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2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor(Read 66635 times)
Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #45 on: May 07, 2014, 08:34:37 pm
Pete, nearly six mile section of A477 bypass has just opened from St Clears. It makes a huge difference.



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #46 on: August 26, 2014, 11:14:21 pm

LD Lines
Rosslare - Saint Nazaire/Gijon continues to operate, with further sailings added if demand is there.  Partially insulated from Stena challenge due to operating into St Nazaire rather than the North Coast of France.  Partnership with DFDS on the channel starts to fall apart a bit with DFDS pulling out of Calais and wanting to abandon Le Havre.


Well I definitely got the first bit of this wrong.  We shall see if the channel routes survive intact now or if the plug gets pulled with more competition at Portsmouth (BF) and the Calais situation set to go on forever.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #47 on: August 27, 2014, 11:38:52 pm
Copied the following over from the Swift Cancellation Statistics thread as its probably more relevant here
The weekend is looking fairly full too , the nordica  is sold out on the afternoon runs and the explorer I would say will follow suit by then  .The two afternoon sailings from dublin and dun laoghaire , have proven to be two of the most popular sailing times during the summer ,and have very often been both sold out ,that's 1,900 pax capacity with both,                                                       If the explorer is pulled for next year ,stena could loose out on  up too 700 pax  on the afternoon slots as the superfast  has 1,200 capacity, so irish ferries (with  by then ,possibly a bigger ship and a afternoon sailing) could Hoover up all those afternoon passangers, which stena won't have capacity for. I don't think the 2.15am sailing is too popular with the summer holiday motorist crowd ,I would say that will be mainly a freight  run. Anyway interesting times ahead , with trying to Sussex out what stena lines plan is.

The 1200 figure assumes that Superfast X will be converted identical to her sisters, which she almost certainly won't be.  The problem with IF running an afternoon sailing is wether berthing slots are available to do so - if they where then surely Epsilon's sailing times would look very different to what they are now?  Adventurer can carry up to 1500 passengers rather than the 900 stated by Stena on their site. (see http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/stena-line/pressreleases/stena-adventurer-capacity-increased-following-refit-941827).

Assuming the 1200 figure is correct for SF X then that gives Stena a capacity of (1500+1200) 3700 pax, compared to 900 (Adventurer in her reduced capacity/cost saving mode)  + 400 (Nordica) + explorers theoretical 1500.  Funnily enough this adds up to 3800 pax but with one more ship, one more entire port, and one more linkspan!  Basically Stena would have a minimal reduction in overall capacity but much reduced operating costs.  Irish Ferries 2:15 am may not be popular with tourists but I'm betting hauliers feel the opposite - they would be arriving in Dublin just in time to deliver before the shops open for example.  Im sure IF would be keen to appeal to this lucrative year round market rather than the seasonal (and fickle) tourist trade.  Like adventurer the passenger accommodation on SF X is spread over more than 1 deck and so is relatively easy to close off during quiet times to save costs.

If IF did get a bigger ferry perhaps they could have more capacity, but thats a big if.  For a start they will have to find one, and are probably looking at the same options as DFDS potentially could be at Dover.   IoI could move up of course but that would leave Rosslare short during the time of year they may be able to make some money.  Going by current capacity, IF have the big U (2000 pax), Epsilon (500 pax), and the Swift (800).  That gives them a total of 3300 with 3 ships versus the potential Stena figure of 3700 with 2 ships.  With Inishmore this would of course increase by 1700, but is there the traffic to warrant this given the sailing times and what will replace her at Rosslare?  Epsilon is hardly ideal and will give IF the same problem in peak that Stena would of had with Nordica down there.  If there is a suitable ship out there Stena are bound to be sniffing around her as well.  Europe is in the twilight of her career after all.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 11:52:59 pm by Steven »
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #48 on: August 27, 2014, 11:50:28 pm
Good call on moving this part of the conversation to the Central Corridor Speculation thread - the pieces of the jigsaw are starting to come together but there are many more pieces still to be slotted in!

Two brief things from my perspective.  First off, it's important not just to consider overall capacity but also where and when that capacity is available.  For example, while the 1030am HSS from Holyhead isn't always that suitable for motorists coming a distance, the 1330 ex DL is very good for the motorists, getting them into Holyhead before 4pm for onward travel.  You can have all the capacity you like, but if your sailing times don't neccesarily suit a section of your client base then you have to think again!

