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Possible Revival of Rosslare-Le Havre


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43 minutes ago, VikingVoyager said:

I think the Seaway has 200 beds (presumably in 100 cabins). Not a bad start, assuming she could be used. 

Who's to say that Britain - NI traffic isn't so light that P&O might also be able to free up Causeway, Highlander, Norbay or Norbank... (while we are idly speculating!)

According to a broker email I have, the EUROPEAN SEAWAY has 32 cabins.  In any event, there are the berthing issues, the only double-deck berth at Rosslare is in use by Irish Ferries at the times you would want it.  This whole thing is about getting a ship in service NOWWWWW, not in 2 months time.  Anything is possible in time but this is a very, very time critical business proposition.

GB - NI traffic isn't doing too badly compared to other Irish routes.  P&O at Larne has mostly been reasonably busy and improving as companies get on top of the groupage freight issue.  The same as Irish freight wants to bypass GB, Northern Ireland bound freight wants to avoid the Republic of Ireland as extra paperwork is required.  Belfast - Birkenhead was said to be down 25% year on year but they were also one ship down as SEATRUCK PANORAMA was covering the Heysham route.

The routes most likely to see capacity reductions are the ROI - GB routes, not NI - GB.

Causeway and Highlander have no driver cabins so won't be going anywhere quickly..

Edited by RickOShea
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Sounds indeed like the rivalry between Haute and Basse Normandie is not dead yet despite the reunification... 

My brother-in-law used to live near Ouistreham and worked as communications manager for the job centre in Caen but covered all of Lower Normandy. They merged with Upper Normandy last year and his offi

Just had a play around with possible timetables for such a service.  Alternate weekday sailings to Dunkerque would not be possible, two of them would need to be on consecutive days.  But a service tha

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Just now, Gareth said:

I wonder if they are still able to extend Etretat’s charter?

Again, I can't see why BF would want to commit to more tonnage when they have loads laid up.  But in any event, as I posted elsewhere (I think earlier in this thread actually) it now looks pretty certain ETRETAT is joining the Stena Line fleet for Liepaja - Travemunde in the Spring.  Obviously, never say never but I'd say very unlikely her charter would be extended.

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17 minutes ago, RickOShea said:

The routes most likely to see capacity reductions are the ROI - GB routes, not NI - GB.

Fair point, which leaves P&O with three ships on Liverpool - Dublin....one of which is chartered - as Mr T pointed out earlier

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Ok, well let’s work on your premise, Rick, that they’ll use a member of the existing fleet.

Forget which ship for a moment, which passenger service (which is currently in the timetables) do you think would be the first candidate for the chop in order to free up (directly or indirectly) the ship for the extra Irish service?

If they go with your idea and use Normandie, then almost certainly Armorique would go to Ouistreham.  So, does Plymouth-Roscoff go, or does something else take Armorique’s sailings at Plymouth?  Bretagne, cancelling the St Malo service?  Barfleur, cancelling the Poole service?  Sure, it’s a decision for down the line rather than now, but it will have to be made if they use a member of the current laid-up fleet.

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The problem is that most of the laid up vessels don't provide the appropriate solution, whereas Etretat seems to be more suitable for the job required. Barfleur and Armorique do in terms of providing potential cover to release something more suitable. Cap Finisterre could do it - am I right that she has a decent freight capacity? And Pont Aven could do the spanish runs, but has she got the freight capacity for that route right now?

And as Gareth says, in March the situation changes again, hopefully for the better. Also would SOMARBRET be happy to have Armorique on an extended Ouistreham cover?

 

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1 minute ago, Gareth said:

 So, does Plymouth-Roscoff go, or does something else take Armorique’s sailings at Plymouth?  Bretagne, cancelling the St Malo service?  Barfleur, cancelling the Poole service?  Sure, it’s a decision for down the line rather than now, but it will have to be made if they use a member of the current laid-up fleet.

