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Messages - TC

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1
The News Board / Re: Stena Estrid for Dublin
« on: December 24, 2019, 12:05:40 pm »
"Firstly the P&O ships reflagged since the referendum were flagged to Cyprus, not the Bahamas.
Secondly, have you been on the Yeats? The Estrid to me looks rather more comfortable we know for sure had a larger budget for interior design, fixtures and fittings."

I said the Dover vessels were reflagged to Cypriot registry.  I never claimed they were on the Bahamas flag.

The fact is senior management at P&O were itching for years to get the remaining vessels on Flags of Convenience (FOC).  With Brexit P&O came up with a handy excuse to get the Dover fleet on a FOC.  To P&O's credit they did keep existing UK seafarers on, but I have heard reports of agency crews being introduced onto the recently reflagged ships - on a drip by drip basis. 


As for the operational claim, I read a statement from a director at P&O who stated it gave them more flexibility with regard to inspections etc being on a Cypriot flag.  I imagine this also goes for crew working conditions etc. This is the real reason P&O chose to reflag. It has been on the cards for years!  And Stena are clearly following P&O's lead.


If you have any doubt as for P&O's motives, why is the Pride of York which sails from Hull (UK) to Zeebrugge (Belgium / EU) flagged in the Bahamas?  If flying a non-EU flag is so challenging, shouldn't the Pride of York be flying an EU flag?


Both Stena and P&O have every right to fly FOC's going forward, but operating Bahamas registered vessels (NON EU!) has never given P&O any operational difficulties, and the company continues to do so (see Pride of York & Pride of Hull). 

Condor Ferries also has all vessels on the Bahamas registry, and sails between France and the UK.  Again, causes no operational problems.

As for W.B. Yeats, I have sailed on her, and despite her leaving the berth nearly 30 minutes behind schedule, I found her very pleasant. Certainly a very comfortable space, and choice of subtle colours suited the ambiance. As for the Club Class, certainly the interior was very nice, and the Lady Gregory's design was first class. 

Like a previous comment stated, I see very little difference between Superfast X and Estrid in terms of interior design, and their seems to be lots of hard seats and very few benches. The design language seems very utilitarian and low maintenance.


2
The News Board / Re: Stena Estrid for Dublin
« on: December 24, 2019, 12:55:33 am »
I am a fan of the P&O brand, but the steady flagging out and outsourcing has become very notable.

First it was Pandoro vessels which received Bermuda (Hamilton) status, then when Pandoro and P&O European Ferries (Larne) merged to form P&O Irish Sea, all vessels were moved to either Bermuda or Bahamas register.

Then Pride of Bilbao was moved to Nassau. As this was a charter vessel, not much fuss was made.

Next was P&O's North Sea vessels - Pride of Hull and Pride of York (Norsea) transferring to Bahamas registry.  Dutch counterparts (POR and POB) remained registered in Netherlands.

And finally with Brexit, P&O stated their intention of moving Spirit of Britain (Current flagship) and Spirit of France to Cypriot registry.  When no adverse press coverage occurred, P&O decided to move all remaining UK flagged vessels to the Cypriot registry.

The result is P&O have not one vessel under the UK flag.  It would be sad, but Stena may well use the P&O strategy.

I am also skeptical about Stena's reasons.  P&O Ferries choose to flag most of its fleet in the Bahamas (Nassau) - not in the EU!  Likewise Norbay has operated for years out of Dublin with Hamilton (Bermuda) as her homeport, with no operational problems.


This could also be the start of agency / outsourced crews (similar to Irish Ferries / Matrix model)being deployed at Stena. 


It will be interesting to see the reaction. Not much fuss made when W.B. Yeats arrived with a Cypriot flag, guess Stena were observing and are anticipating little or no negative coverage.

From the pictures I wouldn't consider Stena Estrid outstanding. As for interior comfort and styling, I think W.B. Yeats easily beats Estrid.  It looks like Stena went to IKEA and got lots of cheap, hard and nasty seating.  That being said she is a very impressive vessel. Certainly her sister will be a big success for Birkenhead / Liverpool operation.  First real passenger ferry for the route, rather than a freighter.