Secondly, and on a related note people on here tend to be very dismissive of the Tourist/Leisure market.  Yep it's seasonal absolutely but when it's there it is also lucrative.  There is a good margin (and I've seen the sums!) on a car + 3 on the Irish sea!  There is a reason that Swift continues (and by all accounts from ICG will continue to run year round into the future) - it's to capture that margin.  Never underestimate too the value of market share (as distinct from pure margin calling) between competing companies.  There is a reason that Stena and IF invest so heavily in marketing every year - it pays back in revenue and crucially for them, in market share.  Don't just think about the value of one journey on one vessel (even if that journey costs the company cash) - think about the overall value in terms of share and the competition.

Pete



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #49 on: August 27, 2014, 11:52:43 pm
I just tried to make an imaginary foot passenger booking for 9 pax tomorrow and Nordica is full for her afternoon sailing, however Explorer isn't.  Likewise Nordica's morning sailing ex Holyhead is also showing as sold out.  Its the same story on Friday, Sat, and Sunday ex Dublin.  Some sailings are also being shown as sold out if I try to book a car. How much of Explorer's traffic is due to Nordica being at capacity I wonder, especially given it is the next sailing?
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #50 on: August 28, 2014, 12:27:14 am
Good call on moving this part of the conversation to the Central Corridor Speculation thread - the pieces of the jigsaw are starting to come together but there are many more pieces still to be slotted in!

Two brief things from my perspective.  First off, it's important not just to consider overall capacity but also where and when that capacity is available.  For example, while the 1030am HSS from Holyhead isn't always that suitable for motorists coming a distance, the 1330 ex DL is very good for the motorists, getting them into Holyhead before 4pm for onward travel.  You can have all the capacity you like, but if your sailing times don't neccesarily suit a section of your client base then you have to think again!

Secondly, and on a related note people on here tend to be very dismissive of the Tourist/Leisure market.  Yep it's seasonal absolutely but when it's there it is also lucrative.  There is a good margin (and I've seen the sums!) on a car + 3 on the Irish sea!  There is a reason that Swift continues (and by all accounts from ICG will continue to run year round into the future) - it's to capture that margin.  Never underestimate too the value of market share (as distinct from pure margin calling) between competing companies.  There is a reason that Stena and IF invest so heavily in marketing every year - it pays back in revenue and crucially for them, in market share.  Don't just think about the value of one journey on one vessel (even if that journey costs the company cash) - think about the overall value in terms of share and the competition.

Pete

Margins are exactly why I see this being the nail in the coffin potentially for Explorer - Stena don't have one with her as her costs are so damned high!  Theres a lot of logic in replacing 3 ships with 2 to both reduce costs and increased margin.  Increased margin of course leaves scope to reduce ticket prices which has the knock on effect of generating more sales and increasing overall operating margin (and cannibalising a competitors market share in the process).

Where capacity is available was my point with Epsilon.  If Ulysses is in place at the right time, you have a much smaller (passenger wise) vessel at the other side. Swift can only be in one place at a time (with Ulysses for the morning sailing from what I can see glancing at the time table) so there is a big capacity imbalance. In her defence though, a Visentini can operate at the fraction of the cost of a ship like Superfast X.  Stena appear to have addressed the issue of having all the capacity on one side (apart from freight ironically) putting them in a better place surely to capture the tourist traffic on both sides with the freight traffic having just got off the night boat and en route to its final destination.  I would also argue that Stena are in a better position to maximise the revenue from this traffic with the onboard facilities on both ships (assuming SF X is fitted out to a similar spec to her running mate).  Epsilon is more adequate than luxurious from what I have heard.  I find it slightly ironic that IF refer to her as a cruise ferry running to Holyhead but describe her thus on her own page

Quote
"Epsilon, the most recent addition to the fleet offers an Economy Class Service on both the Dublin to Holyhead and Dublin to Cherbourg routes. Offering free Wifi, a bar/lounge, restaurant and comfortable en-suite 2 and 4 berth cabins all with TV's.

