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4 minutes ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Thanks Tony.  Not an entire surprise!

I suspect there is a slight alignment issue with where they’ve put Portsmouth-Santander, in that I assume that is meant to align with Galicia rather than Cotentin.  Ditto with Rosslare-Cherbourg, which is presumably meant to align with Connemara rather than Armorique.

Points of interest - confirms move of Cotentin to Le Havre is still planned (at which point Poole-Cherbourg will then be suspended?).  And Armorique remains in a freight-only role but not confirmed which route(s).

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CAP FINISTERE in Le Havre tonight (from Southampton's quay) : 

Pictures of the day 😉 View from the SS FRANCE :    

Armorique  coming into Poole, courtesy of the fjb webcam.  Seen two bods down at the Haven taking pics...😁

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3 minutes ago, Gareth said:

I suspect there is a slight alignment issue with where they’ve put Portsmouth-Santander, in that I assume that is meant to align with Galicia rather than Cotentin.

Yes, I've copied and pasted to make it easier to read.

Cross-Channel ferry and holiday company Brittany Ferries is extending the suspension of some services operating between the UK, France and Spain.
The move follows continued stringent travel restrictions for passengers on both sides of the Channel. Only essential travel is currently permitted, and there is little prospect of this easing in the near future. Four ships that are currently laid-up, but which had been due to resume service in late March, will not now resume service until mid-May at the earliest.
Under the revised plans, the following ships and routes will not operate as planned from 22nd March:
 
BARFLEUR:
Poole to Cherbourg
 
BRETAGNE:
Portsmouth to St Malo
 
CAP FINISTERE:
Portsmouth to Bilbao
Portsmouth to Santander
 
PONT-AVEN:
Plymouth to Roscoff
Plymouth to Santander
Cork to Roscoff
 
The following ships and routes will however continue to operate as scheduled, to accommodate those with essential travel requirements and to allow freight to flow freely:
 
ARMORIQUE:
Route to be confirmed
 
CONNEMARA:
Rosslare to Cherbourg
Rosslare to Bilbao
 
COTENTIN:
Portsmouth to Le Havre*
 
GALICIA:
Portsmouth to Santander
Portsmouth to Cherbourg
 
MONT ST MICHEL
Portsmouth to Caen
 
NORMANDIE
Portsmouth to Caen*
 
*Freight Only!
 
In the coming days, Brittany Ferries will contact customers who hold bookings on affected sailings, to offer alternative travel or a refund.
“Naturally we very much regret any inconvenience that these changes will cause our customers,” said Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries’ CEO. “We had hoped for a return to service for all our routes in mid-March, but the reality is that most people are simply unable to travel at this time. Booking levels are extremely low and we are relying on loans to carry us through this difficult period. It is therefore simply not viable to run loss-making routes at this time.”
“But we continue to monitor the health and travel situation in all our markets – UK, Ireland, France and Spain. As soon as our customers can travel again, we will be there for them. We are also pushing governments to set out a pragmatic, co-ordinated and clear roadmap to safely re-open travel as soon as the health situation permits. We believe that the ramp-up of vaccines means that this re-opening could be considered sooner rather than later.”
Brittany Ferries says it will remain a predominantly freight-only service for now. However, while it thanks all freight customers and drivers for their support during the crisis, only 20 per cent of its annual turnover comes from freight traffic.
Around 80 per cent of annual income is generated by holidaymakers.
In 2020, the company secured a €117 million loan from French banks to carry it through the most difficult period in its history. It has therefore been forced to take tough decisions on costs throughout the crisis, to ensure the long-term viability of routes and services. Brittany Ferries remains committed to serving passengers, freight and supporting businesses throughout the regions it serves, and thanks everyone for their patience and messages of support.
Edited by TonyMWeaver
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I wonder whether they will bother bringing Barfleur out of hibernation for the sake of 2 weeks' cover on the Le Havre route.  Doubt it - which would mean either a 2 week suspension of Le Havre after Etretat finishes or a transfer across of Cotentin (and suspension of Poole-Cherbourg) 2 weeks' early.

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1 minute ago, Gareth said:

I wonder whether they will bother bringing Barfleur out of hibernation for the sake of 2 weeks' cover on the Le Havre route.

I think they will scrap that, shame really, I was looking forward to that.

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1 minute ago, David Williams said:

No great surprise, however I am surprised that they did not give a restart date, otherwise they will have to refund all dates!

It says 'mid-May at the earliest'. Which is legal speak for 'We've covered ourselves so don't think of complaining'.

Ed

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37 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

It says 'mid-May at the earliest'. Which is legal speak for 'We've covered ourselves so don't think of complaining'.

Ed

I missed that, makes sense as a date to aim for.

ps it also says refunds only for March / April !

Edited by David Williams
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Strange timing of M C.M's announcements.

Monday 15th February

We should all be encouraged to book with companies that offer flexible travel, allowing easy amendments or refunds, in the event that the situation changes in the months ahead.

Wednesday 17th February

Four ships that are currently laid-up, but which had been due to resume service in late March, will not now resume service until mid-May at the earliest.

Glad that I wasn't encouraged to lend him £380 interest free for a trip to Roscoff on the PA in early May!

