Agree that Estrid is a bit Ikeaish. Certainly no better than Superfast x, and the deck space looks much worse for those wanting to go outside. I ask again where's the revolution, indeed, where's the evolution?
Outside deck space much worse?
To be honest its hard to judge a ship just on renderings and a virtual walkabout. To my eye she looks better in the actual photos I've seen of her accommodation, but ultimately without physically being there and seeing her in use its not really possible to judge.
"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.
You may be surprised to learn that some consider the UK flag a flag of convenience! After all, you can fly the red duster and not have a single member of British crew onboard! Each flag has its benefits and pitfalls - one of the UK's benefits was being an EU registry (which I imagine probably brought further benefits itself) which it is now losing.
In Stena Line's case, the move appears at least initially to be related to fleet flexibility as much as anything. There could also be finance and insurance reasons - who knows what is in the small print of those contracts?!? I am told this was a decision taken in Gothenburg in any case, rather than by the local organisation. P&O Dover moves are related to tonnage tax, and there could be an element of that in Stena's case as well of course. I believe there may also be something in the financing for the Spirits which stipulates an EU flag, and they are still being paid for. It will be interesting to see if Stena leave the UK flag entirely as they have quite a few vessels across the sphere flying the Red Ensign. They were very open over 3 years ago in saying that if the UK voted to leave the EU they would have to consider their position with using the UK flag - at least they didn't switch straight after the referendum result and waited for some clarity I suppose.
As an EU company I'd argue they are justified in wanting their vessels to stay on an EU register. Theres a lot of uncertainty with how things will work when the UK leaves the EU, so by staying on an EU register Stena could at least be minimising that uncertainty. For example, on a personal level my car insurance policy will require me to contact my insurer in advance if I plan to drive less than 100 miles down the road so they can issue me with a time limited green card - many policies only cover you for a total of 30 days driving in the EU remember. I will be required to give them the dates I enter and leave the EU and my "green card" will be limited to that period - no more driving over the border on a whim and not having to worry about insurance! Thats a big change to something that has been taken for granted for years - I'm sure there are many possible changes in shipping (EU port inspections was another reason listed by P&O - with UK flagged vessels being flagged outside the EU will they be treated differently, especially when sailing from the UK rather than between EU countries? Will UK inspections and certificates be considered equivalent to their EU counterparts? Who knows, there are literally decades worth of legislation and negotiations to be hopefully carried over!)
With regard to Nassau as a port of registry, the Polish state use it in preference to Poland for state-owned ferries which are manned by Polish crew. I think the key here is not so much even the nationality of the crew (which remains the same in the case of Stena anyway), but the terms of employment. Theres been no sign of Stena dumping the wages of the crew onboard Estrid or her fleet mates!
As for P&O using agency crew on the channel, they have for some time!!! Not all agency crew are "foreign" either.
Thanks for the explanation. There is sone sense to it then, maybe, although why not flag in Sweden and why is the Adventurer still British registered, and also the Europe?
A convenient excuse to change the registry before she reaches Holyhead and starts service so nobody will complain? Foreign flagging is never a good sign.
For a start Swedish flagged ships have to carry a certain complement of Swedish crew. Not such an issue on routes to and from Sweden as it would be on routes from the UK&IE. The other Stena UK vessels may well follow in due course though I suspect with Estrid and her sisters being new the issue is more urgent due to the aforementioned finance or insurance reasons. The Cypriot flag means that Stena can continue with their current crewing policy if they wish, rather than requiring them to employ a mandatory compliment of nationals from that flag state as they would need to do elsewhere.