A quick look on the booking engine suggests her pricing to/from Holyhead is the same as Ulysses.  Im sure I'm not the only person who would be disappointed at paying full price for what the company themselves are describing as an economy service!  Stena are upping their game and TBH Irish Ferries need to do so as well.  I don't doubt there will be a marketing onslaught from Stena to back the new tonnage (and remember the Superfast brand is already established on this island), at present IF can only brag about having the largest ferry by vehicle capacity on the irish sea - the same line (more or less) they have been spinning for the past 13 years.  Thats not to take away from a magnificent ship - my point is they can't match her with her running mate, and any big U passenger facility based publicity is going to lead to disappointment when passengers board Epsilon.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #51 on: August 29, 2014, 12:02:31 am
If Stena had no intention of running the HSS in 2015, they wouldn't have loaded her sailings into their booking engine over 6 months beforehand.  There have been plenty of years when you've had to wait until October or November to be able make next year's booking.  It would be rather disingenuous of them to knowingly offer a service and then pull it and say, "Ah, we've got another ship we'll sure you'll like just as much which we're going to transfer you to, though it admittedly it (i) doesn't go quite as fast (ii) has sailing times you might not like as much and (iii) doesn't go to the same place."

Because they have loaded the HSS sailings into their booking system, they must also have a contract (or at least an option that they can exercise) with DL Harbour, which it's unlikely they would relinquish unless it made very good financial sense to do so.

Replacing the Nordica with the Superfast X allows them to ensure there is sufficient capacity that no one needs to travel on the Epsilon.  I recently travelled as a Rail 'n' Sail passenger on the 8.30pm Nordica sailing.  It was "technically full" which I presume must mean is full for passengers as there was still plenty of spare vehicle capacity. I certainly wasn't mad about the Nordica, due to its small size, but if I wasn't mad about the Nordica, it's a class above the Epsilon that we passed as we came into Dublin Port.

Running both the Superfast X and the Explorer for a year also allows the Superfast to bed down properly and see how it fares trying to tempt Explorer passengers.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 12:31:34 am by Fast Ferry Fan »



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #52 on: August 29, 2014, 03:12:12 am
If Stena had no intention of running the HSS in 2015, they wouldn't have loaded her sailings into their booking engine over 6 months beforehand.  There have been plenty of years when you've had to wait until October or November to be able make next year's booking.  It would be rather disingenuous of them to knowingly offer a service and then pull it and say, "Ah, we've got another ship we'll sure you'll like just as much which we're going to transfer you to, though it admittedly it (i) doesn't go quite as fast (ii) has sailing times you might not like as much and (iii) doesn't go to the same place."

Because they have loaded the HSS sailings into their booking system, they must also have a contract (or at least an option that they can exercise) with DL Harbour, which it's unlikely they would relinquish unless it made very good financial sense to do so.

Replacing the Nordica with the Superfast X allows them to ensure there is sufficient capacity that no one needs to travel on the Epsilon.  I recently travelled as a Rail 'n' Sail passenger on the 8.30pm Nordica sailing.  It was "technically full" which I presume must mean is full for passengers as there was still plenty of spare vehicle capacity. I certainly wasn't mad about the Nordica, due to its small size, but if I wasn't mad about the Nordica, it's a class above the Epsilon that we passed as we came into Dublin Port.

Running both the Superfast X and the Explorer for a year also allows the Superfast to bed down properly and see how it fares trying to tempt Explorer passengers.

I refer you to Stena's move from Larne to Belfast.  Wasn't happening, until it happened ;).  It may well be that explorer runs next year, BUT the point is that it is far from certain at present.  It is publicly known now that Explorer needs significant funds spent on her to keep going past this year.  Money which won't be recouped from a vessel with such high operating costs.  Stena also have a contract at DL, however it may be cheaper to pay the penalty and take the hit than patch up Explorer and run her at a loss. In essence Explorer at present takes up the passengers during the peak season that Nordica can not accommodate.  The single round trip she runs is no coincidence - sandwiched between low passenger capacity Nordica's most popular pax sailings and Adventurers departure.  With SF X that problem disappears.  From what I know SF X will cost more to run than Nordica, and that is before taking into account extra passengers to look after.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 03:18:10 am by Steven »
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #53 on: August 29, 2014, 12:42:09 pm
Reading between the lines i somehow do not see IF line up changing just yet.