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I'm not sure that the announcement on Monday was intended as a direct encouragement from BF to its customers to book (and if it was, the premise of it would have fallen on grounds that BF has demonstrated anything but a willingness to provide easy access to refunds).  I think it was a statement intended for the national governments, and an attempt to provide industry clout in trying to shape the policies of those governments.

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12 minutes ago, Gareth said:

I'm not sure that the announcement on Monday was intended as a direct encouragement from BF to its customers to book (and if it was, the premise of it would have fallen on grounds that BF has demonstrated anything but a willingness to provide easy access to refunds).  I think it was a statement intended for the national governments, and an attempt to provide industry clout in trying to shape the policies of those governments.

Totally agree with you.

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6 minutes ago, Gareth said:

I'm not sure that the announcement on Monday was intended as a direct encouragement from BF to its customers to book (and if it was, the premise of it would have fallen on grounds that BF has demonstrated anything but a willingness to provide easy access to refunds).  I think it was a statement intended for the national governments, and an attempt to provide industry clout in trying to shape the policies of those governments.

But of course the very large proportion of BF customers do not read BFE forums and be aware of the extreme criticism of BF customer services in 2020 concerning refunds. Many  customers could be new or like myself had no issues  concerning refunds on my 3 trips slotted in between lockdowns..

If you go onto the BF website today there is a message dated Tuesday 16th Feb from the CEO talking about "Sea Lanes" but no mention of changes to the  published timetables, the unwary can still book or travel to Roscoff on the PA early May.

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6 minutes ago, colinschandler said:

But of course the very large proportion of BF customers do not read BFE forums

They probably also didn’t see Monday’s statement either! 😄

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5 minutes ago, Gareth said:

They probably also didn’t see Monday’s statement either! 😄

or todays of course

BF will still be taking bookings for crossings advertised on the website which they know will not take place, As soon as BF circulated the, what  i guess is a press release, they should haven immediately and in  parallel amended the website.

Surely it is morally wrong to advertise and take money for a product which doesn't exist and which the supplier has not intention of providing. Then holding on to the customer's funds until they apply for a refund.

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I just checked - the early itineraries for crossings in March April  on my saved voyage slot have dissapeared.  But it will is still offering me the chance to book into St M on 5th May.

I might skip that one....

Rhys

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8 minutes ago, Penlan said:

I just checked - the early itineraries for crossings in March April  on my saved voyage slot have dissapeared.  But it will is still offering me the chance to book into St M on 5th May.

I might skip that one....

Rhys

They are still happy to take £430 of my money for a return trip to Roscoff on the PA 2nd week in May. a product which they have no intention to supply. I have declined to book!!

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5 minutes ago, Chef said:

So what about Armoriue and it's Roscoff/Cork service due to start on 23rd March , no mention of it in the press release .

It says that Armorique will continue in service, freight-only, but that her route(s) haven’t been decided.  I guess they will review loadings for these Ireland-Brittany routes before deciding what to do with Armorique beyond the end of the currently-scheduled sailings (which go to the end of Feb).

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Sorry, just re-read the statement and it doesn’t actually state freight only next to Armorique.  But it must surely be the case that that will be the mode in which she carries on.

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38 minutes ago, colinschandler said:

They are still happy to take £430 of my money for a return trip to Roscoff on the PA 2nd week in May. a product which they have no intention to supply. I have declined to book!!

Hello Colin, neither you nor I would buy a train ticket from Cornwall to London right now in mid February to travel in May. We both know there might be engineering work on the line by then, or the Dawlish sea wall may be dodgy again - either of them resulting in buses from Plymouth to Tiverton Parkway with the railway closed once again  - so we wait and and see if the trains are running  and book tickets a few days in advance. 

For reasons I have never understood other people feel an inner compulsion to book and pay for ferries many months ahead. That must be a source of great comfort to the finance manager at B/F. 

 

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30 minutes ago, wortley said:

For reasons I have never understood other people feel an inner compulsion to book and pay for ferries many months ahead. That must be a source of great comfort to the finance manager at B/F. 

 

The reason why most book as early as possible is due to cabin choice, commodore and pet friendly being in limited supply Of course if the crossing is cancelled there is no guarantee that there will be the same availability on an amended booking.

Not sure if GWR would stop selling First Class tickets if all first class seats had been booked on a service although i guess on most services, tickets would be sold with a reserved seat and even on the class 800 there is usually space.

Edited by colinschandler
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Anyone who books a holiday at the moment must be doing so in the knowledge that there is a chance it won’t happen.  And, unlike last Easter, they must also be doing so in full knowledge of what that company’s policy will be regarding refunds in the event of the holiday not happening.  Ergo, anyone who books knows the risk and has accepted it.

I do agree, though, that it is wrong that the BF booking system is still accepting bookings for dates that they have stated in a press release are cancelled.  They should have configured the booking system before putting out the press release.

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2 minutes ago, Gareth said:

They should have configured the booking system before putting out the press release.

seems to be a pretty slow manual process, I imagine that the availability will be set to 0 over the next day or so, the crossings won't actually disappear until at least a week after ticket holders have been told of the options.

I really hope that BF have improved their helpdesk systems.

 

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