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Messages - Matt73

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1
The News Board / Re: Stena Line fleet movements
« on: June 14, 2021, 02:30:20 pm »
What is wrong with Stena Europe?? About time for Stena to invest in a new vessel or upgrade the linkspan at Fishguard for other vessels within their fleet to dock there. Is it just the linkspan that prevents most of Stena's vessels from docking there or is it something else.

They were going to.  It was forecast to cost ?5million.  Why would you spend that amount of money on a route that isn't making money and with a long-term future which is far from certain? 

2
The News Board / Re: Brexit
« on: January 14, 2021, 05:29:46 pm »
No different from flying into USA or Australia, not allowed to bring in food or foodstuffs end of.

The sad thing is all of this would have been flagged in the four years since the vote, but those who are now offended did not listen or care.

I'm the last person to bring politics onto an internet forum; recent events in the USA have shown how toxic that can become.  I voted to remain and I'm afraid that none of this has been a great surprise to me.  On the other hand, I've never been a 'remoaner'.  A democratic decision was taken and the UK is going to have to live with the consequences. 

It has been fasincating to read the messages of our Irish friends on here. For those of you who, over the last few years, have been enthusing about the future of Rosslare, I think that Brexit could be the catalyst for a renaissance of the port.  It would be ironic if EU funds were to be used to fund any developments!

Will all of this be the death knell of Fishguard-Rosslare, though?  If so, when?  There has been speculation on here for many years about that. 

There are so many questions and I think that it will take some months for clear trends to develop.  What is certain is that it will be fascinating.

Matt






3
The News Board / Re: Brittany Ferries fleet movements
« on: July 29, 2020, 05:21:04 pm »
Any idea when the chartered E-flexer from Stena is due and how she will slot in and affect the rosters? Given that Honfleur will not be arriving has this altered the original plan for deployments?

The Galicia is already on the rostas for next year.  Portsmouth-Santander-Portsmouth with a roundtrip from Portsmouth-Cherbourg mid-week.  I'm booked on her next April to Santander, COVID-permitting.

There are details of the interior (CGI) on the BF webiste, including 360 degree tours.  Looks good.

Matt

4
Honestly, at the moment, no one knows what will be happening in August at the moment, forget about next year.

I imagine the operators have plans in place for various scenarios, however, Covid19 is only part of the problem, I imagine Brexit is a far bigger issue for ferry operators on the Irish Sea (P&O, Stena and ICG) - freight is reliable money, not passengers.

At a guess, ICG cancelling the second order at FSG would suggest they don't expect to be massively expanding operations in the near future. BF expanding out of both Cork and Rosslare may lead to some reaction, but hard to predict at the moment.

Although Brittany Ferries does not currently operate any Ireland to UK direct routes, I think it will also be a headache for BF given that it runs multiple routes between UK-France and UK-Spain in terms of Brexit and the end of transition period getting closer and closer by the day. The whole prospect of Duty Free Shopping on all routes to/from the UK a more likely outcome from January as there is the potential to generate much needed additional revenue streams.

It was interesting to read on Thursday 23rd July that Brittany Ferries is confident by investing this early out of Cork as it apparently considers Cork to Roscoff routes more reliant on tourist/passenger market versus freight volumes sector. One thing seems clear in recent days, Brittany Ferries has demonstrated it's future commitment to it's Cork operations following it's expansion to Rosslare Europort earlier this year. Cork seems to be it's main Irish base for sustaining/growing it's passenger tourist traffic while it's Rosslare Europort base is mainly focused on growing freight volumes to/from Ireland.

I suspect that Irish Ferries, Stena Line and perhaps other operators will also want "a slice of the pie" as a higher number of people are likely to want to get out of Ireland next summer having been discouraged to travel abroad this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2021 will be a huge challenge for the tourist industry both at home and abroad as providers will be keen to generate additional revenue after a disastrous 2020.

Fastnet Line was a shortlived successor to Swansea Cork Ferries on the former Cork to Swansea ferry route which ended sailings in 2011 with the vessel MV Julia. B+I Line had also operated routes between Cork and various South Wales ports: Fishguard/Swansea/Pembroke Dock down through the years until Summer 1983.
ICG owned Irish Ferries used also operate summer seasonal services out of Cork for a number of years with it's former Cork to Le Havre and Cork to Cherbourg links until 1997 although; these routes ceased to operate when St.Killian II and St.Patrick II vessels were being sold by the company.

Will other ferry operators be considering the Port of Cork's Ringaskiddy ferryport for 2021 and beyond in a changed world with the possibility of Duty Free Shopping returning on routes to/from UK?

Perhaps we could we see additional continental services ex-Cork to France/Spain etc; from other operators.

Will other changes happen at Rosslare Europort among other carriers namely, Irish Ferries and STENA Line etc;?

Will Dun Laoghaire ever see ferries berth again if Dublin Port becomes too congested in the years ahead - Do STENA Line currently own the former ferry terminal and any of the associated facilities at Dun Laoghaire nowadays?

Dublin Port ferry traffic - how will it cope in the event of a hard BREXIT ?