IF are very happy with the 20 % increase in Freight since Epsilon was introduced and passenger traffic has not grown that much.

If anything were to happen they might bring in additional freight carrying capacity to France especially with the departure of LD Lines.

Its possible that in 2017 IOI may return to the irish sea.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 12:43:59 pm by IFPete »



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #54 on: August 29, 2014, 03:35:18 pm
As regards Isle of Innisfree returning to the Irish sea is she will be 22 years old! unlikely I think, pity as she was an excellent ship which has acted as a Brenchmark for modern ships on the Irish sea.
   



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #55 on: August 29, 2014, 03:38:51 pm
Reading between the lines i somehow do not see IF line up changing just yet.

IF are very happy with the 20 % increase in Freight since Epsilon was introduced and passenger traffic has not grown that much.

If anything were to happen they might bring in additional freight carrying capacity to France especially with the departure of LD Lines.

Its possible that in 2017 IOI may return to the irish sea.

Think I am right in saying that Epsilon's charter also ends in 2017 as well, though wether they are at the same time or not I don't know.  I don't have IF figures but I do have Stena's for June and it doesn't look like that increase in freight is being taken from Stena - during that month anyways.

22 years old isn't that old in the grand scheme of things - look at Europe or Stena Caledonia.  Even Explorer is approaching her 20th birthday and she's a fast craft!
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #56 on: August 29, 2014, 04:16:49 pm
I would be very surprised to see the Isle of Innisfree,  she would fit the Rosslare-Pembroke  route very well and in fact I believe she should have stayed there as her size passenger and freight wise seem more in tune with the route except she lacked cabins for the freight drivers, If she did come back I do not see the IOM replacing Epsilon as she would be a freight  capacity reduction.
 



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #57 on: August 29, 2014, 06:42:59 pm
I would be very surprised to see the Isle of Innisfree,  she would fit the Rosslare-Pembroke  route very well and in fact I believe she should have stayed there as her size passenger and freight wise seem more in tune with the route except she lacked cabins for the freight drivers, If she did come back I do not see the IOM replacing Epsilon as she would be a freight  capacity reduction.

Nothing much has the freight capacity of Epsilon though.  If as IFPete says Irish Ferries have had a 20% increase in freight then Epsilon is not sailing anywhere near her capacity anyway unless Ulysses is now carrying much less than before.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #58 on: August 29, 2014, 10:57:28 pm
Stena Europe  back up and running this evening ,there's life in the old dog yet, and  as dieppe seaways looks set for Dublin ,then the stena Europe  I would say ,will remain in roslare for another while yet, I think nordica pax capacity is too small for summer season in roslare ,and she would be more useful elsewhere. It will be a pity to see Dun laoghaire port become redundant ,with all her ferry history, epically that she has fantastic facilities for passangers  with train station  gangways ,parking,etc,,at least when stena pulled out of larne ,p+o remained. I don't think it's the loss of the HSS that's the main thing ,it's the loss of the ferry connection  that will be the biggest disappointment for the town.



Re: 2014 - 2015 Central and Southern Corridor Reply #59 on: August 29, 2014, 11:23:07 pm
Stena Europe  back up and running this evening ,there's life in the old dog yet, and  as dieppe seaways looks set for Dublin ,then the stena Europe  I would say ,will remain in roslare for another while yet, I think nordica pax capacity is too small for summer season in roslare ,and she would be more useful elsewhere. It will be a pity to see Dun laoghaire port become redundant ,with all her ferry history, epically that she has fantastic facilities for passangers  with train station  gangways ,parking,etc,,at least when stena pulled out of larne ,p+o remained. I don't think it's the loss of the HSS that's the main thing ,it's the loss of the ferry connection  that will be the biggest disappointment for the town.

Think you hit the jail on the head there.  However last time I was in Larne I would have described the facilities as adequate at best.  Not much has changed up there over the years apart from some of the land now being a retail park.  When the HSS does leave it will be the end of an era, much in the same way as it was when Stena left Stranraer but more significant.  However it may open up other opportunities for both the port and the town.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

Flickr: www.flickr.com/tarbyonline