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PEGASIS: New vessel for 2017 (note this project has been suspended)


Andy

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

Against what law? Not the one you quote! Drinking small amounts of alcohol and being drunk are 2 very different things. Zero tolerance has its supporters, but you will find few officers at BF amongst them, as it tends to lead the problems cases to hide their habit.

 

In the past, common sense, and the law prevailed. Now, HQ dictat imposes a different regime.

 

When I have a moment later, I will post a résumé of a recent chat with current and former BF Commandants about the company today, and the chances of making a total pig's ear of the new ship ....

 

Not looking forward to this !! But its not surprizing with BF anymore, they have lost it !!

How can they get pretty much everything perfect in the past right but seem to get it wrong now !!

Please Bring back the old days with Bretagne as the true flagship, they were the best days and will always be for certain.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

Not looking forward to this !! But its not surprizing with BF anymore, they have lost it !!

How can they get pretty much everything perfect in the past right but seem to get it wrong now !!

Please Bring back the old days with Bretagne as the true flagship, they were the best days and will always be for certain.

 

I would not say that BF are 'getting it wrong' at all. They are adapting to the current climate. Unfortunately not the industry nor the economic climate are the same as they were all those years ago.

 

Yes, it is inevitable that there will be those in the company who look back to the old days with fond memories and sadness that it's gone and will reject the new era. Understandable. May I point out that there are many, old and new, employees at BF that embrace the new culture and era and are excited for what the future holds for the company.

 

It is worth noting that nearly every decision that BF has made with regards to the fleet, infrastructure etc has been subjected to passengers, enthusiasts and industry specialist's opinion and critic, from the very first sailing and launch of the Kerisnel.

 

So let's not be so fast in saying that BF don't know what they are doing. I'm more than sure they do but what they are doing is different and new.

 

As a passenger/enthusiast it is very difficult to actually understand the old and the new; the differences and also what the company is actually doing. It's hard even for the employees!

 

However, I am looking forward to this 'résumé' :D! Which current Commandants were they Colin (if you're allowed to disclose that). I do hope however that they don't get it wrong up at Roscoff! I have faith!

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

My view is they are not operating for the enthusiast, but the average passenger who wants to get from A to B, with many having tight budget. When I was on board a few weeks ago, a lot of passengers I heard being complimentary about how comfortable Armorique was. Many don't want a sit down meal, or entertainment, but just happy to have somewhere comfortable to sit without being tossed about like being on a see-saw, and read a book, catch some sleep etc.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

My view is they are not operating for the enthusiast, but the average passenger who wants to get from A to B, with many having tight budget. When I was on board a few weeks ago, a lot of passengers I heard being complimentary about how comfortable Armorique was. Many don't want a sit down meal, or entertainment, but just happy to have somewhere comfortable to sit without being tossed about like being on a see-saw, and read a book, catch some sleep etc.

 

A good and valid point. We are all different in our expectations (H)

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

Quite right Richard. They do not operate specifically for the 100 or so on here but 2 or 3 million ??? who use the ferries. Having said that there is as place for tradition but unfortunately these days that cannot be the overriding factor. The trick is to "maintain" it a modern manner.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

Spot on Richard. We are regulars (10+) round trips per annum and we go BF for comfort and short driving distances, but there are many people out there who go maybe once a year and simply don't appreciate a bit of style and comfort. They just look at bottom line.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

Things were very different when Bretagne was ordered. It was probably the high water mark for the Giteurs when taking the car over to Brittany or the Dordogne was an annual adventure for many families. Every year, when it was published, we would all pore over the BF Gite & Holiday brochure looking for just the right property for us for that year, often somewhere we hadn't been before. Second home purchase in France was also taking off so the ferry market was very buoyant(!). In building Bretagne, BF were making a statement of confidence and it worked wonderfully. I recall the AA Ferry Guide of the time urging would be travellers to 'book early as this is a very popular ship'. The fact that nearly 25 years down the line, Bretagne is still probably the most popular and best loved ship in the fleet is a ringing testament to just how right BF got things on that occasion.

 

Back in those days there were no low cost airlines and the mass market cruising industry was just a fraction of its present size. Today of course things are very different with lots of wide ranging opportunities for cheap foreign travel and a couple of weeks in the Dordogne or the Morbihan has become a niche market supplemented by a growth in hotel short breaks. Anyone who has travelled on a modern cruise ship will find ferry cabins to be small and pokey while facilities are obviously limited by the middle of the ship being stuffed full of vehicles rather than passenger amenities. In some respects, Pont Aven was intended to bridge the gap between ferry and cruise ship but she has not really been an unqualified success being, as so often the case, neither one thing or the other.