If duty free is on the horizon, I cannot imagine any of the UK based operators not taking the opportunity. 

As far as Dun Laoghaire is concerned, why would anybody bother with it, given the superior facilities close by in Dublin?   

5
Discussion Board / Re: Investment at Rosslare Europort
« on: March 24, 2020, 04:22:14 pm »
What a change we are seeing at Rosslare.  Could this renewed traffic be the spur for some investment in the port?

Matt

6
The News Board / Re: Stena Line fleet movements
« on: August 12, 2019, 04:55:04 pm »
I thought that the bridge wings were going to be enclosed?  None of the pictures I have seen so far seem to show that this work has been done.

Matt

No, was expected that they might, but not happening this time (though never say never) works were underneath and unseen areas, engines, tanks, hull, funnel, props, shafts,, etc, then replace all windows, some ceilings, barista bar and shopping area upgraded, full paint strip back, remove damage hull sections replace and full repaint, car deck work, removal of remaining half deck 4 to give full height on deck 3, MES installation and exterior decks refurbished,hopefully also bathrooms on deck 8 got some attention, also stairwells were mentioned so hopefully a bit bigger and nicer.

Will attract plenty of attention from the enthusiastic ferry fans when it’s back, spotting the changes, for the general public not too much different.

In case anyone is forgetting what it looked like, plenty of images here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottmackey/albums/72157623466806142

Many thanks.  I'm sure I read about the bridge wings being enclosed on here!  I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

Matt

7
The News Board / Re: Stena Line fleet movements
« on: August 09, 2019, 03:35:46 pm »
I thought that the bridge wings were going to be enclosed?  None of the pictures I have seen so far seem to show that this work has been done.

Matt

8
The News Board / Re: Stena Line fleet movements
« on: August 08, 2019, 02:53:59 pm »
Think it has gone back into a drydock again, so was moved across the port back into one of the drydocks.

Waiting on some specialist parts, for areas that were discovered during refit, would imagine engine room / propulsion system related, given vessels age, items probably not available off the shelf.

https://bfenthusiasts.com/bfe/topic/12523-stena-europe-refit/

I'm sure that it will be worth the wait.  It's a tribute to the design, construction and maintenance that she is still in service; just look at what happened to her sister ship!  A great pity she wasn't kept in my opinion.  I'm sure other uses could have been found for her.

Matt (sentimental and nostalgic)

9
The News Board / Re: Irish Ferries HUll 777
« on: July 08, 2019, 04:00:57 pm »
Assuming the shipyard does not go bust Keel Laying could as early as  Friday 1st November 2019.

As Hull 777 is strategically important to Irish Ferries, I see there being a deal done to keep it at FSG.

Given the learning experience on WB Yeats a 12 month lead time should be achievable , if FSG has the cash to pay suppliers on time.

Hull 777 is more RO-Ro with less cabins , the remaining interior should be similar to WB Yeats. This should lesson the fittout time.

There are rumours circulating in Pembroke that as soon as Hull 777 is delivered an order will be placed to replace Isle of Inishmore.

What would be the rationale for replacing the Innishmore? She is hardly sailing full at present. Why would IF saddle themselves with the, unncessary, costs of paying off a new ship?  The Innishmore has plenty of years left in her yet. 

Matt

10
Discussion Board / Re: Investment at Rosslare Europort
« on: June 07, 2019, 03:09:35 pm »
If Stena were to move french service to Dublin, isn't there a shortage of berths already? Having been forced to use the WB Yeats because of Pont Aven problems, we used Dublin for the first time. WHAT A DUMP.  Poorly signed from the tunnel, boxed in by HGVs, and the view of stained chimneys and the foamy poor quality effluent from the sewage works - Rosslare is quite picturesque, plus no eflow or tunnel tolls.

Was just reporting what had been said to me, or rather a friend, by a Stena employee.  Dublin is being upgraded according to plan published on this forum in the recent past and I think a berth would be found/built if it meant more business.

For the record, I like Rosslare very much. ‘Picturesque’ is perhaps the problem.  Dublin is the capital, and a major hub. Freight is king.  Rosslare has lacked significant investment for years. It isn’t difficult to see why IF moved the route north with the WBY, or why Stena might do the same.

Matt

11
The News Board / Re: new stena ships
« on: June 07, 2019, 03:02:02 pm »
There was a really good Channel 5 documentary in the UK over the weekend about the QE2.  I'm sure it's on the 5 catch-up site if you missed it.

One of the many interesting revelations, to me at least, regarded the original steam propulsion system.  The designers had stipulated 4, but Cunard reduced the number to 3 to save money.  This decision was blamed for many of the subsequent problems Cunard had with the propulsion system; the boilers were flogged to death and they couldn't take them offline to conduct routine maintenance.  In the end they ripped the lot out and installed diesel engines.

No, I haven't gone off thread!  The question I have regards the E-Flexers, which have been built with only two catapillar engines, as I understand it.  Design and construction has come on in leaps and bounds since the 1960s, but I wonder how confident we are that the E-flexers will not suffer the same fate as the QE2?   I know that they are designed so that each ship can operate with just one propeller working, but the Estrid will be operating a fairly punishing schedule and the three for BF will be thrashed in the Bay of Biscay. 

