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Displaying items by tag: Brittany Ferries

The UK government's Brexit ferry programme was "rushed and risky", according to a cross-party group of MPs, who confirmed the botched project had cost £85m.

As BBC News reports a procurement process to provide extra ferry services was held in anticipation of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March.

But MPs said taxpayers had "little to show" for the cost after the UK failed to leave the EU on that date and had to cancel deals reached with three firms.

The government defended the contracts, calling them an "insurance policy".

The contracts had to be cancelled after the date for Britain to leave the EU was pushed back from 29 March to 31 October.

For much more click here from the Public Accounts Committee report covering the ferry contracts and Out of Court settlement concerning EuroTunnel. 

Published in Ferry

Brittany Ferries is reportedly considering buying Channel Islands based operator Condor Ferries.

The French company which operates ferries between the UK, France and Spain, has confirmed to ITV News an announcement is expected later today (yesterday, 24 June).

The owner of Condor Ferries, Macquarie, announced last year it was looking for buyers for the operator which sails between the UK, Channel Islands and France.

French media have reported Brittany Ferries has received a mandate from its shareholders to come up with a purchase plan, but that it would be reliant on other co-investors.

Macquarie purchased Condor Ferries in 2008 for an undisclosed sum thought to be around £260m though today has declined to comment on the development.

Speaking last year, when the prospect of a sale emerged, the CEO of Condor Ferries, Paul Luxon, said a sale would have no effect on the operation of the ferry service.

Afloat adds the fleet of Condor comprises of two high-speed ferries, a conventional ferry (Commodore Clipper) in addition to a freight-only ferry.

Published in Ferry

A one-year charter by Brittany Ferries of an additional ropax ship is being finalised ahead of the 2020 season.

The ropax will be operated by Brittany Ferries from November 2019 until November 2020. The goal is to deliver additional flexibility to a route network that connects Ireland, France, Spain and the UK.

The ship is to be chartered from Stena Ro-Ro and currently sails between Ancona and Trieste in Italy. The Visentini-class vessel will be the third of its kind on the Brittany Ferries fleet, joining Etretat and Connemara in November.

“This charter is an important step in our 2020 season planning,” said Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO. “We know that our flagship Pont-Aven will be out of service for at least ten weeks in the winter for the replacement of one of her four engines. This will leave a significant gap in capacity across our network.

“We also need to be sure that our fleet can cope with any potential delays in the delivery of our next cruise-ferry Honfleur, ahead of the busy 2020 summer season. For these two reasons, we have taken the prudent decision to charter a new vessel for one year.

“Furthermore, and given what we learnt from Government Brexit no-deal preparations in March and April, we believe it is sensible to generate additional capacity to prepare for the impacts of Brexit, should it happen at the end of October and should our services be needed.”

The new charter will take over Brittany Ferries sailings from Cork to Santander, extending the operating window for this service. The route, which represents the first time Spain and Ireland have been connected by ferry in their history, was opened in May 2018 for an initial two-year trial.

Connemara, which operates between Cork and Santander today, will be brought under the French-flag. This is six months earlier than originally planned and reinforces Brittany Ferries commitment to the employment of French seafarers.

Following her re-flagging, Connemara will be free to cover scheduled dry-dock periods for other vessels over the winter and to release Etretat (currently operating Portsmouth to Le Havre) to cover services from the UK to Spain in April.

Published in Ferry

It has been confirmed by Brittany Ferries that its Cork-Roscoff route will resume service this Friday as expected.

The announcement reports EchoLive.ie comes three weeks after the Pont Aven ferry suffered a hydraulic failure impacting thousands of people expecting to sail between Cork and the French port.

Difficulties in securing parts for repairs to the ship meant the vessel was out of action longer than Brittany Ferries had originally expected.

While Brittany Ferries said it was working with those affected in arranging alternative plans or refunds, some people felt they were left in the dark.

More on the story can be read here

Published in Ferry

Customers in their thousands due to travel with Brittany Ferries are facing holiday disruption with the company's flagship Pont-Aven ferry now out of action until June 14.

The cruise-ferry, writes Independent.ie, which sails from Cork to Roscoff in France, has been out of service since May 17 to facilitate repairs to a fault.

"Despite these efforts it has now become apparent that this work will take longer than initially planned, whilst replacement parts are delivered and installed, and comprehensive checks are carried out," the company has announced.

