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Passenger travel to and from France/ Spain


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The trouble is that this is not the time to sell ships. The Consultants said that we would all flock back in 2022 and that is probably true. 

The old cruise ships mostly went for scrap!

(never believe consultants...ūüėĀ)

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4 hours ago, VikingVoyager said:

Lol. Some conversions do look like they are asking a lot from the base vehicle.

Seems like no one is quite certain about the facilities thing yet? I know a lot of tenters are buying porta-loos though. Doesn't bother us though, we are self contained. Last summer we ended up on 5 pitch sites only (which are the best anyway), some off-grid. But even that was quite tricky to book and no replacement for 30 degrees and a nice pool...

The VW T2's are very slow, the rest have enough tug in them unless they're 20 years old with the 2.8L 5 speeds, they're just driven by Miss Daisy or over the unladen weight limit of 3050 KG or combination for national speed limits.

The A1 is a nightmare as many of them go from being able to do 70 when it's the A1M down to 60 when it's the A1, it's why it's always rammed around places like Doncaster and why they can only do 60 on roads like the A34. On some A & B roads they're restricted to 40 even if the limit is 50. They end up doing 55 everywhere annoying the rest of us who can actually read & understand road signs.

All the camp websites are saying May 17th for the loos and showers.

My sister has just forked out nearly £170 for a top end Thetford toilet and another wedge for tent to put it in, didn't buy any chemical of course, they think they'll pilfer soft lads (me). I think she's daft, they're not going anywhere until they holiday with us in Devon late June and the site facilities will be well open. As I said, I think she's off her head, don't know why they didn't put the money towards the roof box they want (again they think soft lad will provide... er no, my 580L monster is happy swinging from the garage roof thank you!).

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7 hours ago, Angel said:

Getting back to the topic of ferries and passenger travel, if we have a scenario in the summer where holiday travel to France is still forbidden for us but Spain is allowed, is it likely that BF could run extra ferries to and from Spain to meet demand?  I imagine it would be difficult at short notice but perhaps there is contingency planning in place.

Has the Bretagne ever done a Spanish run?

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1 hour ago, mjturner said:

Has the Bretagne ever done a Spanish run?

Has the Flying Scotsman ever been to Scotland?

In the early 1990's, BF's Spanish service was being filled to capacity during high-season. The Bretagne even though built for the route was now proving too small. Around the the same time, TT-Line experienced a drop in demand for their Germany to Sweden service and put their Nils Holgerson up for sale. This ship went for a facelift and refit in Italy and was transformed in the Val de Loire. Meanwhile, the Bretagne took over the Portsmouth - St Malo service in 1993. 

However,  this would not be the last Santander would see of the Bretagne. In the 1990's, the Spanish port would often see her doing out-of-season sailings from Portsmouth.

 

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We have just about resigned ourselves to another summer in the UK. Our campsite in the Vendee hopes to open at the beginning of July but isn't taking bookings at the moment. A few weeks ago we looked at tents but held off buying one because I wasn't convinced that we would be able to use it at Easter; last night hubby bought one for the summer and paid £200 more than he would have done a few weeks ago. We are now hoping that we might get to the Lake District in early July (Scottish school holidays).

 

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20 minutes ago, zuludelta said:

Has the Flying Scotsman ever been to Scotland?

In the early 1990's, BF's Spanish service was being filled to capacity during high-season. The Bretagne even though built for the route was now proving too small. Around the the same time, TT-Line experienced a drop in demand for their Germany to Sweden service and put their Nils Holgerson up for sale. This ship went for a facelift and refit in Italy and was transformed in the Val de Loire. Meanwhile, the Bretagne took over the Portsmouth - St Malo service in 1993. 

However,  this would not be the last Santander would see of the Bretagne. In the 1990's, the Spanish port would often see her doing out-of-season sailings from Portsmouth.

 

Interesting thought, what would have happened if BF realised just how popular the Spanish route would be and built the Bretagne to a slightly higher capacity...?

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52 minutes ago, The Ferry Man said:

Interesting thought, what would have happened if BF realised just how popular the Spanish route would be and built the Bretagne to a slightly higher capacity...?

Yes, I'm sure they would have commissioned a bigger build.

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1 hour ago, zuludelta said:

Yes, I'm sure they would have commissioned a bigger build.

They did and called it Pont Aven, only trouble they used the wrong design for the hull.

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12 minutes ago, Solo said:

They did and called it Pont Aven, only trouble they used the wrong design for the hull.

I was under the impression that Val was brought in as a larger replacement for UK/Spain?

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1 hour ago, Le Quiberon said:

I was under the impression that Val was brought in as a larger replacement for UK/Spain?

