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P&O Fleet Movements(Read 235011 times)
Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #60 on: March 23, 2014, 08:38:33 pm
I was thinking would P&O bring the Express back to cover for the Highlander, help ease congestion. Still it must be causing a real headache, especially for P&O. Not so bad for Stena as Heysham - Belfast and Liverpool - Belfast will ease things.

Its interesting to think 10 - 12 years ago Stena were the 'underdog' I think they only had Stena Caledonia, HSS Stena Voyager, and till about 2002 (I think!) the Stena Galloway. P&O had the European Leader, European Seafarer, European Pioneer, European Causeway, European Highlander, European Mariner, and Superstar Express.

- now only Highlander, Causeway, and the seasonal P&O Express. I say there is a strong possibility Troon will be axed, when the time comes for the Express is pensioned off. It makes me wonder will P&O Larne be down to just the Highlander and Causeway. Norcape would have been very handy now! hehe.



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #61 on: March 23, 2014, 09:02:08 pm
To be honest its unlikely they will use Express, but I suppose its an option if everything is in place.  She hasn't budged today since berthing in Larne.  Given the Mitsis only carry 400 pax it might be easier to divert any overspill thru Stena anyway given the numbers.

This is the latest from P&O service update twitter:

Quote
Scottish service revised schedule for Mon & Tues ex Larne 0730 1330 1630 0130. ex Cairnryan 1030 1630 2230 0430 Call 0845 839 845 for update

So Highlander is off until Tuesday by the looks of things.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #62 on: March 23, 2014, 09:16:43 pm
Its very handy for Stena having the Hibernia. Norcape would have come in handy for P&O right now. Wonder what's up with the Highlander? 'Open heart surgery' must be half-way through. Lets hope it doesn't go the way of Pride of Burgundy. Last year she went to Damen ship repairs, I think with rudder issues, came back a few days later, appearing to be ok. Then about a week later experienced more problems, with her rudder. 

I'm not a great fan of P&O's micro-managed & streamlined North Channel. I think they could loose more freight to Stena. Good for Stena.... not so good for P&O. 



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #63 on: March 25, 2014, 12:27:31 am
Highlander is still in the drydock at Harland and Wolff with what I understand may be a very serious technical problem (its hardly likely she would be in drydock this long for something minor at the end of the day).  As noted in the Stena thread Superfast VII returned early and resumed service at 19:30, with Stena Hibernia switching back to her Birkenhead schedule a day early as a result.  Stena will resume normal schedule tomorrow but still no further word on when P&O will be able to do so.  European Causeway however seems to be keeping largely to the 4 sailing timetable, even making up lost time despite the weather conditions up here today.  Let's hope whatever the technical problem is it has no repercussions for the two older sisters!
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #64 on: March 25, 2014, 12:54:33 pm
Highlander has left drydock and is currently under way lo Larne



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #65 on: March 25, 2014, 06:33:32 pm
nice image of the Highlander high and dry yesterday in H&W.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottmackey/13400175325/



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #66 on: March 25, 2014, 08:16:35 pm
Highlander has left drydock and is currently under way lo Larne

Did anyone find out what was wrong with her?



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #67 on: March 25, 2014, 10:20:41 pm
possibly an oil seal failure on one of the prop shafts, fairly serious and needed attention.



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #68 on: March 26, 2014, 02:28:09 pm
Two quite interesting articles on P&O Cairnryan, new twin level berth.
1. http://www.mclh.co.uk/index.php/news/view/po_cairnryan_berth_1_linkspan_replacement
2. http://www.irishnews.com/business/p-o-begins-renovation-of-cairnryan-ferry-port-1224339

I gather in the brief, P&O stressed they want to reduce turnaround times. Interesting to see introduction of Superfasts saw a 60% increase in freight for Stena. Personally I think this is one of the reasons why Norcape was pensioned off (loss of freight for P&O).

I would expect the development of the port might be the first step in 1. Reducing turnaround times, 2. Heralding a mini Dover - Calais style operation (i.e. highly efficient), that will allow P&O to compete more effectively.   

Highlander and Causeway are looking very smart after internal refits recently. Nice beige and blues, neutral colours (Scott Mackey has some good photos). To be honest I think they look better on the inside than Stena Nordica (former European Ambassador). Interesting to see they achieved 4.3 and 4.5 / 5.0 stars. The European Endeavour has very high marks now (4.5), (69 reviewers) and is proving popular. Its a shame they didn't acquire the Stena Allegra, a lot of folk complain P&O don't have a 3:00 am sailing from Dublin and 3:00 pm from Liverpool. A guy I was talking to on guest services on Norbay, said P&O were originally planning to use European Endeavour on relief duties on Larne - Cairnryan, rather than Norbay. Not sure what stopped them, perhaps berth fit?

     



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #69 on: March 26, 2014, 04:29:47 pm

I gather in the brief, P&O stressed they want to reduce turnaround times. Interesting to see introduction of Superfasts saw a 60% increase in freight for Stena. Personally I think this is one of the reasons why Norcape was pensioned off (loss of freight for P&O).

I would expect the development of the port might be the first step in 1. Reducing turnaround times.   

Highlander and Causeway are looking very smart after internal refits recently. Nice beige and blues, neutral colours (Scott Mackey has some good photos). To be honest I think they look better on the inside than Stena Nordica (former European Ambassador). Interesting to see they achieved 4.3 and 4.5 / 5.0 stars. The European Endeavour has very high marks now (4.5), (69 reviewers) and is proving popular. Its a shame they didn't acquire the Stena Allegra, a lot of folk complain P&O don't have a 3:00 am sailing from Dublin and 3:00 pm from Liverpool. A guy I was talking to on guest services on Norbay, said P&O were originally planning to use European Endeavour on relief duties on Larne - Cairnryan, rather than Norbay. Not sure what stopped them, perhaps berth fit?