 

I have not travelled on the latest Armorique but by all accounts she seems to be very well suited to the nature and timetabling of the Plym - Roscoff route for which she was designed.

 

Although originally designed for the Spanish run, Bretagne is indeed very well suited to the St Malo route, her only real weakness being the time it takes to unload the upper car deck and the fact that cars are now a lot bigger on average than when she was built.

 

Bretagne was 'of her time' and we should enjoy her while we still can.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

I've never thought of the Bretagne, nor indeed the Val or PA as ferries. Maybe that has been BFs secret. To travel on them feels like it's own experience, something to sit back and enjoy or is this me being too romantic?. Is the reason the Mrs and I enjoy the Baltic ships similarly due to the fact we both buy into the mini cruise before the holiday ethos.. When travelling, if we can't get the BF channel crossing we want we tend to cross to Rosslare and travel on the Oscar Wilde or try for Cork, again for a ship rather than ferry experience..

I think Bf will get the new ship right. STX know how to build eyecatching, sleek cruiseferries and the bods in Roscoff know how significant the Bretagne is..

If i'm talking ####, let me know!!

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

When travelling, if we can't get the BF channel crossing we want we tend to cross to Rosslare and travel on the Oscar Wilde or try for Cork, again for a ship rather than ferry experience

 

Oscar Wilde looks a pretty smart ship. Seen her enough times in Cherbourg and recently had an online internal look around her, she is quite impressive.:)

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

First, let me be clear that I am not on a nostalgic trip, nor unaware of the changed economic environment. But ....BF have built their reputation on being better than the rest, more comfortable, more personal, more French. The food offerings have always been excellent and the décor of the ships, particular with Goudie driving things, was simply a class apart from any other Channel operator.

 

I regularly meet and talk to half a dozen or so serving BF Commandants along with other officers, crew, hotel/restaurant staff, and a good number of former incumbents of those positions, but it would be indiscreet at best to mention names when recounting casual conversations.

 

The BIG concern (on this subject) amongst the current and former seagoing employees, is their marginalisation in decisions relating to new builds. Their experience is neglected to the point they feel that pen pushers are afraid to listen, as they would not understand.

 

Both the Bretagne and the Pont Aven had awful shake down problems with frankly experimental engines foisted on them by the manufactures with juicy discounts for the guinea pigs. The people on board advised against these actions .... You should hear the stories of breakdowns, failures, near disasters .... Meyer Werft builds palatial cabins, but the guys tore their hair out trying to get a seaworthy hull, decent engineering and systems, and all the necessary fitout that differentiates a ferry from a cruise liner.

 

Armorique has only 2 engines, for cost reasons, against the strong views of the seafarers.

 

So, you reckon St Nazaire can get it right? OK, that is possible, but alongside the Bretagne, they built ferries for SNCM where the bean counters and the yard made the decisions. "If you listen to the seagoing staff, the ship will never be finished, or will cost 4 times as much".

 

Yes, a balance needs to be struck, and just as doctors do not necessarily make ideal hospital managers, Commandants are not always switched on to economic reality. But the opinions of both are vital to getting the right solutions.

 

Alexis Gourvenec listened, then did his own thing and carried everyone with him, bullying if necessary, but his force of character, vision and determination were respected throughout the fleet and far beyond.

 

BF cannot afford to be like the others. The formula works because they are not. The farmers, the cooperatives, the chambers of commerce, all the stakeholders, need to ensure that BF retains its character and spirit.

 

Neither I, nor any of my BF friends have given up hope, but confidence in the new build project is low. I hope we are short sighted, have missed some aspect of the big picture, or that as the project progresses, the right decisions will be made and the valuable experience available, tapped into.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

Is the Bretagne likely to be around for summer 2016? Or is it likely the newbuild will be launched around then?

 

Inbetween, we have other plans so it would be good to have another, maybe last :( crossing on her.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

 

Both the Bretagne and the Pont Aven had awful shake down problems with frankly experimental engines foisted on them by the manufactures with juicy discounts for the guinea pigs. The people on board advised against these actions .... You should hear the stories of breakdowns, failures, near disasters .... Meyer Werft builds palatial cabins, but the guys tore their hair out trying to get a seaworthy hull, decent engineering and systems, and all the necessary fitout that differentiates a ferry from a cruise liner.

