Wednesday, 27 February 2013

"COMMODORE CLIPPER" ready for sea

The CONDOR FERRIES "COMMODORE CLIPPER" is seen here 17.2.2013 at Portsmouth from the BRITTANY FERRIES flagship PONT-AVEN. For all information on sailings, prices and routes operated out of the UK by CONDOR FERRIES, please visit their official website here

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

"ARMORIQUE" underway from Saint-Malo

"ARMORIQUE" underway from Saint-Malo, 10.30 local time, crossing time to Portsmouth 9 hours, photos 25.2.2013


                                       "ARMORIQUE" at Portsmouth, February 2011
                                         "ARMORIQUE" Portsmouth 17.1.2012

                                      Chidrens Play Area

                              ART on board "ARMORIQUE" "LA FLEUR CELESTE"

                                  Self-Service Restaurant, "Le Restaurant"
                                                           "Drivers Lounge"

                                     "Lounge Cafe" and Reclining Seats together
                                              Shopping Area "Les Boutiques"
                                                    Self-Service Restaurant

Yesterday was my first crossing on the 2009 built "ARMORIQUE" for the Roscoff/Plymouth service with BRITTANY FERRIES. The ship was delivered to BF on the 26.1.2009 she is normally operated on the Plymouth to Roscoff route but for the past two years she replaced BRETAGNE on the Portsmouth to Saint-Malo service during the winter months. I have never been a great admirer of "ARMORIQUE's" exterior profile. After stepping on board yesterday at Saint-Malo the first reaction was, so much open space areas both on decks and inside and the colours, amazing never seen such a bright decor, the ship evokes Brittany's Maritime Heritage like no other BF Cruise Ferry. Talking about Cruise Ferries, "ARMORIQUE" doesn't fall into that category, there is no "A La Carte Restaurant" on board this ship, then the layout is confusing in some areas, there's reclining seats mixed with the "Lounge Cafe" chairs, on board "ARMORIQUE" passengers can be found everywhere eating, drinking, using laptops, sleeping and listening to music even at the so called "quite room" destined for reading. Passengers on board "ARMORIQUE" don't go for a cruise like on BRETAGNE, one of greatest BF assets is to step on board and enjoy the marvelous food served on A La Carte Restarants, like "LES ABERS" on board the everybody's favourite "BRETAGNE", passengers on "ARMORIQUE" are transported from one place to the other, they are not cruising. I understand this ship was built for a much shorter crossing Plymouth/Roscoff is a 4.30 minutes crossing opposed to 9 or 11 hours crossing from Portsmouth to Saint-Malo, depending on day or night sailings, still BF is loosing ground on what they can do better than everybody else, serving excellent food on charming Restaurants, of course the food served on the Self-Service Restaurant is great but you eat don't dine. I have always defended that BF is a very good first time cruising experience, I have been sailing with this company for 20 years, enjoying a pre-dinner drink on "BRETAGNE" or "PONT-AVEN" on designated areas before a meal at one of their "A La Carte Restaurants" is what cruising is all about, "ARMORIQUE" Ferries people from one place to the other. On board "ARMORIQUE" there is a "Lounge Cafe", Shopping area "Les Boutiques", a self-service Restaurant called "Le Restaurant" a Quite-Room, children's Play Area, Drivers Lounge and a Casino and a Games Planet with slot machines, I have not seen one passenger using these two last facilities during the 9 hour voyage. I hope one day to see a "A La Carte Restaurant" on this ship, probably this would require a changing on the ship's Galley but it would be worth it, for now please bring back BRETAGNE for the route, the first trip of this lovely ship will be on the 20.3.2013. Photos taken on the superb Ferry, not Cruise Ferry "ARMORIQUE" yesterday 25.2.2013

Thursday, 21 February 2013

"PONT-AVEN" ready for sea and underway

BRITTANY FERRIES flagship "PONT-AVEN" is seen here ready for sea and underway from Portsmouth, the ship is heading for a 24 hour crossing to Santander. In order to guarantee the 24 hour voyage "PONT-AVEN" travels at an average speed of 23 knots, the maximum speed this time was an impressive 25.3 knots, fast ship indeed no question about that. Photos 17.2.2013

Monday, 18 February 2013