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BF Pont Aven Cancellations

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ClareGirl

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Have been enjoying this forum for a number of months, but posting for the first time. 
We’re (4 of us) booked on the Pont Aven from Cork to Roscoff on June 22nd, but with today’s announcement that it’s going to be out of service until June 14th, we’re anxious that a further delay will impact on our sailing.
So, our dilemma........  Do we hold tough and hope for the best? Or do we try to cancel and get a refund from BF and book the WB Yeats instead?  Or will BF refuse to refund us when our ferry is not yet cancelled?
Do any of you knowledgeable folk have any insights into the chances of the Pont Aven actually getting back in service by June 14th?
What would you do.......?
Thank you.

Kevin1

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Hi Claregirl, I am in much the same boat and have been agonising over this for the past couple of days.  I am undecided.  It would be nice to get a positive sign from BF on their website (e.g 'our repairs are going well and we are optimistic of return to sailing by mid June'), but so far nothing.

  As far I know, at this stage out from your journey BF will refund your ticket minus the deposit (so you would lose about 1/4 of what you paid).  Also, sailing with IF on the WBYeats will cost a fair amount more than current booking (at least it does for me), so your outlay in this maneuvre will be substantial (for me, with a car and 4 passengers it came to approx. 400 lost on the deposit plus an other 350 on the increment in the IF price, so 750 euro extra on a return sailing that had cost about 1500.

If BF wanted to show some good will they would be more generous with their refund for June sailings, given the current uncertainty, but they are French so I suspect you will get the gallic shrug (you won't see it over the phone).  I would have serious doubts about the June 14 expected return to sailings - it is more or less two weeks from their breakdown so probably the shipyard just said "maybe we can do it in a fortnight", however I am only guessing.

If they ultimately cancel the late June sailings as seems likely, they will have to give everyone a full refund.  My thinking is that I can then get my accomodation costs back on my insurance and I will then cut my losses for the summer by getting some flights to somewhere in Europe for a week to keep the family happy.

It depends on your gamblers instinct and your wallet!

DaveW1946

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We were due on Cork-Roscoff on 8 June, but had 12 days notice of our sailing being cancelled. Not direct notification from BF only by checking the Pont Aven Update on the header on BF's website twice a day. Learnt on 28 May that PA not back in service until 14/6, so rapidly booked WB Yeats but had to accept sailing two days later. Hope this helped

Kevin1

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further study of this situation seems to reveal that if you cancel, then you get a travel voucher as a refund (minus your deposit).  You decision to cancel might then depend at least partly on your enthusiasm for travelling to France again sometime in the future.  If they cancel the sailing completely then I presume they refund you fully in cash.  I don't know how long these 'travel vouchers' lasts for.

Trucker

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Dont cancel.
They must provide you with alternative sailings.
I'm on holiday in France at the minute, and tried last Monday to book IF Cherbourg Dublin for 7th June, but every cabin booked due to Brittany Ferry transfers  (this is what I was told).  Stena is the same situation.
We are on IF Cherbourg Dublin Wednesday 5th, cutting our holiday 2 days short, not a major issue, as people are in worse predicaments.

Trucker

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https://amp.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/brittany-ferries-customer-says-he-was-shoddily-treated-927791.html
Have a read of that.
This is why you should not cancel.
They expect customers to make a claim on their travel insurance.
Handy way out for Brittany Ferries.

Kevin1

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I'm not so sure.  What if they simply cannot offer alternative sailings?  As we get into July all the return IF sailings will be full.  Did they organise and pay for your IF sailing back to Ireland?

Trucker

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No, I didn't have any ferry booking made.
Due to work commitments I didn't know if we could stay until the Wednesday or Friday, and when I went to book IF for the Friday,  all cabins were booked.
Stena on Friday are the same.
I rang IF and was told it was due to Brittany Ferry transfers.
They did say to call back as often as I want as cabins do become available due to people altering their travel
But if the ship is that full, I just don't want to be on it anyway.
So I booked for Wednesday.
Plus if there are no alternative direct ferries, they will have to offer you Landbridge through UK.
PITA ,but will get you there.
If you cancel yourself, you have little chance of getting a refund, and you must then find another route to your destination.