 

I am not at all surprised at this.

 

Mayer Weft seems to be a specialist cruise ship manufacturer.

 

Before the Pont Aven the last ferry they built was the Silja Europa back in 1993. That means the yard had not built one single ferry in 10 years.

 

I am sure like any disciple - shipbuilding has it's own specialisations.

Meyer Weft I am sure are brilliant at building high-spec cruise ships.

But for ferries, their expertise was probably a bit ropey. (nautical pun not intended)

 

As far as the Pont's engines were concerned - AFAIK, they were miniaturised version of a MaK cruise ship engine. I'm no expert in marine engineering but surely cruise ship engine design differs from those of a Ro/Ro ferry.

 

For the proposed new build, maybe the STX Europe team who designed and built the LNG-powered Viking Grace might be the ideal choice.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

I'm no expert in marine engineering but surely cruise ship engine design differs from those of a Ro/Ro ferry.

 

I would have though they would be pretty similar in many respects with frequent port calls and turnarounds unlike deep sea freighters which plug along at a constant speed for weeks on end.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

I am not at all surprised at this.

 

Mayer Weft seems to be a specialist cruise ship manufacturer.

 

Before the Pont Aven the last ferry they built was the Silja Europa back in 1993. That means the yard had not built one single ferry in 10 years.

The yard isn't responsible for either the broad spec or much of the technical side of things though. The basic design, for BF newbuildings, rests with Deltamarin whilst Marin in Wageningen do detailed hull form work. It's inevitably a combination of efforts but it's not fair to pin any blame on the yard alone, particularly with engine choices.

 

Where yard experience really comes into play is their ability to deliver complex ships on time and to budget - and even experienced yards can have a shocker like GN did with the Mont St Michel. Whilst aware of the risks of making huge generalisations, you get what you pay for in build quality - Meyer Werft and STX Finland will be, by and large, outstanding. The French perhaps a little less so, Fincantieri can be shocking (see Finnlines' Star Class) and Greeks - well don't go there unless you have your eyes wide open (Kanhave and Korcula).

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

What problem did GN hit with Mont St Michel anyway?... Whatever happened - the end result was excellent. It was a shame that she was their last ever RoRo build before they shut down.

 

It's amazing that there are so few Asian built Ro-Ro class ships in operation in Europe. I know North Sea Ferries had the Japanese-built Norsun and Norsea but with all the talk about Asian shipyards competing with European ones - there seem to very few Asian Ro-Ro builds plying European waters.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

What problem did GN hit with Mont St Michel anyway?... Whatever happened - the end result was excellent. It was a shame that she was their last ever RoRo build before they shut down.

 

It's amazing that there are so few Asian built Ro-Ro class ships in operation in Europe. I know North Sea Ferries had the Japanese-built Norsun and Norsea but with all the talk about Asian shipyards competing with European ones - there seem to very few Asian Ro-Ro builds plying European waters.

 

Just look at the trouble LD had buying a Asian built vessel.

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

What problem did GN hit with Mont St Michel anyway?... Whatever happened - the end result was excellent. It was a shame that she was their last ever RoRo build before they shut down.

 

It's amazing that there are so few Asian built Ro-Ro class ships in operation in Europe. I know North Sea Ferries had the Japanese-built Norsun and Norsea but with all the talk about Asian shipyards competing with European ones - there seem to very few Asian Ro-Ro builds plying European waters.

 

Problem? They went bust...........

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_der_Giessen_de_Noord

IIRC didn't BF acquire the IP for the hull design (used for Arm and Cot) in lieu of warranty? Or did I dream that?

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Re: BF prepraing to order new ship...

 

What problem did GN hit with Mont St Michel anyway?... Whatever happened - the end result was excellent. It was a shame that she was their last ever RoRo build before they shut down.

 

It's amazing that there are so few Asian built Ro-Ro class ships in operation in Europe. I know North Sea Ferries had the Japanese-built Norsun and Norsea but with all the talk about Asian shipyards competing with European ones - there seem to very few Asian Ro-Ro builds plying European waters.

 

I rather think NORSEA, now PRIDE OF YORK, was built by Govan shipbuilders on the Clyde. NORSUN, now PRIDE OF BRUGES, was going to be built by a Dutch shipyard but they returned the contract and so it went by default to a Japanese yard. I would guess there are more Asian built vessels around than you realise. You need to go through a reference book such as Shippax's "Guide".

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