   

The European Causeway and European Highlander already operate with a turnaround of only one hour so its difficult to see how this can realistically be improved upon. There is also absolutely no need for an increase in frequency with either operator on the North Channel. The existing linkspan at Cairnryan Port dates from 1973 and is only one lane wide so badly needs replaced regardless.
 
European Endeavour is far too long to fit in Larne Harbour...



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #70 on: March 28, 2014, 12:23:14 am
To be honest there is probably more than enough capacity on the North Channel anyway.  Stena went from 2 ships with 850 LM capacity to 2 with 2000lm capacity.  They also have the 2 lower car decks on the Superfasts which can be used if things do get busy.  Likewise P&O increased the capacity of their 2 main ships by over a third once the 2 Mitsubishis where in operation which did away with the need for an extra freight vessel. As Scott says, P&O's turnaround is already very tight and so if anything the new linkspan (if it ever gets finished) will improve timekeeping and reduce the pressure on the crew.  As I've said before, its freight that makes money these days and as much of that is unaccompanied sailing frequency makes little difference to that market.  They could run the ships even faster (they increased speed when Stena brought the Superfasts online) but costs would increase by an even greater amount whilst average loadings would be hit if there where more sailings anyway.  If anything sailings could be reduced in the off peak to save costs, though this may not be practical with crewing arrangements etc.

Re Dublin - Liverpool, if P&O had been interested in developing a passenger operation they could have kept European Ambassador instead of selling her to Stena.  Likewise Norbay/Norbank could have been replaced as mentioned before by Norman Trader with a third ship probably not to hard to have come by.  I think they are happy with the market they have got and are focussing on that, instead of the costly business of passengers.  I think passengers are more of a bonus extra fare than a core focus on the link.  After all the leisurely crossing time will scare away many, hence the marketing as a budget service - if they reduce the crossing time it will take away their big advantage for the more profitable freight market.

As has been suggested above someone could introduce a fastcraft between Dublin - Liverpool, but I'm not sure anyone makes any real money these days with fast craft in this part of the world unless they are either being subsidised or have a monopoly.  Fuel is already the main cost for a ferry operation, but with a fast craft this is doubly the case despite advances in fuel efficiency.  Once the HSS and Swift move on, I doubt we will see any central corridor fast ferry (apart from perhaps IoM services).  Likewise when Express reaches end of life I think she will be the last North Channel fast ferry unless significant advances are made in reducing the costs of running such vessels. 

BTW we are getting a bit off topic here.  Probably best continuing any discussion in the speculation thread or a new thread.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #71 on: March 28, 2014, 10:14:51 pm
The North Channel has indeed got a good deal of lane metres, with the Superfasts, and P&O's Japanese sisters, but from a business perspective, P&O virtually stood by and let Stena scoop high proportion of freight that would have been traditionally carried by Highlander, Causeway, or Mariner. I would expect P&O's stake in the freight has dropped on the North Channel from about a 70% to 50% (might be less). I think it would be a shame to see more retrenchment of P&O and more expansion of Stena, as before we know it nearly every vessel we will be sailing on will be a 'Stena ...' (almost the case now).   

Don't get me wrong, its great to see a company like Stena investing in its fleet, and ports. Superfasts are certainly very fine vessels, well refurbished, and well presented. It would be nice to see Dieppe Seaways join the Adventurer at Dublin, and receive the same treatment as VII & VIII. But Stena's expansion is aggressive and they really do muscle in on the likes of ICG and P&O. North Channel, and Stena's acquisition of Rosslare to Cherbourg being prime examples. And (lets hope not!), Stena absorb so much freight from the likes of P&O's Larne operations, in fifteen years time when it comes time to order replacements for the Highlander and Causeway, P&O use the old 'not sustainable', 'inefficient', 'loss making' line like they did with P&O Portsmouth, and pull out of Larne and Cairnryan.

Personally I think the only way to ensure long term security for P&O in terms of freight and on-board experience, is to be as good, but more importantly, aim to be better than Stena. I think P&O could really win back lost ground, through lower prices, a better customer experience. P&O are investing, but not as much as Stena, I would always say 'Is it not smart to be as big as the bear'. As we all know its survival of the fittest in this sector, and if P&O doesn't keep up, in the future they will have to follow more retrenchment, or face becoming the Trans Europa II, while Stena keep ploughing ahead.

Sorry if I'm rambling a bit folks  :). But anyway think I have said pretty much everything.     
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 10:19:26 pm by TC »



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #72 on: March 29, 2014, 04:42:37 pm



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #73 on: April 01, 2014, 08:12:57 am
Regarding Cairnryan's new linkspan, seems the plan is for it to be installed during the first half of this year.

http://www.irishtrucker.com/news/strong-future-for-port-of-larne-says-millar-011768

They need to get a move on as their is still no sign of it so far as I'm aware!  Thankfully their ferries are more punctual than new linkspans ;)

There was also a plan to use a temporary system of pontoons while the berth was being worked on from memory - sounds like an interesting watch to me!  I assume this would mean single deck loading while the works take place.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: P&O Fleet Movements Reply #74 on: April 06, 2014, 10:21:58 pm
I wonder if P&O wanted to, could they move the a vessel the size of the Endeavour to Larne. She's fairly long at 179 metres, but is shorter than Stena Lagan (186 metres). The 'Darwins' are 179 as well, so perhaps with the right modernisation to infrastructure, vessels like this could operate Larne to Cairnryan?

I guess manoeuvrability could be a problem with going longer. Though, lets not loose faith, I suppose there's always the option in time of having vessels like Stena Transit (though shorter) where the extra trailer deck can deal with that bit extra, and bump up P&O's capacity on the route, more to Stena's level.