design and onboard experience will offer passengers a unique taste of Spain as soon as they board.

The ship has also been designed with the environment and efficiency in mind. Particular attention has been given to Galicia’s fuel-efficient propulsion plant and its long, slender hull and bow, with fine lines giving excellent seakeeping in all weathers, and a significantly lower emissions footprint compared to other ships of a similar size.

Brittany Ferries’ technical director Arnaud le Poulichet, who has overseen the conception of the ship since the first steel was cut in 2018 says: “Galicia has already exceeded all our expectations. She is technologically advanced, easy for our crew to operate, and most importantly comfortable for our customers. We are confident that they will appreciate her”.

Galicia will make its first commercial crossing between Santander and Portsmouth on 2nd December.

 

https://brittanyferriesnewsroom.com/brittany-ferries-new-ship-sets-sail-online/

Edited by TonyMWeaver
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They certainly do a fab job with the interior design. Looks fit for the future in my opinion.

Were booked on the CF next summer due to the sailing times from Portsmouth. My family were a bit put-off by the length of the crossing. 

I do hope there are plans to bring the CF up to the same standards as the Galicia, it would be a shame to have a big inconsistency on the routes. BF should be inspired by the work stena have done with there Superfast fleets.

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9 minutes ago, Bf Bretagne said:

I do hope there are plans to bring the CF up to the same standards as the Galicia, it would be a shame to have a big inconsistency on the routes. BF should be inspired by the work stena have done with there Superfast fleets.

CF is only a stop-gap now, while the other Flexers are being built.  Once they’re all in service I am sure there will be no place for CF on the UK - Spain routes.

(Regular readers will know that my prediction is that CF will move to take over the Rosslare routes, but who knows.  BF may even sell her - she is an expensive ship to run).

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Great to see a shoutout to all of us in the press pack 😄

"
Galicia therefore left the shipyard on 12 September 2020. After a long journey, taking in the Suez Canal, she arrived in Cherbourg for the very first time on 12 October 2020. Her arrival was followed by ramp tests in the various ports including Portsmouth and Plymouth, and to a sense of great excitement and anticipation among staff, customers, media, stakeholders – and, of course, the Brittany Ferries Enthusiasts who had tracked every step of her journey en route!"

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14 minutes ago, Gareth said:

CF is only a stop-gap now, while the other Flexers are being built.  Once they’re all in service I am sure there will be no place for CF on the UK - Spain routes.

(Regular readers will know that my prediction is that CF will move to take over the Rosslare routes, but who knows.  BF may even sell her - she is an expensive ship to run).

A good opportunity then for some operator to have a go at competing with a sub 24 hour crossing. I for one would pay a premium

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44 minutes ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Brittany Ferries’ new ship sets sail online

Galicia will make its first commercial crossing between Santander and Portsmouth on 2nd December.

If we had not just cancelled our tickets for the 3rd December sailing I’d be on the phone, panic- stricken, to Brittany Ferries. Surely someone could have checked the press release accuracy even if the original was wrong. 

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35 minutes ago, Bf Bretagne said:

They certainly do a fab job with the interior design. Looks fit for the future in my opinion.

Were booked on the CF next summer due to the sailing times from Portsmouth. My family were a bit put-off by the length of the crossing. 

I do hope there are plans to bring the CF up to the same standards as the Galicia, it would be a shame to have a big inconsistency on the routes. BF should be inspired by the work stena have done with there Superfast fleets.

Isn't it strange when PA was introduced BF were trumpeting what I believe was a 18 hour crossing time. I can't seem to see anywhere in the Press Releases them trumpeting the increased crossing times?

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6 hours ago, Gareth said:

CF is only a stop-gap now, while the other Flexers are being built.  Once they’re all in service I am sure there will be no place for CF on the UK - Spain routes.

(Regular readers will know that my prediction is that CF will move to take over the Rosslare routes, but who knows.  BF may even sell her - she is an expensive ship to run).

Come on Gareth you know as well as I that Cap Finistere will sail from Rosslare to Le Havre 3 times a week and then clog it down to Vigo or Gijon and stop at Plymouth on the way back.

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6 hours ago, Gareth said:

 BF may even sell her - she is an expensive ship to run).

Personally I think, although obviously for the best, this will be a shame when it happens. Although a ship that is behind the modern standards and expectations, there is something about her that I will miss. Probably just because she has been in the fleet for a long time.

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6 hours ago, IanN said:

Isn't it strange when PA was introduced BF were trumpeting what I believe was a 18 hour crossing time. I can't seem to see anywhere in the Press Releases them trumpeting the increased crossing times?