The Pont Aven will not resume sailings until Friday, June 14.

For passengers, that means sailings on the Cork/Roscoff route have been cancelled for this weekend (May 31/June 1) and next (June7/8), along with a number of sailings on the company’s Plymouth/Santander and Plymouth/Roscoff routes.

Since May 17, a total of some 6,500 customers will be affected.

For more on the story click here including a Q&A link about what are my rights if my ferry is cancelled or delayed? 

Published in Ferry

The operator of the Cork/Roscoff route, Brittany Ferries regrets its flagship cruise-ferry Pont-Aven, which has been out of service undergoing repairs since Friday 17th May, will now not be able to resume sailings until Friday 14th June.

As a consequence the company in a statement has confirmed Pont-Aven's sailings on the company’s Cork/Roscoff route have had to be cancelled this weekend (Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st June) and the following weekend (Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June).

In addition to a number of cancelled sailings (albeit based out of the UK) on the company’s Plymouth/Santander and Plymouth/Roscoff routes.

The company’s technical teams have been working around the clock with the Damen shipyard in Brest to carry out repairs to the ship’s starboard-side steering gear (Afloat adds this follows a separate incident that took place late last month). Despite these efforts it has now become apparent that this work will take longer than initially planned, whilst replacement parts are delivered and installed, and comprehensive checks are carried out.

“On behalf of everyone at Brittany Ferries I would like to apologise profusely for the further delays to the return of our flagship Pont-Aven, and the disruption that this will cause to travel plans. It’s a frustrating situation, but our priority now is to contact all customers who will be affected by this situation and to make sure that we look after them as best as we can.” said Christophe Mathieu CEO Brittany Ferries.

In order to give affected customers the best possible opportunity to arrange alternative sailings, additional sailings will be operated on the Plymouth/Roscoff route, and some Cork/Santander rotations will be diverted to Cork/Roscoff.

Over the coming days the company’s customer relations teams will be contacting all customers with bookings aboard Pont-Aven for travel between now and 14th June. Those who are due to sail soonest will be contacted first. An alternative sailing will be offered where it is available, but if no suitable alternative is available then a full refund will be offered. Due to the exceptional number of phone calls involved, affected customers are kindly requested not to call, but to wait to be contacted by Brittany Ferries.

For further updates they will be posted online (click here) on the operators website. 

Published in Ferry

Brittany Ferries have been forced yet again to cancel sailings on its Cork-Roscoff route due to operational reasons as flagship Pont-Aven continues to be beset with technical issues, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Currently Pont-Aven remains in dry-dock at Damen Shiprepair, Brest, following an hydraulic problem which took place in mid-May while on a sailing from the UK to France.

The incident led in turn to cancelled sailings on the Ireland-France route where affected passengers to date and next weekend (1 June) have been offered to defer the sailing to a later date (subject to availability) or cancel and receive a full refund.

Brittany Ferries are in the process of assisting customers and await a confirmed date of Pont-Aven's return (see updates) in addition the operator have taken the precaution of blocking any further bookings on cruiseferry between now and 7 June.

Communication of developments will also be made as soon as possible via our sailings update page.

An in-depth investigation has begun by the French operator into the incident.

Commenting about the incident Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO who said “We are all truly sorry for the further problems with our flagship vessel Pont-Aven. Unfortunately she has suffered two technical problems in rapid succession. While the previous engine problem, which reduced the ship’s speed from 24 knots to 20 knots, is entirely unrelated to the current steering gear issue, the consequence of further bad luck is significant inconvenience for our passengers."

The German built Pont-Aven is fitted with two entirely independent Rotary Vane steering gears, each operating one of two rudders. These are self-contained units positioned at her stern directly above the rudders . Hydraulic oil is injected at high pressure into a series of chambers which operate the rotating part of the steering servo-motors. As these chambers fill, the rotor turns, thus moving each rudder in the desired direction.

According to Brittany Ferries, Pont-Aven’s engineers were alerted to low oil pressure in the starboard steering gear. An oil leak was identified which caused the pressure loss and a reduction in steering capacity. Under these circumstances, the decision was immediately taken to take Pont-Aven out of service in Roscoff, for investigation and remedial work to be carried out in Brest.