Approps of the BF ships, neither will make the service speed of the Cap Finistere, as I understand it, so will BF be changing the Spannish schedules once Gailica and Salamanca enter service?  Also, do we know yet where the third one is likley to be placed?

Thanks.

Matt
To be fair the entire Visentini series have managed fine on two engines.  Stena Superfast X only ever runs on two engines (as do the North Channel superfasts).  Epsilon runs on Dublin to Holyhead with only 2 engines and her reliability last year put Ulysses to shame!  My only slight concern would be the DFDS example with her more intense Calais schedule, but I'm sure DFDS/Stena/Deltamarin have considered this.  Do bear in mind the E-Flexer series are designed to attain 18 knots in service on just one engine!  Cap Finistere barely seems to exceed 24 kts looking at her history on ais so perhaps there won't be a need for any timetable changes, especially considering the E-Flexer's are designed for a faster turnaround and 24kts running.  It doesn't seem to be concerning Brittany Ferries anyhow given they have now ordered three.


Thanks Steven,

I was hoping you would allay my concerns abs you have!

Matt

12
Discussion Board / Re: W B Yeats Disappointment
« on: June 04, 2019, 03:10:31 pm »
Wow is all I can say

I won't address all the points, but this isn't the first time I have heard the interior isn't wearing too well.  Even when she was in service a matter of weeks I had heard reports of staining and chipping.  Of course, this would be relatively simple to fix in refit (as is signage). 

The Lady Gregory is aimed more at the top of the market - if someone can afford to even consider €1000 a night for a suite I'm sure they can manage €60 a head for a three-course meal.  The size of the Lady Gregory reflects the maximum number of customers they expect to be in there at a time - it isn't designed to handle volume but to be a premium experience.  I've paid more than €60 a head for a three-course meal on dry land to be fair, and we aren't talking celebrity chefs either! 

Speaking as someone who used to manage a large self-service restaurant, I don't know what the capacity of Boylans is but two till terminals doesn't sound all that bad to be fair, especially on a vessel where people will not be as prone to heading for food at the same time like on shorter crossings timed at breakfast time.  Of course, there are going to be times when there are hold-ups due to staff or customer error, but that doesn't mean additional tills are actually required all the time.  If anything the flow should be managed at the food servery anyway (food isn't going to go cold in your hands if it isn't IN your hands), but that comes down to the individual staff being on the ball.  As for there being no lift to the shop - it can be seen at the top of the stairs on HHV's photo!  It is also marked on the onboard deck plan as "purple stairs and lift"!

Wow indeed.  I take all of Steven's points.

I must say, I managed to get lost on the Cap Finistere last month when going to the cabin after boarding.  This was despite the fact I had made the point of looking for the exact location online whilst we were waiting to board... 

As interiors go, I must say that I like what I have seen of the WBY.  The comments about durability are of concern, but I am old enough to remember similar comments about the Bretagne after she had been in service after only a few months.  There were comments about the carpets looking shabby. If IF want to keep people's custom, I suspect that they will have to deal with these concerns.

Matt

13
Discussion Board / Re: Investment at Rosslare Europort
« on: June 04, 2019, 03:05:22 pm »
Couldn't agree more about the Innisfree and OW.  Why sell these ships and then bring them back?   

A little bird informed me recently that Stena might move their Cherbourg service to Dublin in the next few years.  Is this just idle gossip, or something to be concerned about?  Perhaps an E-Flexer to challenge the WBY?

Matt

14
The News Board / Re: new stena ships
« on: June 04, 2019, 03:02:29 pm »
There was a really good Channel 5 documentary in the UK over the weekend about the QE2.  I'm sure it's on the 5 catch-up site if you missed it.

One of the many interesting revelations, to me at least, regarded the original steam propulsion system.  The designers had stipulated 4, but Cunard reduced the number to 3 to save money.  This decision was blamed for many of the subsequent problems Cunard had with the propulsion system; the boilers were flogged to death and they couldn't take them offline to conduct routine maintenance.  In the end they ripped the lot out and installed diesel engines.

No, I haven't gone off thread!  The question I have regards the E-Flexers, which have been built with only two catapillar engines, as I understand it.  Design and construction has come on in leaps and bounds since the 1960s, but I wonder how confident we are that the E-flexers will not suffer the same fate as the QE2?   I know that they are designed so that each ship can operate with just one propeller working, but the Estrid will be operating a fairly punishing schedule and the three for BF will be thrashed in the Bay of Biscay. 

Approps of the BF ships, neither will make the service speed of the Cap Finistere, as I understand it, so will BF be changing the Spannish schedules once Gailica and Salamanca enter service?  Also, do we know yet where the third one is likley to be placed?

Thanks.

Matt

15
The News Board / Re: Brittany Ferries fleet movements
« on: November 05, 2018, 03:32:50 pm »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46095038


Further discussion on Brexit impacts.

Interesting times ahead.

Indeed so.  I'm booked to go on the Cap F from Portsmouth to Bilbao in May.  Couldn't give a stuff about Brexit! 

Matt

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