N-Express-O? (ducks for cover)

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8 minutes ago, VikingVoyager said:

Fair point, which leaves P&O with three ships on Liverpool - Dublin....one of which is chartered - as Mr T pointed out earlier

Can they bring Norbay and Norbank back to Hull please 🤪

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I really don't understand why BF can't start its Cherbourg-Rosslare crossings earlier than scheduled. It could avoid many unnecessary talks and planning with Le Havre Port Authorities. Although I would be pleased to see a LH-IRL service, i don't understand the strategy here : I can't see a twin BF service - from Cherbourg and LH - to Rosslare. It has to be either one or the other route. 

Cotentin will be the ship, for sure. But for the port (French side), I think it questions the Cherbourg-Rosslare route to open a new one from Le Havre. 

Le Havre Port has also declared that other operators were on the case, and we should know very soon who's behind. 

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CH1 makes a very pragmatic point.  If BF wants to increase its Rosslare - France sailings, then the very first thing to do is open the Rosslare-Cherbourg route now.  The ship is there, it is running the Rosslare-Bilbao part of that schedule and is therefore just sitting in Rosslare for the two days that the normal schedule has the ship travelling to France and back.

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The French have just slapped a 7-day quarantine on all arrivals from the UK (and maybe Ireland but I'll try and confirm that) so the planned timetable for the spring and summer might need to be changed anyway 

 

Ed

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12 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

The French have just slapped a 7-day quarantine on all arrivals from the UK (and maybe Ireland but I'll try and confirm that) so the planned timetable for the spring and summer might need to be changed anyway 

 

Ed

Most of us are banned from France until further notice anyway unless we have an essential reason. 

I think that the Easter timetable is not going to happen 

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16 minutes ago, Eddies said:

I have not seen any comments about Kerry, which was in IRL, but I cannot recall if she has/had made a visit to Le Havre.

She's plying her trade for DFDS from Rosslare to Dunkerque but all of the Visentini's are capable of berthing in Le Havre.

 

5 minutes ago, Gareth said:

CH1 makes a very pragmatic point.  If BF wants to increase its Rosslare - France sailings, then the very first thing to do is open the Rosslare-Cherbourg route now.

Maybe they can't. Maybe it's all part of the deal they made with Stena. A covenant addendum allowing Stena to protect themselves which is why they're in dialogue with Le Havre?

 

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8 minutes ago, jonno said:

Maybe they can't. Maybe it's all part of the deal they made with Stena. A covenant addendum allowing Stena to protect themselves which is why they're in dialogue with Le Havre?

 

Sorry, Jonno, but I can't see why Stena and BF would still have a deal (which I saw in the manner BF had to avoid, until now, to start anything too dangerous for Stena on Ireland links , if BF starts to take some of that France-Ireland market, this deal would be dead. Maybe there is something I don't understand either, and I would be very pleased to here more of your explanations :) 

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28 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

The French have just slapped a 7-day quarantine on all arrivals from the UK (and maybe Ireland but I'll try and confirm that) so the planned timetable for the spring and summer might need to be changed anyway 

 

Ed

It seems that it's just the UK for now but Ireland (and Denmark) may be added shortly depending on what decision is taken once the EU has had a meeting. 

Ed

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The BF Cherbourg is only planned at once weekly anyway, so I don't think it is such a huge factor in what might or might not from happen from Le Havre (where the news stories clearly mention a dedicated ship).

 

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Lots of points here and rather than spamming with replies, I can summarise most with simply this.

What we would be talking here is BF behaving much more commercially than we often associate with the company (but will undoubtedly become more of a feature of the company going forward) and saying

"Look right now, between Brexit implementation and Covid, Ireland doesn't want to use the landbridge and wants to source what it can from the EU rather than GB, we can see Irish Ferries, Stena Line and DFDS cashing in on this, why can't we?" 

In reality this opportunity is now, right now!  Things will calm in the weeks and months ahead.  I would happily wage a bet that before BF are ready to offer a "normal service" this opportunity will have gone.  If they don't do it within the next week or two, Stena or ICG will have further filled the gap.

