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Where will Normandie go next?


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2 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Do you mean in the Med or at Ostend?

It’s interesting (and mainly forgotten, I think) that, for most of its life, TEF only ever carried freight.  Despite running a fleet of passenger ships (Primrose, Eurovoyager, Larkspur, Laburnum - only Gardenia and Begonia were freighters), they did not venture into carrying passengers until some time after Oleander arrived.  And even then the very limited passenger operation only used Oleander and Larkspur.  Their later experiments with the giants (for Ramsgate) in the form of Norman Spirit and then Ostend Spirit were hopelessly optimistic and probably led to the demise of the company.  They should probably have stuck with freight-only all along.

Anyway - apologies, I digress.

The site says that she ran as a freighter until Larkspur arrived then a joint freight/passenger service was offered. Dunno how true that is, it is Wiki? You could write what I know on Dover, Ramsgate, Folkstone etc on a postage stamp.

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

I see where you're coming from but she's too old for them. They're looking at modern renewal. Rosella is for sale, Amorella will be sold when Glory arrives and if you put the decimal point in the right place, Mariella is up for grabs too.

Yes of course you are correct. It’s crazy to think of ‘Noramdie’ as being old - she really doesn’t look that’s at at all. And if anything the new minimalist paint scheme and logo/footage added a few years if anything. With a well applied paint scheme she could look very modern! Back in the 90’s she was viewed as being quite a large cross-channel ferry but nowadays she would be classes  as ‘small’.

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Having been on several family crossings to Ouistreham  using Normandie I find this discussion interesting.

I believe she was financed using some local money and was purpose built for the route to supplement the Duc (my least favourite ship).

I find her accomodation better than Mont St Michel as I have travelled on the route several times and on two trips on MSM  found the diesel noise too loud to allow me to sleep

The Normandie internal layout seems better to me.

Why are people questioning her ablities? Unless she is hugely expensive to run (must have low capital charges}, inappropriate accommodation (COVID changes, current travel mix but this route transports loads of tourists) then she seems OK to me, especially as the newbuild replacement has failed to materialise.

If Normandie is unreliable and too expensive to run then she should go to the great wigwam in the sky, is she there?

PS Naysayers wrote off Barfleur several years ago.

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The age thing is an interesting one.  What is the average lifespan of a ferry these days?

Once upon a time, it was about 20 years.  The 60s Sealink ships were typically off the the breakers in the 80s.  On the other hand, ships like Viking III (Red Star 1) and Tiger (Expedition) are clocking up functional lives in the vicinity of 50 years.

I guess around 35 years must be “average”.  The Chunnel Beaters didn’t quite make that; DDN has just signed off after 42 years.

I guess Normandie, at now coming up 30 years, might have up to another 10 years in her if she gets lucky.  But most of that will (in the absence of any replacement for her at Ouistreham on the horizon) probably be taken up with BF service.  And with BF she has had a hard life - the Ouistreham ships are probably the hardest-worked of the fleet.

She’s already had a good innings - as others have said, in her day she led the way in setting new standards - but once she gets to approaching 40 I doubt there will be much left in her.

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I personally think that the new-generation cruiseferries built in the late 80’s early 90’s such as Bretagne and Normandie have a longer shelf life because they are a newer concept. Also despite the fact they are well worked as you suggested they are also very well looked after. If you think the Duc has just been beached, she was built in 78 and was a vintagage design. I knew she spent her later life in the Med but there is no reason why, in my opinion in, Normandie and Bret could comfortably have another 20 years.

I am starting to think she will be a one company ship, unless, as someone stated earlier a Med company guess for her later on.

 

** I would love to see some early photos of her not long after launch. She really looked the part in that 90’s BF logo, frontage and individual paint-scheme. In the early 90’s era she represented a transition from old to new - the new generation ferries in the fleet were her, Barfelur, VDL, Bretagne whilst the old school members were Quiberon, DDN, Duchesse Anne. There really was a divide in the fleet from old to new during this period in the early 90’s. 
 

It is true testament to their design that Normandie, Barfeur and Normandie are still ticking along and fit nicely into the fleet. I still feel that VDL would still be going if DFDS hadn’t have put forward an incredible offer.