Steven

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Best strategy really is to see what they offer you.  If you simply cancel then you’ll lose any right to any compensation or the use of any space they may have reserved on other carriers for passenger transferring.  Worst case scenario is they will offer you a full refund.  I have copied an extract from their terms and conditions you may be interested in!

Quote
2. OBLIGATIONS OF BAI (SA) - THE PERFORMING CARRIER

Our obligations and liabilities as the carrier are limited by those set out in EU regulation No 1177/2010 concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterways. Full details of the regulation are available on request but they are summarised below in sections i, ii, iii, iv, and vi:

(i) Travel
It is our objective to provide you, and where appropriate your luggage with the journey(s) shown on your tickets, but sailing times and destinations, whether shown on your tickets or otherwise notified to you, could be affected by industrial action, weather conditions, mechanical breakdown, government requirements or other factors extraordinary or otherwise that are outside of our control.

(ii) If Cancellation or Delay of more than 90 minutes from the scheduled departure time
In this event, where you are at the port of departure and where we can reasonably do so, we will supply refreshments or snacks in relation to the waiting time. Should the delay or cancellation, (other than those caused by weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ship) necessitate additional overnight stay(s), adequate accommodation will be offered to each passenger, where physically possible to do so, this could be on board or ashore. The cost of accommodation will be limited to €80 per night (excluding transportation to and from the port) and a maximum of 3 nights.

(iii) Re-routing and reimbursement in the event of cancelled or delayed departures
Where a sailing is delayed for more than 90 minutes or cancelled we will provide you the choice of either, a specific re-routing option to your final destination as set out in your transport contract at the earliest opportunity at no additional charge; or re-imbursement of the price that was paid for transport contract within 7 days.

(iv) In the event of a delay in scheduled arrival time
Excluding adverse weather condition endangering the safe operation of the ship or extraordinary circumstances which are unavoidable, delays in the arrival time passengers may request compensation of 25% of the price paid for the delayed service if: a 1 hour delay on a 4 hour journey, 2 hour delay on a 4 to 8 hour journey, 3 hour delay on a 8 to 24 hour journey and a 6 hour delay a journey of more than 24 hours. The compensation shall be 50% if the delays are twice the above.

(v) Alternative carrier
If for any reason defined in paragraph (iii) you or your luggage is transferred to another carrier, you and your luggage will travel on the other carrier's Conditions of Travel but we will still be entitled to the protection given to us by those Conditions.

(vi) Access
We reserve the right to refuse passage to any person or their luggage, who in the opinion of the ship's officer or agent, is unfit or unable to travel, or deemed to risk the safety protocols, or operational feasibility, of the vessel. The Captain of the ship has absolute discretion whether or not to accept a passenger or their luggage on board. In such cases, the fare for that part of the journey which has not been performed will be refunded (unless you have failed to perform your obligations). This is the limit of our liability to you.

https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/terms/general-ferry-booking-terms

You may be able to claim compensation anyway despite technical issues being listed in the exemptions above (it actually depends on what the technical issue is and BF HAVE paid out before for technical problems and were even taken to court (and lost) over a refusal to do so before).  EU legislation is designed to ensure you are not left out of pocket, but I’ve hearing reports Brittany Ferries are playing hardball on this with PONT AVEN.  It IS a fact though that they have paid out before due to technical issues.  There’s nothing to lose by sticking in a claim (and appeal if necessary) anyway and it could help a lot with any additional costs in fares, petrol, accommodation, etc.

I have written a bit of a guide here https://www.niferry.co.uk/ferry-delay-cancellation-compensation/
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

NI Ferry Site

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