So, when BF talks of an additional service from Le Havre (though not necessarily so) what they are saying "there's a great big opportunity to make some cash here, let's seize it".  They aren't saying this is a route we'll operate indefinitely.  Even DFDS aren't saying that about Rosslare - Dunkerque. 

In reality, I suspect this time next year Ireland - France tonnage won't end up far from what it was pre 1 January 2021.  If it does, we'll see fewer ships on ROI - GB and English Channel (lets not forget BF carry quite a lot of Irish freight from people like Nolan).  

Don't think about anything beyond the coming weeks 😛 

 

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8 hours ago, RickOShea said:

Given the current situation, it would seem very sensible for Brittany Ferries to get a slice of this traffic, even if just as a temporary route.

According to my sources another company would be further ahead than Brittany Ferries and could open a Le Havre/Ireland line before. To follow.

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The discussion gets even more interesting. 

Assuming it is not Irish Ferries or Stena (not wanting to compete with their own Cherbourg services), could P&O want to do something?

If the stored ships are not suitable (see previous discussions in this topic), perhaps they could reallocate one of the cross channel or North Sea vessels to a Le Havre - Ireland. A stored ship could be used to replace the reallocated one (also taking into the decreased Brexit traffic). 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, CH1 said:

Sorry, Jonno, but I can't see why Stena and BF would still have a deal (which I saw in the manner BF had to avoid, until now, to start anything too dangerous for Stena on Ireland links , if BF starts to take some of that France-Ireland market, this deal would be dead. Maybe there is something I don't understand either, and I would be very pleased to here more of your explanations :) 

Probably being bonkers I know but I'm just being as speculative as everyone else on here, just another thought to add to the mix.

Out of the three companies which have served both Ireland & France regularly BF are currently the only one not responding to the apparent need to expand. I.F. have announced that Epsilon will now add another French sailing this weekend, and we even have a new player in DFDS but still no BF response. 

One thing that is being forgotten, as is always the case when speculation surrounding BF begins, We're talking three companies here, not a single entity such as Stena & DFDS.

So far Rosslare has been  BAI's domain regarding Spain & Cherbourg, Connemara, Kerry & Cap Finistere. SOMABRET don't seem keen to untie any of their three mothballed ships which is why I'm speculating on Le Havre. SOMANOR are the only one within the group which have a viable ship, they have an invested interest in the French port and they currently have a vessel tied up next to the Peripherique on the Caen canal.

DFDS sailing from Rosslare to Dunkerque sinks all of the objections in terms of time & distance.

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6 hours ago, RickOShea said:

Why would BF need more ships - a large proportion of the fleet is laid up at present!

 

If such a route proved long-term maybe this is a different discussion.

 

I doubt the elderly PRIDE OF YORK and PRIDE OF BRUGES would get approval from the MCA to operate on such an exposed route and the PRIDE OF BURGUNDY and EUROPEAN SEAWAY are unsuitable without major modifications that won't be done quickly.

 

The ideal for this new route would be CAP FINISTERE. A fast ship, capable for the Freight and comfortable for passengers. It would be perfect for one of the longest routes in the Brittany Ferries network. Passengers should not be overlooked, as the Ireland, a 2-hour drive from Paris, can be quite successful. For the moment it is pure speculation, but for this we would have to replace CAP FINISTERE on Spain? IS PONT AVEN available at the moment to return to Spain?

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Le Havre would certainly give a USP to the BF service that would distinguish it from all the other routes to Cherbourg.  (For now at least - this railway thing could change things from next year).

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4 minutes ago, LHCity said:

The ideal for this new route would be CAP FINISTERE. A fast ship, capable for the Freight and comfortable for passengers. It would be perfect for one of the longest routes in the Brittany Ferries network. Passengers should not be overlooked, as the Ireland, a 2-hour drive from Paris, can be quite successful. For the moment it is pure speculation, but for this we would have to replace CAP FINISTERE on Spain? IS PONT AVEN available at the moment to return to Spain?

I would have thought that it would make more sense to keep the CF on the Ireland Spain route and put the Connemara on the Ireland / France route.

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  • Gareth changed the title to Le Havre / Ireland ?
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