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New route. Roscoff to an unnamed Cornish port.


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I think that the BF plans will be clearer in a month or two, They are trying to hurry out the timetable for next year, presumably for cash flow reasons. Looks like it will be published in April or May. 

It will be interesting what is said re Plymouth and St Malo.

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Got a reply from Tony Weaver on Facebook.  Copied and pasted.   “Mystery solved Brigitte, a source has confirmed to me that Normandie Express will be going on the Syncrolift for her Classificatio

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1 hour ago, David Williams said:

I think that the BF plans will be clearer in a month or two, They are trying to hurry out the timetable for next year, presumably for cash flow reasons. Looks like it will be published in April or May. 

It will be interesting what is said re Plymouth and St Malo.

They are both key routes when you consider BF carry 2 million pax a year to France. Around 1 million travel through Ouistreham and over 700,000 through Roscoff & St Malo.

There's no speculation regarding the Spanish sailings even though the three ships serving the country carry less than either Plymouth - Roscoff or Portsmouth - St Malo.

With large areas of open space, fresh air and the ability to self distance more easily - you don't even need to enter a passenger terminal if, like most travellers, you're in your vehicle or on your pedal or motorbike. I have a feeling that once green lit we're going to see ferry travel become very, very popular.

 

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

The USP for Plymouth is that in a year or two it will be the only port offering a sub 24 hr Spanish sailing which is very popular with travellers, you then have to look at pax traffic on the Plymouth - Roscoff route overall which is greater than St Malo and matches Cherbourg which has sailings to different English ports.

Plus loyal custom in the south west and Wales. There's been a lot of pessimism around the route for as long as anyone can remember, but it's still going, including a recentish new build- something you can't say for Poole or St Malo.

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9 minutes ago, jonno said:

They are both key routes when you consider BF carry 2 million pax a year to France. Around 1 million travel through Ouistreham and over 700,000 through Roscoff & St Malo

Indeed, however will St Malo join Plymouth in being a seasonal destination.

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1 minute ago, David Williams said:

Indeed, however will St Malo join Plymouth in being a seasonal destination.

I wouldn't describe Plymouth-Roscoff as seasonal. The NEx sailings are seasonal, 4 months out of 12. The winter closures are a fairly modern concept and seem to have coincided with the greater number of violent storms we now seem to experience. Both ports are very exposed to the North Atlantic. Let's not forget Pont Aven will be permanently based at Plymouth from this year.

Portsmouth -St Malo is BF's 2nd most popular route, pax numbers have been increasing year on year and are now seemingly only constrained by Bretagne's cabin numbers. Forget the quoted 2000+ passengers, she can only carry around 1300 over night due to SOLAS & H&S rulings-1100 in the berths she has and only 200 of her 300+ pullmans. If or when Pont Aven replaces her, the figures will increase. BF will double cabin berths instantly.

If that happens I doubt it'll effect Plymouth too much as BF will simply use an E-Flexer (Santona) in the same way they use PA now. 

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The USP of Plymouth is Roscoff ... BF are so unlikely ever to not have a service from Roscoff, that Plymouth, being the closest destination, will be likely to continue. Sure, we have seen Irish services from Roscoff, but only as add ons to services to ports further east in the Channel.

BF's feet are in the farming land behind Roscoff and this will always weigh on decisions.

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

Do you reckon they could get a landing craft into Gyllyngvase beach?

Ed

Landing craft would manage it I reckon, but Kuzma Minin tried a few years back... failed!

Screenshot_2021-03-27_10-13-27.png.96ded62ba8c26a7b11762c0201c236f9.png

Edited by dojidave
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According to BBC Spotlight Southwest recently there has been a huge increase in city dwellers expressing a desire to continue working from home and relocate to the countryside.  The most popular destination of choice is Cornwall, closely followed by Devon so the potential customer base for the Plymouth service could well expand in the years to come.  There is certainly a lot of new housing going up in these parts and sales are brisk. 

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Got a reply from Tony Weaver on Facebook.  Copied and pasted.  

“Mystery solved Brigitte, a source has confirmed to me that Normandie Express will be going on the Syncrolift for her Classification Society Certificate Inspection, something which is done every 5 years”.  

Makes sense.  

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If BF are thinking of giving up on Plymouth there are now lots of spare sailing slots out of Fishguard.

Of course none of BF's ships could make the antique linkspan here and it would need huge ammounts of dredging, but those are just minor details.

Maybe this will be a story for me to leak one day next week before miday.

Rhys

 

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On 26/03/2021 at 23:45, jonno said:

I wouldn't describe Plymouth-Roscoff as seasonal. The NEx sailings are seasonal, 4 months out of 12. The winter closures are a fairly modern concept and seem to have coincided with the greater number of violent storms we now seem to experience. Both ports are very exposed to the North Atlantic. Let's not forget Pont Aven will be permanently based at Plymouth from this year.

Portsmouth -St Malo is BF's 2nd most popular route, pax numbers have been increasing year on year and are now seemingly only constrained by Bretagne's cabin numbers. Forget the quoted 2000+ passengers, she can only carry around 1300 over night due to SOLAS & H&S rulings-1100 in the berths she has and only 200 of her 300+ pullmans. If or when Pont Aven replaces her, the figures will increase. BF will double cabin berths instantly.

If that happens I doubt it'll effect Plymouth too much as BF will simply use an E-Flexer (Santona) in the same way they use PA now. 

I thought BF's Portsmouth to St Malo route was showing passenger decreases year on year, and numbers now are quite a lot down compared to the higher levels it had 10 years ago. I hope I'm wrong here.

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52 minutes ago, Nick Hyde said:

I thought BF's Portsmouth to St Malo route was showing passenger decreases year on year, and numbers now are quite a lot down compared to the higher levels it had 10 years ago. I hope I'm wrong here.

After the 2009 financial meltdown all of the routes recovered well until 2018/19, Roscoff carried 370,000 pax... St Malo 350,000.  BF and other carriers both sea & air blamed EU/UK uncertainty for the dip in numbers they all saw on every route. In BF's case this was compounded further by port strikes and the loss of Pont Aven due to engine failure. Loosing Normandie to have a new bow thruster didn't help either when you consider the Ouistreham route carries 20,000 pax a week.

In BF's case, 2018/19 reflected the figures of 2015/16.

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I wonder if BF would ever consider a Plymouth - St Malo sailing on a regular basis? I am sure that, like us, many visitirs to Roscoff head east at the N12, then Rennes-Nantes and all points south (or Rennes-Le Mans and all point east and south east). We invariably look to travel south from Rennes and the savings in distance and time make a leisurely sailing from our 'home' port of Plymouth to an arrival at St Malo a very attractive prospect. One sailing a week would perhaps be a welcome addition to the timetable.

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Plymouth-St Malo has, from time to time, been a feature of BF timetabling ever since 1975.  It disappeared as a regular service in 1981, but has appeared sporadically since.  In all cases, when they have operated it (apart from in 1975), it was due to a need for ships to reposition between Plymouth and St Malo in order to operate them on rosters that include both the Plymouth-Roscoff and Portsmouth-St Malo routes.  It will never be anything more than that, owing to the very niche nature of the demand, but I wouldn’t rule it making an occasional re-appearance from time to time.

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I have seen a suggestion elsewhere that Plymouth could be fitted in to a revised version of Armorique's current schedule, offering a once a week freight only Plymoth-Roscoff service? (In both directions I would imagine?)

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