Norfolkline Rosyth > Zeebrugge

gaelsail
15th November 2008, 13:04
Looking forward to this route starting again in the spring 2009. Does anyone have any information about the new build vessel for the route?

Thanks

ferry1
16th January 2009, 16:17
Its going to be an exact sister to the Norman Voyager and Pilar Del Mar. Currently under construction in Italy (Visentini yard).

gaelsail
16th January 2009, 16:32
Its going to be an exact sister to the Norman Voyager and Pilar Del Mar. Currently under construction in Italy (Visentini yard).
Thank you. I believe it is to be called Scottish Viking? Booking is now open on the Norfolkline website although they are not yet accepting foot passengers.

John Cassels
16th January 2009, 19:03
Yes , I'll be also interested . Makes a hell of a difference when driving to
Gourock

ferry1
16th January 2009, 20:44
Yes, will be the Scottish Viking.

Not sure about foot pax yet. Depends whether they run it like the irish sea services or channel.

forthbridge
17th January 2009, 01:00
Was a report in one of the local newspapers here (can't remember if it was Dunfermline Press or Edinburgh Evening News) that foot passengers can book through a travel agent but their computer cant handle foot passengers yet.

ferry1
17th January 2009, 15:40
Looks like No for foot passengers (From website), at least at the beginning I am sure if enough people ask they will offer it. Will see when we get there to start the route.

I believe they are offering cabins inclusive with all passenger fares.

Brandane62
17th January 2009, 16:03
Have you seen the prices?? :eek:
I priced a trip in May; going solo with a motorcycle, and the return price was 440. Granted, that does include a cabin; but apparently ALL cabins sleep 4 persons (and are mandatory) so not much use for people like me who like to wander off on a solo trip depending on the weather forecast.
At least with Superfast you could do it for about 150 if you were willing to rough it a wee bit!

And another thing; it leaves Rosyth at 1700 hrs (same as Superfast was) and arrives at 1400 (Superfast was 1200). What are they doing, rowing the thing across?? That eats a good portion out of your first day by the time you get off the ferry and through passport control.

Can you tell I'm not impressed? :rolleyes:. If I go to the continent this year at all, it will be via Dover. Long run south for me (Ayrshire) but quicker and cheaper.

Al.

ferry1
17th January 2009, 16:08
Yes not cheap......for a solo rider......guess they are working on fuel savings for family etc.

The later arrival will prob be for economical crossing speeds.

Brandane62
17th January 2009, 20:41
I can't understand the thinking behind these prices, given that the Superfast ferry service folded supposedly due to a lack of passenger and freight numbers.
I can hardly see people turning up in droves for this one, especially with the fall in value of the pound making a trip to the continent a bit of an expensive holiday option.
Maybe it will appeal to mainland europeans heading over here to cash in on our bargain prices due to the favourable exchange rate for them!

Al.

ferry1
18th January 2009, 17:29
I hear you! It is very hard to make long distance runs like this pay for itself what with bunker prices, ok they are half what they were a couple of months ago, plus the utilisation of the vessel. One trip per day, means one set of revenue per day.

Also being such a long run, everyone needs a cabin so that limits your capacity so to speak i.e. full of freight ok, but add tourist passengers on top that means one cabin per vehicle.

I am sure the prices will come down, after all norfolkline market themselves as a low fare ferry company.

I will be working on the ship so hope it takes off!

gaelsail
6th February 2009, 15:45
I will be working on the ship so hope it takes off!
I hope you enjoy working on the ship, perhaps we'll see you. Starting to plan crossings already!

In an email received today:
... we will accept direct bookings of foot passengers as of March.
http://www.norfolkline.com/EN/About/News/Rosyth_news/

gaelsail
11th March 2009, 18:51
Foot passenger bookings now online and we tested it.

gaelsail
7th April 2009, 15:48
The new Zeebrugge/Rosyth ferry was today undergoing seatrials in the Adriatic. (==D) (seen on AIS tracking).