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I would love to see some early photos of her not long after launch. She really looked the part in that 90’s BF logo, frontage and individual paint-scheme.

Somewhere I have two large photos given to passengers to mark her introduction to service. We travelled on her 10 days later. Always had a soft spot for her.

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27 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Thanks Colin - she looked a really classy ship in her day.

Especially when parked next to the jumboized Super Vikings....

I sailed on her exactly one week later for the first time and was really impressed. From memory I was driving my 3 year old Ford Cortina Estate, I thought she looked a really classy car in her day too....😂

Chris

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Just now, Le Quiberon said:

Incredible images! Thanks for posting! She looks so, so much better in that livery and paint scheme! She actually look a lot bigger as well! 

And with that funnel!

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Just now, Gareth said:

And with that funnel!

I have also noticed in the artists impression of her, the paint scheme on the funnel is not how it ended up. I wonder why they decided not to go with that? It looks quite unique as no vessels in the fleet ever had a total 50/50 blue/orange or red paint scheme.

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Every car that boarded was given an envelope with the photos. I scanned them in at hi res so if anyone wants the files message me your email.

Colin

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5 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Every car that boarded was given an envelope with the photos. I scanned thim in at hi res so if anyone wants the files message me your email.

Colin

That is a superb momento and so reminiscent of BF in the 90’s!! You just would not get that nowadays. Reminds me of when you got a free bottle of Orangina when you got off the vessel in Saint Malo!

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That is a superb momento and so reminiscent of BF in the 90’s!! You just would not get that nowadays.

Not to mention the photographer who snapped all the happy holidaymakers as they drove aboard so you could buy the prints before you disembarked. Halcyon days indeed and very fondly remembered. Who could have envisaged the closure of borders we are now experiencing?

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32 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Not to mention the photographer who snapped all the happy holidaymakers as they drove aboard so you could buy the prints before you disembarked. Halcyon days indeed and very fondly remembered. Who could have envisaged the closure of borders we are now experiencing?

Yes that also came to mind. Those photos also came with a nice quality print of whichever vessel you were on, and presented in a neat card. I have a nice 90’s era Bretagne photo like this, taken at night time whilst in dock. Times certainly have changed.... I guess it’s all done online and uploaded to ‘insta.’ 🙄

Yes it would be impossible to imagine these current circumstances, but even before this, these little mementos and souvenirs are sadly no longer practiced. 

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The Happy snaps were one of the things that singled out BF from the rest. You knew there would be a photographer on the linkspan, so we used to get the kids stood up behind the front seats grinning and in shot, then ok, pay over the odds but who cared it was fun. It was part of the holiday. In fact halcyon days compared to now, all the way round. In fact I still have one of the snaps....it constantly reminds me of the days, I`d rather forget, when I ran an Austin Montego Estate...aaaargh

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Never sailed on her but I do remember being very impressed with her looks as we passed her on the Super Vikings. Prior to that, I'd never been impressed with any of the BF fleet, never wished that we were on BF not P&O.  I think the new colour scheme really suits her, the original colours are now very dated. Shame about the funnel - it makes her look much dumpier, like her older fleetmate. 

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Without wanting to send the conversation off piste but I absolutely loathe the new branding applied to the current fleet, not a single one looks better off under the ‘new’ guise. 
 

A classic example, Viking Line, have not had a too major rebranding over the last 20-30 years and their vessels still look perfectly fine. The latest BF rebranding had been nothing but a distaste, but in hindsight it is nothing that anyone cares about (other than the enthusiast.)

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On 28/01/2021 at 21:51, Fine Whine said:

@lg12  Please refer to my previous post, from reliable sources on board at the time Epsilon got close to a 40 degree list, they almost lost her due to poor seamanship. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I think I’m right in saying the Master at the time was relieved of his duties and was never invited to take them up again. Pont Aven fell victim to a rogue wave, with her relatively short bow she took a direct and powerful hit that proved too strong for her forward windows. Bretagne @ross brown (here’s your moment to shine😂), would of course have sailed serenely on....

Chris

I'm certain Bretagne would of just brushed it off like a bit of spray, LOL.

We all know Pont Aven has such a bad design bow and forward super structure. Pretty poor really as she was supposed to be designed for the Bay Of Biscay!!! Say no more where she was built!!!!! 

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