She was initially but when BF were struggling financially again a ship had to go... and as always BAI take the hit not SOMANOR or SOMABRET hence the sale to DFDS.

After they were bailed out again buy the regional governments, Credit Agricole and Brittany decided on building Pont Aven enabling the Society to earn the money again.

If there is a long term rationalisation in services, I'd put money on either Cap Finistere or Normandie Express or both being sold rather than any of the other regionally owned ships.

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Well, from the reports this morning it looks like foreign travel will be off the agenda until July or such time as the third wave surge in Europe is brought under control so no passenger ferries before then. Plus it seems increasingly likely that France will be placed n the UK red list with hotel quarantine being required on arrival.

Another report is floating(!) the idea that the loitering cruise ships off the South Coast could be turned into 'pop up hotels' to add capacity if people cannot holiday abroad. The idea has its merits in principle. Cruises to nowhere are nothing new and the big ships are are basically all inclusive resorts anyway. P&O are already suggesting round Britain cruises to keep their ships  operational. I reckon they might get a lot of takers if they could start doing this from mid May. However there could be staffing issues as most cruise ship hotel department staff come from developing countries such as the Phillipines and would have to be rigorously screened before being allowed onboard.

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Both though are requiring both jabs (and a week post second jab), so a lot of disappointed people I would think.

Yes, the timing isn't great for younger people however if a lot of oldies go for it then it might ease pressures on land accommodation to some extent. The ships can accommodate between 2000 and 5000 passengers apiece so there is a lot of potential capacity.

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17 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Yes, the timing isn't great for younger people however if a lot of oldies go for it then it might ease pressures on land accommodation to some extent. The ships can accommodate between 2000 and 5000 passengers apiece so there is a lot of potential capacity.

Even at 50% occupancy they are generally profitable but that does require lower-paid below-deck workers.

Ed

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Even at 50% occupancy they are generally profitable but that does require lower-paid below-deck workers.

Who are currently sitting back in their home countries and probably with no job. The cruise industry has always depended on cheap labour by western standards but a lot of these people work for a few years on cruise ships, save their money and use it to start a hospitality business at home.

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4 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Who are currently sitting back in their home countries and probably with no job. The cruise industry has always depended on cheap labour by western standards but a lot of these people work for a few years on cruise ships, save their money and use it to start a hospitality business at home.

According to my students, a lot of people in Bali (which is hoping to reopen to tourists in July) have found other jobs in agriculture, forestry and fishing since the crisis began. 

Ed

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Reports suggest that isn't the case in the Phillipines where a majority of cruise ship staff come from. Anyway, the people in Bali were already there, not scattered all around the world providing cheap labour in many environments, not just the cruise industry. Filipinos do this because despite often poor working conditions (the Arab states for eample) it is still better than being unemployed at home.

Unemployment appears to have almost doubled sine the arrival of Covid and the Phillipines already had chronic unemployment and under employment problems to start with.

BF's policy of employing French Nationals is commendable but we all know it puts a strain on their cost base compared with other ferry operators.

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1 minute ago, cvabishop said:

BF's policy of employing French Nationals is commendable but we all know it puts a strain on their cost base compared with other ferry operators

True, but isn't the ratio of crew to passengers supposed to be coming down with the introduction of the E-Flexrrs? They should be more profitable for that reason and their higher fuel efficiency.

Ed

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Another argument for disposing of old 'surplus' ships. Still, I would be interested to know just where the significant staff savings will be. Usually the best way to save costs is simply to have bigger fewer ships as per Wightlink and P&O Dover.

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I believe they need fewer people in the restaurants relative to the number of passengers on board. Other than that, having a single shop rather than multiple small boutiques must help. Ed. 

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18 hours ago, jonno said:

The A1 is a nightmare as many of them go from being able to do 70 when it's the A1M down to 60 when it's the A1, it's why it's always rammed around places like Doncaster and why they can only do 60 on roads like the A34. On some A & B roads they're restricted to 40 even if the limit is 50. They end up doing 55 everywhere annoying the rest of us who can actually read & understand road signs.

I find them to be a bit of a nuisance on most motorway hills to be honest!

 

18 hours ago, jonno said:

All the camp websites are saying May 17th for the loos and showers.

Yep, aware of that but I hadn't seen anything from the government that officially says so (I haven't really bothered looking as it makes no difference to us).  Spread the wealth, I'm sure your sister will be eternally grateful.

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15 hours ago, The Ferry Man said:

Interesting thought, what would have happened if BF realised just how popular the Spanish route would be and built the Bretagne to a slightly higher capacity...?

If they had, and the capacity had gone in extra length, she could be a very fine looking ship.

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