Indeed.  Galicia represents a major rejection of what was, until now, the USP on which the success of their Spanish services were based since 1978.  BF succeeded where P&O failed (twice), and where both LD Lines and Transmediterranea failed subsequently, on the basis of their 24 hour (or less) crossing time.  It’s a risky move, predicated on an assumption (or hope) that someone else won’t come in and take on that magic key to success for themselves.

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26 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Indeed.  Galicia represents a major rejection of what was, until now, the USP on which the success of their Spanish services were based since 1978.  BF succeeded where P&O failed (twice), and where both LD Lines and Transmediterranea failed subsequently, on the basis of their 24 hour (or less) crossing time.  It’s a risky move, predicated on an assumption (or hope) that someone else won’t come in and take on that magic key to success for themselves.

They still have the CF from Portsmouth and the PA from Plymouth, BF should be able to decide on actual bookings what the preference is.

I must admit, based on timings,  that the 2 night Galicia is preferable to the one night version.

ps they also know the loading on the current 2 night service 

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1 minute ago, cvabishop said:

I think it's a new ball game now. Fast crossings are simply too expensive and environmentally undesirable. Fuel costs increase exponentially for those last few knots.

I'm with you on this, but what do I know ....?

Vastly different in so many ways from Pride of Bilbao with a ship full of drunks, or the other offerings mentioned above. I see a bright future for this policy, these services and these 3 ships.

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10 hours ago, David Williams said:

They still have the CF from Portsmouth and the PA from Plymouth, BF should be able to decide on actual bookings what the preference is.

I must admit, based on timings,  that the 2 night Galicia is preferable to the one night version.

ps they also know the loading on the current 2 night service 

Yes but for how long for

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Do we really believe the environmental factor was the key factor in BF's decision. It was more likely reduced fuel costs. Environmental was only a bonus. I think it's the extra  time off work which will be a factor. If you want seven nights in Spain currently you can just about get a way with 9 days off work depending where you live now to be comfortable you will need 11. Going out I can just about buy the holiday begins on board thing but coming home not at all. Unfortunately no competition. It's OK for now but once PA retires from the Spanish routes? 

Edited by IanN
addition of routes
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Agreed Ian.  I think it was based on a desire to cut costs and a calculated gamble that they are now so well established on the route that (especially in the current climate) they will not face a competitive threat.

Hope it pays off - it may well do so.

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9 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Galicia has left Cherbourg, now en route to Roscoff. Looks like she'll spend Saturday and Sunday there.

She’s at Roscoff now, where she has berthed bow-in.

I was surprised she didn’t include Roscoff in the earlier berthing trials (she’s more likely to need to berth there than Bilbao).  But maybe there is some sort of ceremony planned here now that they knew was going to happen and that the Roscoff berthing trials could wait for).

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11 hours ago, cvabishop said:

I think it's a new ball game now. Fast crossings are simply too expensive and environmentally undesirable. Fuel costs increase exponentially for those last few knots.

We now know that the E-flexer will fit Plymouth - tech specs has them at 208m between perpendiculars & hawseholes starting at 186m - It's feasible that they can manage a crossing to Santander in 24 hours at an average speed of 19kts.

For me Colin this answers the question why SABEMEN rather than BAI will control Santona, she'll replace Pont Aven and sail to Rosslare rather than Cork.

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4 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Yes, the Flexers will definitely manage Plymouth-Santander in 24 hours.  That’s how long the route always used to take before Pont Aven came along.

We also know that BF will only push Pont Aven to 24 kts, just 2 kts faster than the E-Flexer so maybe overall the difference in crossing times will be marginal?

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11 minutes ago, jonno said:

We also know that BF will only push Pont Aven to 24 kts, just 2 kts faster than the E-Flexer so maybe overall the difference in crossing times will be marginal?

Well, let’s work out what the published Portsmouth schedules tell us.  The average crossing time being allowed for Galicia’s 1-night crossings between Portsmouth and Spain is about 28 hours.  If we take 2 hours of the crossing time (port approaches, Ushant etc) as being common for both ships, that means Galicia is scheduled to take about 26 hours for the open-sea parts of the passage that PA takes 22 hours for.  That equates to about 18% longer.

If we then take 20 hours as representative of PA’s Plymouth crossing (although I know she can do it quicker), and take 90 minutes as common (approaches to Plymouth are shorter than those to Portsmouth), then apply an 18% increase to PA’s 18.5 hour open sea stretch, add the 1.5 hours back in and you get a predicted crossing time for Galicia from Plymouth of about 23.5 hours.  She could probably do it in 23, but I suspect they would schedule 24 hours in the published timetable if they ever did operate a Flexer from Plymouth.

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