3
The News Board / Re: Irish Ferries HUll 777
« on: November 28, 2019, 11:35:59 pm »
Hull 777 due for delivery in "late" 2020

Seriously doubt that.  Work seems to be skeleton staff based. I wouldn't be surprised if ICG don't cancel the contract for 777, and follow Stena and P&O's lead and go for a Chinese yard.  Secure funding from elsewhere.  At current rate ICG would be lucky to have 777 by 2025!!! 

Honfleur seems a good 5 - 6 months away from delivery.
Did you mean to say " do cancel the contract " not don't .

Typo, sorry.  I think 777 will never materialise. The project is already behind schedule and construction hasn't even started.

4
The News Board / Re: Irish Ferries HUll 777
« on: November 27, 2019, 10:32:14 pm »
Hull 777 due for delivery in "late" 2020

Seriously doubt that.  Work seems to be skeleton staff based. I wouldn't be surprised if ICG cancel the contract for 777, and follow Stena and P&O's lead and go for a Chinese yard.  Secure funding from elsewhere.  At current rate ICG would be lucky to have 777 by 2025!!! 

Honfleur seems a good 5 - 6 months away from delivery.

5
The News Board / Re: Brittany Ferries fleet movements
« on: October 08, 2019, 09:08:32 pm »
Why does Brittany ferries serve both Bilbao and Santander

They are only 1hr drive apart, given 24+hr sailings doesn’t make sense to me.  And given frequency not that high in surely can’t be capacity?

Brittany Ferries really only took on Bilbao because of P&O's decision to return the Pride of Bilbao to Irish Ferries, whom they had chartered her from since the very early 1990s.  P&O put their decision down to running costs associated with their Bilbao - Portsmouth service.  I imagine that translated as (i) fuel costs / efficiency, & (ii) low freight capacity of the vessel.

The P&O service did prove highly popular, so Brittany Ferries simply moved in with the Cap Finistere.

6
The News Board / Re: P&O Fleet Movements
« on: March 15, 2019, 10:08:51 pm »
Norbay is looking smart. Looks like the old paint has been removed and total repaint undertaken.
Expect the interior has been modernised.

https://www.portalmorski.pl/stocznie-statki/42016-imponujaca-liczba-promow-w-gdanskiej-stoczni-remontowa-sa-zdjecia?fbclid=IwAR0TtLHcVgqdsCoITvv8NwXO_hItrIBgIQe3nEDpfMSVrk-vVlkvuqLu7ag




7
The News Board / Re: P&O Fleet Movements
« on: February 23, 2019, 11:05:36 pm »
Expect this is part of the life-extension program.   I'm guessing the paint will be stripped back to the metal.
European Seaway received this recently.  Expect the interior will get an update. 

8
The News Board / Re: Stena Line fleet movements
« on: January 31, 2019, 10:18:42 pm »
Sounds like Stena are following P&O's lead.

"In advance of Britain leaving the European Union on March 29 2019, we undertook a review of the flag status of our ships on the English Channel...  For operational and accounting reasons, we have concluded that the best course of action is to reflag all ships to be under the Cyprus flag....  We have no plans to make any other changes, including the terms and conditions of any of our seafarers, as a result of the new arrangements."  -   P&O Ferries

9
The News Board / Re: P&O Fleet Movements
« on: January 13, 2019, 08:52:51 pm »
I thought it very strange when P&O claimed they were only reflagging two vessels.  Not surprised with the latest announcement. P&O are claiming the British crews will be retained, so quite different to the Irish Ferries scenario.
However the latter are citing the need to have the vessels on an EU flag as the core reason....  Not sure how that works. 

Pride of York which sails between Hull and Zeebrugge is flagged in the Bahamas.  Likewise in the 1990s, Stena Fantasia was registered in the Bahamas, and her fleetmate, Stena Londoner.  So I don't see how not being on an EU flag is such an issue.

In reality this is part of a gradual re-flagging of the whole fleet.  First P&O Irish Sea in late 1990s, then Portsmouth (Pride of Bilbao in 2008), then P&O North Sea (c. 2010), and now Dover....  Mission Accomplished!

10
The News Board / Re: P&O Fleet Movements
« on: December 18, 2018, 11:42:44 pm »
Great video thanks for posting link, did not think they had stabilisers on this series of Ferries, were they fitted during refit ?

I believe European Seaway always had them, as did half sisters, Pride of Kent, Canterbury, and Burgundy.