Vessel Type: RO-RO/Passenger ship, Single Hull, 27,700 GT
http://www.xvas.it/SPECIAL/VTship.php?imo=9435454&mode=CK

Ron Stringer
7th April 2009, 21:03
Requires an extraordinary amount of bravery to introduce a new service in the current market on a route that has already failed several times. Wish them every success and hope that they make it this time.

kevhogg
7th April 2009, 21:20
don't know what anyone has heard but I was told by the head personnel bloke in the Maersk office that this vessel(s) are to be fully crewed top to bottom with Poles!!-Nothing new there then!!!
Kev

gordy
7th April 2009, 22:01
Superfast, June 2007, two passengers, one motorcycle- 360.

I'd like to support a Scottish-Continental ferry but I'll be heading for the channel too.

Brandane62
14th May 2009, 19:38
Have you seen the prices?? :eek:
I priced a trip in May; going solo with a motorcycle, and the return price was 440. Granted, that does include a cabin; but apparently ALL cabins sleep 4 persons (and are mandatory) so not much use for people like me who like to wander off on a solo trip depending on the weather forecast.
At least with Superfast you could do it for about 150 if you were willing to rough it a wee bit!

And another thing; it leaves Rosyth at 1700 hrs (same as Superfast was) and arrives at 1400 (Superfast was 1200). What are they doing, rowing the thing across?? That eats a good portion out of your first day by the time you get off the ferry and through passport control.

Can you tell I'm not impressed? :rolleyes:. If I go to the continent this year at all, it will be via Dover. Long run south for me (Ayrshire) but quicker and cheaper.

Al.

Had another look at their website. Seems you can now book a reclining seat if you don't want/need a cabin, same as Superfast did.

Return fare for me and motorcycle in August.... 205.

That's more like it!!

Al.

gaelsail
14th May 2009, 19:59
Had another look at their website. Seems you can now book a reclining seat if you don't want/need a cabin.
'Scottish Viking' arrived in Zeebrugge yesterday having sailed from the yard on the Adriatic.

forthbridge
14th May 2009, 20:40
According to the Edinburgh Evening News today Scottish Viking will arrive in the forth at 10AM next tuesday docking at Rosyth at noon.

forthbridge
21st May 2009, 11:40
Extract from Today's Dunfermline Press

Rosyth's boat finally comes in as ferry link to the Continent is restored
by Dunfermline Press Reporter

SCOTLAND’S only direct continental ferry was reinstated this week as the Norfolkline Scottish Viking sailed into Rosyth on Tuesday.

Helmed by Captain Dominico Comisso, the specially commissioned ship arrived around 2pm to a welcome by First Minister Alex Salmond.

The service replaces the previous Rosyth-Zeebrugge sailings run by Superfast Ferries, which were withdrawn last year.

However, its launch was not all smooth sailing and was delayed by several hours after Captain Antonio Arbilli, who was to be at helm, suffered a heart attack on Monday.

Captain Arbilli was taken to hospital, where he is in stable condition.

His replacement, Captain Comisso, was picking cherries at his country house in Tuscany, when he got the phone call. He was then flown to Zeebrugge by private jet from Italy.

Goshen
25th September 2009, 17:39
[


Just returned from a return trip on Scottish Viking. For those with a mobility problem....there are no 'lifts' on this vessel and one has to negotiate a 16 step stair to reach the cabin deck. There are two cabins on the 'reception' deck for use by wheelchair users.

Vehicles used by those with a 'blue badge' are parked on a totally open deck and I had personally to scrape the salt spray from the windscreen before being able to see where I was being directed to for embarkation.

A poor show all round but one redeeming feature....the food is superb.

gaelsail
25th September 2009, 18:01
[


Just returned from a return trip on Scottish Viking. For those with a mobility problem....there are no 'lifts' on this vessel and one has to negotiate a 16 step stair to reach the cabin deck. There are two cabins on the 'reception' deck for use by wheelchair users.

Vehicles used by those with a 'blue badge' are parked on a totally open deck and I had personally to scrape the salt spray from the windscreen before being able to see where I was being directed to for embarkation.

A poor show all round but one redeeming feature....the food is superb.
I'd just point out that all the public areas are on the same level as the accessible cabins. Glad to hear the food is good.

