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PA vs Chinese Clones (maybe a little Plymouth vs Portsmouth)


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I still struggle with those of my friends on here who go drooly about Val de Loire. Horrible ship, cramped inside, dark and miserable. Nothing original or Breton about her. Almost nothing about her that I preferred to Bretagne, Pont Aven or frankly Normandie, Duc de Normandie, Quiberon ...

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18 hours ago, VikingVoyager said:

Yep, that makes sense. If we assume she runs St Malo until the newbuild arrives, she'll be more than 20 years old so they will have had even more out of her (maybe time to pay back her recent engine issues>!).  Would she look good with a big GNV on her side?

I'd prefer Bugs Bunny and see her re christened as Moby booby but yeah, I think GNV would suit her. Balearia are seriously looking at the U.K. market, their colours would work well on her too.

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14 hours ago, colin said:

Nothing original or Breton about her

That is probably because the Val de Loire Tourist Board paid over £1 million to name the ship and spent a whole lot more on art and decoration.

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A rather long discussion about the 'qualities' of various vessels without looking at the operating costs. it is easy to be critical while losing sight of the main fundamentals; ergo to make a profit! Most business these days are managed by accountants and the persons who historically the business were more attuned to what the customer sought rather than the balance sheet. 

From reading various comments on both this web-site and the main BF site (don't like the new web-site, BTW ) I deduce that there is more than one financial interest in the company and that there is Regional involvement as well as direct Company; so it is possible that ship policy for routes is influenced by local voices as well as company plans. If Brittany, for example, wants a new ship on routes serving their province it will contribute towards the funding; but will probably get irked if the vessel is switched to a Normandy route permanently before it has had its moneys worth!

That is my take on it anyway.  

As a passenger I have used most of the ships serving the Spanish routes. I do not like the C(r)ap Finistere, especially the deck restaurant. Metal seats are horrible in Winter and the wind under the side screens almost cuts your ankles off! Conversely I liked the Baie De Seine, although it was a short term charter of a well used ship it coped with the Bay of Biscay fairly well. Having said that I did have one very lumpy crossing in a January gale and at breakfast there was just three passengers in the Cafe and a big mound of food that was obviously not going to be sold. The crew were clearly expecting a rough crossing as the open rear vehicle deck was clear apart from the top of a lorry on the ramp, and that was well shackled down.

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17 minutes ago, Barry Thomas said:

A rather long discussion about the 'qualities' of various vessels without looking at the operating costs. it is easy to be critical while losing sight of the main fundamentals; ergo to make a profit! Most business these days are managed by accountants and the persons who historically the business were more attuned to what the customer sought rather than the balance sheet. 

From reading various comments on both this web-site and the main BF site (don't like the new web-site, BTW ) I deduce that there is more than one financial interest in the company and that there is Regional involvement as well as direct Company; so it is possible that ship policy for routes is influenced by local voices as well as company plans. If Brittany, for example, wants a new ship on routes serving their province it will contribute towards the funding; but will probably get irked if the vessel is switched to a Normandy route permanently before it has had its moneys worth!

That is my take on it anyway.  

As a passenger I have used most of the ships serving the Spanish routes. I do not like the C(r)ap Finistere, especially the deck restaurant. Metal seats are horrible in Winter and the wind under the side screens almost cuts your ankles off! Conversely I liked the Baie De Seine, although it was a short term charter of a well used ship it coped with the Bay of Biscay fairly well. Having said that I did have one very lumpy crossing in a January gale and at breakfast there was just three passengers in the Cafe and a big mound of food that was obviously not going to be sold. The crew were clearly expecting a rough crossing as the open rear vehicle deck was clear apart from the top of a lorry on the ramp, and that was well shackled down.

Yes there's three companies, the regions have the final say in the boardroom. SOMABRET has the Pont Aven, Bretagne & Armorique. SOMANOR have MSM, Normandie, Barfleur, Cotentin & BAI have Cap Finistere, Connemara, Pelican & Galicia.

The regions charter their ships to BAI and pay for their maintenance etc.

SOMABRET is Brittany and SOMANOR in Manche, Calvados & more recently Seine-Maritime.

Little known fact: When Armorique covers on the Ouistreham route its a sub charter paper exercise.

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

es there's three companies, the regions have the final say in the boardroom. SOMABRET has the Pont Aven, Bretagne & Armorique. SOMANOR have MSM, Normandie, Barfleur, Cotentin & BAI have Cap Finistere, Connemara, Pelican & Galicia.

The regions charter their ships to BAI and pay for their maintenance etc.

SOMABRET is Brittany and SOMANOR in Manche, Calvados & more recently Seine-Maritime.

No wonder their marketing has lacked a proper focus for years.

Little known fact: The main destination for French travellers on BF is Scotland. Perhaps that explains the Scottish theme of La Flora.

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1 hour ago, BobCrox said:

Little known fact: The main destination for French travellers on BF is Scotland. Perhaps that explains the Scottish theme of La Flora.

It's specifically a Charles Rennie Mackintosh theme, including those eye-wateringly expensive Argyle Street tea room chairs. Can't remember the reason for it being the inspiration although Mackintosh did live in France for a bit.

Edited by hhvferry
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1 hour ago, BobCrox said:

Little known fact: The main destination for French travellers on BF is Scotland. Perhaps that explains the Scottish theme of La Flora.

Aside from the booze cruisers, continental travelers to Scotland are the main market for DFDS on their Amsterdam to Newcastle route.

Nobody wants to go to England!

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Years ago my mother in Edinburgh had a Brittany Ferries plaque on her gate. BF sent her B&B guests. Worked well for her, particularly as our whole family are pretty much bilingual and involved one way or another with France.

A short aside. From 1295 when the Auld Alliance / Vieille Alliance was signed, until 1905, citizens of Scotland and France could easily obtain dual nationality. The links remain deep and strong. A former director of the French Institute / Institut Français en Ecosse even commissioned a Vieille Alliance tartan. Quite nice it is too, but damned expensive to get custom woven!

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14 hours ago, hhvferry said:

It's specifically a Charles Rennie Mackintosh theme, including those eye-wateringly expensive Argyle Street tea room chairs. Can't remember the reason for it being the inspiration although Mackintosh did live in France for a bit.

Eye-wateringly expensive, and rather uncomfortable chairs!

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To put the price in perspective, one of my doctor students had dinner this summer at the 2-Michelin-starred restaurant La Côte Saint Jacques near Auxerre. 

The 'Gourmand' menu, with a cocktail and wine included, comprising of a starter, 3 main dishes, cheese and 2 desserts came to €280 per person. She said it was probably the first and last time she'd ever spend so much on a meal but they were there for about 5 hours in all.

Ed

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2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

To put the price in perspective, one of my doctor students had dinner this summer at the 2-Michelin-starred restaurant La Côte Saint Jacques near Auxerre. 

The 'Gourmand' menu, with a cocktail and wine included, comprising of a starter, 3 main dishes, cheese and 2 desserts came to €280 per person. She said it was probably the first and last time she'd ever spend so much on a meal but they were there for about 5 hours in all.

Ed

Were they waiting for a ferry?😁

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2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

She said it was probably the first and last time she'd ever spend so much on a meal but they were there for about 5 hours in all.

Don't worry. Inflation will take care of that! In a few years it will be the normal price she will pay. More than once I have had my most expensive meal only to have an even more expensive one a few years later. I've also done six hour meals in Normandy.

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