Unfortunately, following further investigation it was found that damage to the starboard side steering gear was more extensive than originally suspected. This has meant a longer lay-over in Brest than originally planned to source replacement parts and carry out a comprehensive repair.

A repair procedure has been defined with the agreement of Bureau Veritas (certification authority) and the manufacturer. In parallel, a complete check of the port steering gear has been carried out.

Published in Ferry

Cancellations of four Brittany Ferries services to and from Cork is unfortunate but the onus has to be to look after the passengers affected, according to chief executive of the Irish Travel Agents Association Pat Dawson.

As Echolive.ie reported (yesterday's) ferry from Cork to Roscoff in northern France was cancelled due to a technical problem with the vessel, Pont-Aven, while a separate issue with the Connemara vessel between Cork and Santander in northern Spain meant that this voyage was also not running on Friday.

Almost 1,500 passengers were affected by the cancellations.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Dawson said: “These things happen in all walks of life. There isn’t much you can do about it, but when something like this goes wrong, all you can do is look after those affected.”

Mr Dawson said all passengers who were supposed to board the ferry to France or Spain with Brittany Ferries are entitled to compensation under the Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 which governs flights and ferries in terms of cancellations.

Click here for further reading on this story.

For the latest update on Pont-Aven (including passenger FAQ) in addition to status of sailings including those on UK (Plymouth)-Spain service click here

Published in Ferry

Several scheduled sailings the Irish Examiner reports between Cork and mainland Europe have been cancelled by Brittany Ferries.

All planned sailings to and from Roscoff, France have been cancelled until May 31.

The routes affected are Roscoff to Cork tomorrow, May 24, and Cork to Roscoff on Saturday.

The cancellations are due to "a technical problem with the Pont-Aven ferry," according to the company.

Brittany Ferries has apologised for any inconvenience this has caused and in a statement said customers affected are being offered a full refund or an alternative sailing.

"Brittany Ferries sailings from Roscoff-Cork (May 24) and Cork-Roscoff (May 25) have regrettably been cancelled due to a hydraulic fault on the Pont-Aven affecting its rudder, the repairs for which have taken longer than first anticipated," a spokesperson said.

"We are currently contacting all passengers scheduled to travel the route tomorrow and Saturday to offer assistance.

To continue reading this story (click here) on the 40,000 gross tonnnage cruiseferry which is currently dry-docked in Brest at Damen Shiprepair. 

Afloat adds Armorique (see above photo) previously deputised on the Ireland-France service also this month because Pont-Aven had another incident during a crossing between the UK and Spain. This necessitated a detour to Brest from where passengers were safely disembarked.

On that occasion Pont-Aven used the same dry-dock in Brest to undergo repairs.

As for Armorique, this cruiseferry routinely serves on the English Channel between Portsmouth and Caen (Ouistreham). The ferryport in Normandy is adjacent to the beach (codenamed 'Sword') which formed part of the Allied invasion when the D-Day Landings took place on 6th June 1944.

Commemorative services to mark the 75th anniverary of that momentous day will be held in less than fortnight's time. 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - It's a busy time for Brittany Ferries as the Easter Holiday is well underway with passengers travelling on the Cork-Roscoff seasonal service, writes Jehan Ashmore.

On Good Friday the flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven departed from France to arrive in Cork the next day before returning with Irish holidaymakers to Roscoff, Brittany. The Ireland-France route which this year is running its 41st season had resumed service last month.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the cruiseferry Pont-Aven sports a new livery scheme incorporating an updated logo and typeface. The new more colourful look comes with an announcement by the French operator of a 16% rise in bookings for 2019 in the Irish market.

Figures for 2018 show that the French company reported a 12% increase in the number of passengers on the route when compared to the previous year. The Ireland-France route had carried more than 97,000 passengers last year.

According to TravelExtra, Brittany Ferries hope to capitalise on the decision by Irish Ferries to drop Rosslare based routes to France by enticing holidaymakers in the south-east to travel to Cork rather than Dublin Port.

In addition Brittany Ferries also operate Cork-Roscoff sailings on Monday's. This weekday crossing to the continent is served by Connemara which offers an 'economie' style service.

The chartered in ropax is also kept busy by maintaining Ireland-Spain duties on the year-round Cork-Santander service launched almost a year ago. This is the first ever direct Ireland-Spain link.

Published in Ferry
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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