Goshen
25th September 2009, 21:49
The restaurant, bar,lounge and reception are on deck 5. All the cabins are on deck 6.

gaelsail
25th September 2009, 21:56
The restaurant, bar,lounge and reception are on deck 5. All the cabins are on deck 6.
with the exception of the cabins for wheelchair users that are on deck 5.

ray bloomfield
26th September 2009, 10:49
Has anyone any idea of the charges for freight wagons either accompanied or solo? At about 9mpg and the time taken driving from Scotland to a channel port must be considered in the costing for a haulier considering this route. When I was on the fish run from Buckie to Bologne it took 15 hrs total using the pipe.

gaelsail
26th September 2009, 12:46
Has anyone any idea of the charges for freight wagons either accompanied or solo?
I've no idea but would think someone else will know. Contact details are http://www.norfolklinefreight.com/FF/Freight_ferry_routes/Scotland_Belgium/Contact/

Brandane62
26th March 2010, 00:03
[


Just returned from a return trip on Scottish Viking. For those with a mobility problem....there are no 'lifts' on this vessel and one has to negotiate a 16 step stair to reach the cabin deck. There are two cabins on the 'reception' deck for use by wheelchair users.

Vehicles used by those with a 'blue badge' are parked on a totally open deck and I had personally to scrape the salt spray from the windscreen before being able to see where I was being directed to for embarkation.

A poor show all round but one redeeming feature....the food is superb.

Well I gave it a try, and can honestly say that it is as bad as the only 2 on-line reviews that I managed to find. NEVER AGAIN!

Pricewise, I managed to get a return for me and the car, with a reclining seat rather than a cabin, for 242 (in March). A cabin would have made it an uneconomic proposition of over 400.

To try and punt this as a "cruise ferry" is a bit of a marketing exaggeration. It would appear to have been purpose built to carry freight traffic on shorter channel hops (which it probably ultimately WILL do, once the plug is pulled on this subsidised run). No way was this purpose built for the run it is on! The only public access areas are on deck 5. Restaurant, small bar, casino (well actually a small table in a corner of the bar), reception area, shop (one customer at a time please, no room for any more) and 35 seat cinema; they are all within an area about 100 yards long. So don't expect to pass the time by going for a wander. Even outside, you are restricted to 2 small areas on deck 5. So no climbing to the upper deck for a good view while passing under the Forth bridges, a la Superfast.

The lounge which houses the reclining seats for us travellers on a budget is right next to the bar, partitioned off only by a half height glass partition. So no protection from the noise of the bar and the "entertainment" until it closes; which on my 2 crossings was reasonably early, about midnight. That was probably due to the fact that the bar was deserted as the entertainment consisted of someone murdering Neil Diamond songs, karaoke style. 12 days later his repertoire was the exact same! Trying to get any sleep in the lounge was a bit of a challenge too. Some Scottish "character", full of drink trying to phone his pals at 4am and shouting at the top of his voice... You get the picture. Also, it appears that the smoking ban does not apply on this ferry, maybe as it is registered in Malta (I think).

Agreed with Goshen re the food; dinner was quite good, but not cheap at 20; and 10 for breakfast which was not so good. Despite the advertised 2 sittings for dinner, due to lack of passengers on both crossings, I was told to be at the restaurant for the only sitting, at 1830 hours "and no later than 1900hrs". Also found it quite annoying to have the car parked out on an open deck, getting covered in salt spray. So when you get to passport control and open your window it smears nicely so that you can't see anything out that window when you close it again...

Sorry if this is quite a negative review, as I think it is great to have a direct ferry link from Scotland to the continent. Superfast were good, but Norfolk Line have missed the mark. Both crossings I was on were very quiet and that must be something to do with the prices and lack of facilities. Personally I won't use it again. In fact on this trip, as I was driving along the motorway past Calais heading for the return trip from Zeebrugge, it crossed my mind to take the exit for the port of Calais and then take the quicker and more pleasant route..... Calais/Dover and the drive north!

John Cassels
26th March 2010, 09:13
Interesting post , many thanks for the info.