European Endeavour, the Dublin to Liverpool regular,  built for Norse Merchant Ferries,  doesn't have them.

I have travelled on E.E. many times, good time-keeper.  Reasonable ship, crew keep her tidy, though its about time she got a Stena style refit.  Her sister, former Stena Alegra, had stabilisers fitted, and looks very smart following rebuild.

11
The News Board / Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements
« on: December 18, 2018, 11:10:32 pm »
Strange considering the landbridge / brexit problem.  Stena now have Rosslare - Cherbourg all to themselves.  I expect this is the end for Irish Ferries in Roscoff.  A very abrupt end, and another PR screw-up. 

I wonder with the arrival of Connemara, and BF's new builds (and ultimate fleet changes), will Brittany Ferries fill the void?

Makes me wonder will Irish Ferries eventually close Rosslare operations completely.  Isle of Inishmore isn't much younger than Oscar Wilde.  We could be seeing a scenario like P&O's demise in Portsmouth.

Stena could capitalize on this. If a suitable replacement is found for Stena Nordica on her Polish route, could she run along side Stena Horizon for the 2019 season.  P&O operated her as European Ambassador on the route for several years, proved a popular vessel, though compared to the then ancient 'Normandy', that is very understandable.

12
The News Board / Re: P&O Fleet Movements
« on: December 18, 2018, 10:48:03 pm »
Reminds me of the Epsilon incident.  European Causeway / Highlander have a very good service record.  Good to know passengers and crew are safe and no injuries.  P&O very rarely cancel a sailing, it will be interesting to see what comes to the top when incident is investigated.

An interesting note is European Highlander, European Causeway, and Stena Nordica, all sail under the flag of the Bahamas. 
There are also strong rumors the Dover ships are going to be flying FOC's soon (Limassol / Cyprus).

Also looks like European Seaway will be covering refits in Larne.  The latter underwent quite an extensive refit, paint taken back to metal work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQrYBXPHUq4

13
The News Board / Re: Irish Ferries Fleet movements
« on: July 14, 2018, 11:46:28 am »
Remember, Norbank and Norbay are 8 years older than Ulysses! From 1993 - 2001, the Norbank and Norbay operated from Hull - Rotterdam Europoort, and the berthing etc requires tight maneuvers. Likewise in Liverpool, they have to do quite elaborate maneuvers going into the docks.

The real issue is how Irish Ferries has handled this whole scenario. The issue with Ulysses has been causing problems for months, yet the latter decided to push out repair work until W.B. Yeats had arrived. It was quite reckless given the importance of Ulysses to the whole Irish Sea operation. Surely they could have chartered a vessel (even a freighter) for a few weeks while this problem was sorted? P&O seemed to have no problem chartering from Stena RoRo during refits, and if I recall correctly, Stena Carrier was berthed in Dun Laoghaire for about two weeks...

You could blame Flensburger to a degree. If W.B. Yeats had been here, could she not have provided cover for Ulysses? But then you could argue putting that much dependence on a brand new vessel, which could have potential tech problems or be delayed is highly reckless.

I personally think a substitute vessel could have been brought in to cover for Isle of Inishmore. The latter could cover for Ulysses, true she is much smaller, but at least it would be something.








14
Ben-my-Chree is 20 years old. That's hardly ancient. I would say IOMSPC could keep her sailing for another 10 / 12 years. Pride of Burgundy is a good few years older, and will likely be around for the next three or four years.

15
The News Board / Re: Brittany Ferries launch Cork - Santander route
« on: May 11, 2018, 10:13:15 pm »
She looks very smart. The livery is a big improvement - the LD Lines derived colours on Etretat and Baie de Seine certainly were a departure from the traditional BF standard.

I think the pricing is fairly appalling, especially considering this is a very basic freighter. Connemara is certainly not up to the standard of Stena Mersey / Lagan, yet the pricing is far greater. Likewise BF are charging vastly more than Irish Ferries (Dublin to Cherbourg) on Epsilon or W.B. Yeats (A brand new, state of the art cruise ferry!).

€169 for an inside basic 2 berth economy cabin is more than twice the price of P&O / Irish Ferries.
(€194 + €194 + €169 + €155 = €712 - Without meals, drinks etc....)

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