Portsmouth - Cherbourg Timings

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PetFriendlyCabins
Cotentin
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Portsmouth - Cherbourg Timings

Post by PetFriendlyCabins »

It’s always intrigued me as to why the night crossing leave before the Caen departure and arrives after the Caen arrival even though the journey is shorter.

It’s not really bothered me until now, as we are using Cherbourg for the dog friendly accommodation being more available.

Can anyone shed any light on why re the timings?
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zuludelta
Mont St Michel
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Portsmouth - Cherbourg Timings

Post by zuludelta »

Probably a combination of fuel savings and berth availability.

For the former element, an E-flexer doing bicycle speed across the channel will be just sipping fuel. 
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Seashore
Pont-Aven
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Portsmouth - Cherbourg Timings

Post by Seashore »

I would think it’s all to do with necessity and who is travelling.

Caen is a regular route and the ships used pretty intensively with a short turnaround, apart from once a week when they skip a return sailing for crew switchover and restocking, maintenance etc in Ouistreham. It also keeps MSM on the primary boat schedule every week, for example Friday from Portsmouth is always MSM in season. The route carries a lot of freight, is the company’s busiest route and needs regularity.

Cherbourg has the long haul E-Flexers arrive at 08:00 and leave at either 12:00 (Salamanca) or 15:30 (Galicia). They’re essentially there for the same purpose as the Caen ships layover, to change crew but they do need to do it in a shorter time. They’re only really going to Cherbourg for that purpose. BF can’t get them into Ouistreham as they are too long, but they need to go into a French port to change crew. Cap Finistère used to call into Roscoff on the way down, but she was much faster and that was her two night crossing, if the E-Flexers did that then passengers will be on board for the best part of two days. Plus the way that the E-Flexers are used now mean they switch routes, the Cap mostly stuck to Bilbao for example.

Essentially Cotentin is only there because she’s repositioning to do Cherbourg-Rosslare, having had the French port on that route changed from Le Havre. That one didn’t make immediate sense to me, but am sure BF know what they are doing.
David
Bretagne
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Portsmouth - Cherbourg Timings

Post by David »

It is definitely about Portsmouth berth availability and a decent arrival time. if you follow it on Marine Traffic you will see it going around in slow circles in some sheltered location. This is also done on the overnight Plymouth Roscoff sailings.
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tumnus2010
Bretagne
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Portsmouth - Cherbourg Timings

Post by tumnus2010 »

When we sailed to Cherbourg last August on Santona we were the last boat to leave the berths. We followed Normandie and Cotentin out. Due to that longer crossing time they can be more flexible about when it leaves I suppose. 
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vernon
Barfleur
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Portsmouth - Cherbourg Timings

Post by vernon »

On the subject of "Portsmouth - Cherboug Timings", I have found it difficult to understand how the Friday Cotentin service was in the timetable as depart 1400, arrive 1900. It has since been changed causing passengers to have to plan to arrive much earlier (not least because of the retiming by 1.5 hours but also the fact that BF whack a 60 minute check in time on retimed departures).
However - was a 4 hour crossing ever possible? If not, surely a back foul-up by the schedulers.
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