We used to take superfast regularly but since they stopped , have moved to DFDS
via Ijmuiden. Never thought of trying Norfolk line although Rosyth was very handy
for getting to Gourock.
The extra drive from Newcastle is worth it for the extra comfort of DFDS.

We will be over in August with the caravan for 3 weeks . With DFDS , if you book on
a Sunday or Monday , caravan goes free !.

gordy
26th March 2010, 10:46
Thanks Stratheden for a very valuable review. (Applause)
You've made up my mind not to use the service until the vessel is suitable and the price is right.
I did 3 return trips with Superfast on motorbike tours and the ferry trip was a major plus for the holiday.
Looks like it'll be Newcastle for us in the future, or the channel, although I'd rather ride continental roads than the crowded south of England.

(+ I don't want my bike soaked in salt water(MAD))

gaelsail
26th March 2010, 16:11
Scottish Viking was marketed as a freight ferry that took passengers and, with that in mind, I found it a very convenient way of reaching my destination.

Granted, with the exception of the accessible cabins on the main deck, the cabins are all on a deck above. The reclining seats were added at a late stage in the build because of the number people who wanted to travel as foot passengers; something that had not been planned for. Personally, I don't actually see the need for live entertainment.

It will be interesting to see what happens now that DFDS have bought over the Norfolkline ferry division.

gordy
29th March 2010, 16:01
Would be interesting to know what the subsidy is compared to what Superfast got.

toby210
2nd June 2010, 21:16
I can agree with Stratheden1978. The ship is not big but what do you want for 20 hour sailing. I thought the food was fab the crew could not be more helpful. The ship is very clean. I am on this ship often Iam happy with the entertainment. Its obvious Stratheden1978 is not a Neil Diamond fan I have seen this singer a few times on the ship and he puts on a great show maybe if Stratheden1978 had stayed up and watched the entertainer he may think different. The other entertainers are good too. It only has a solo piano player on it now whitch makes it a long night. I for one will alwas use this route as it is a very handy way to Europe from Scotland. Please don't be put of by poor negative reviews.

Brandane62
20th August 2010, 16:43
Surprise, surprise! The agreed period of providing this "service" in order to secure the grant money must have run out:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-11041554

What's the odds that one of the 2 freight ferries to get used on the route will be the existing "Scottish Viking"? After all, it has the appearance inside and out of being built as a freight ferry in the first place, with passengers being very much an after-thought.

Can't say I'm surprised that the reason for it's demise is lack of passenger numbers, considering the price they charge for a third rate service.

It saddens me that they (DFDS/Norfolkline) seem to have got this so badly wrong, as I enjoy my trips to the continent by car or motorbike. However I would rather take the pain of the drive south to Calais rather than use this route again. It was so good in comparison when Superfast ran the show.

Brandane62
20th August 2010, 16:53
I can agree with Stratheden1978. The ship is not big but what do you want for 20 hour sailing. I thought the food was fab the crew could not be more helpful. The ship is very clean. I am on this ship often Iam happy with the entertainment. Its obvious Stratheden1978 is not a Neil Diamond fan I have seen this singer a few times on the ship and he puts on a great show maybe if Stratheden1978 had stayed up and watched the entertainer he may think different. The other entertainers are good too. It only has a solo piano player on it now whitch makes it a long night. I for one will alwas use this route as it is a very handy way to Europe from Scotland. Please don't be put of by poor negative reviews.


Only just seen this reply.

1. I AM a Neil Diamond fan; that's why I didn't appreciate his songs being murdered! I did "stay up" and watch it. I had no choice considering my reclining seat was just over the glass partition from where he was performing. Didn't see any other entertainers....

2. Not hard to keep the public area clean when it only consists of an area on 1 side of 1 deck, about 100 square metres in size.

3. As stated in my original post, the food was quite good but the timing was "take it or leave it", i.e. be at the restaurant at 1830 hrs or go hungry, and it wasn't exactly good value for money at 20.

gaelsail
20th August 2010, 16:54
Yes, not surprised in the slightest. Just after DFDS took over from Norfolkline too.

Does the Marco Polo funding cover freight ferries but not freight/passenger ferries and has there been an application for it on this route?