Balmoral

For all things Clyde-related
User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:13 pm

Bal appears to be returning to Oban after only steaming as far south as the Garvelachs. Weather? Forecast is 20 kts westerly so maybe the sea state is just a bit too much for her.

Sent from my GT-I8150 using Tapatalk 2

User avatar
Number6
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Number6 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:23 pm

Weather forecast at Malin Head - Force 9 declining Force 7 .

The Balmoral has been tied up at Oban for two days now - would it not have been possible to set up some short coastal cruises in the sheltered waters around there to at least create some income?

Will she even head to Ulster, or just wait it out and head for Douglas?

User avatar
Ron Ireland
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:23 pm
Location: Oban

Re: Balmoral

Post by Ron Ireland » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:54 pm

I was wondering what she was doing tied up alongside, apart from anything else I assume she pays pier dues.

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:04 pm

Looks like she is still stormbound in Oban as Friday's sailing from Ballycastle and Redbay to Campbeltown has now been cancelled due to weather.

User avatar
Doxford Diesel
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:38 am

Re: Balmoral

Post by Doxford Diesel » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:06 pm

Ron Ireland wrote:I was wondering what she was doing tied up alongside, apart from anything else I assume she pays pier dues.
I presume that, as the North pier is owned by the council, she'll be paying the same as the Waverley pays for other Argyll and Bute council piers. Nothing!

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:58 pm

Winds appear to have abated considerably but the WEL website now has a curt notice advising that her NI sailings over the next 3 days are cancelled due to "operational reasons". It is notable for a complete lack of any apology. Previously, the weather had been blamed for today's cancellation so does she have technical problems perhaps?

Sent from my GT-I8150 using Tapatalk 2

User avatar
Number6
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Number6 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:16 pm

No - she doesn't!!!

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:02 am

Glad to hear that Number6. Bad end to the season though and I have a friend in Derry who is really hacked off that all he has is that terse unapologetic statement on the website to tell him that the sail he has been looking forward to for weeks is cancelled.

If anyone from WEL reads this, please think a bit more about your attitude to Customer Service. It only takes a few well chosen words, but it does make a difference to the people who keep the ships going and you in a job.

User avatar
mcmahos
Site Admin
Posts: 1002
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:57 pm
Location: Ardrossan, Ayrshire
Contact:

Re: Balmoral

Post by mcmahos » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:11 pm

What Customer Service? Not something that WEL has ever done very well at in my opinion. When I as on the Waverley's Glasgow-Oban trip I noted the distinct lack of any cheerful onboard announcements from either the captain or the purser. Apparently Balmoral does have technical problems with her fresh water supply.
Stuart McMahon, Site Admin and Head Honcho
www.clydemaritime.co.uk | forums.clydemaritime.co.uk (Tapatalk enabled) | puffers.clydemaritime.co.uk
Twitter: @clydemaritime

My website: md93.co.uk | My Flickr site | My blog: longtail.co.uk | Twitter: @threetowner

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:25 pm

Talking of on-board announcements, you will no doubt be as astounded as I was to learn that the chap who gives the commentary on Waverley is not only an unpaid volunteer, but that he actually has to buy his own ticket for the sail like every other passenger! Unbelievable.

Sent from my GT-I8150 using Tapatalk 2

User avatar
Ron Ireland
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:23 pm
Location: Oban

Re: Balmoral

Post by Ron Ireland » Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:17 pm

Very black cloud of smoke seen issuing from her funnel this morning followed by people rushing to look over the rail, very entertaining....

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:49 pm

Maybe not so entertaining if you're her chief engineer! Despite number6's comment, it does sound as if she is possibly not in the best of health or else she would have headed back home by now given the big improvement in the weather.

Sent from my GT-I8150 using Tapatalk 2

User avatar
Number6
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Number6 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:22 am

Sorry - must issue a correction

She does have technical problems - nothing at all to do with mechanicals though. FoW advises its a freshwater system problem that is preventing her from sailing.

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:44 am

Thanks number6. Just as Stuart had heard.

User avatar
Number6
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Number6 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:13 pm

There is a captain with the ship again. Hopefully her last two public sailings will go ahead - or I'm on for another 200 mile round trip to be shouted at!

User avatar
Number6
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Number6 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:21 pm

Balmoral's season is over

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:31 pm

Obvious question: why?

User avatar
Number6
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Number6 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:03 pm

Balmoral's season is over.

That's all Folks!

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:02 pm

Any idea if she got repaired and made it home OK? Was away for a couple of days during which time she disappeared from AIS and I note from the webcam that she is no longer at Oban..

User avatar
millfield153a
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:43 am

Re: Balmoral

Post by millfield153a » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:08 pm

She is at Campbeltown

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:02 pm

Campbeltown appears to be a dead spot for the internet AIS receivers. She is now in view out in the Firth but her AIS data hasnt been updated to transmit her destination.

Sent from my GT-I8150 using Tapatalk 2

User avatar
millfield153a
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:43 am

Re: Balmoral

Post by millfield153a » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:57 pm

She's on her way to Barrow for a charter: http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/ ... of_Barrow/

User avatar
riverclyde_tug
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:00 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by riverclyde_tug » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:29 pm

Anchored off Ramsey IOM just before 2100, she had a good run down with the tide getting up to just under 17kts.

User avatar
Number6
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Number6 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:44 pm

Now upriver in Bristol and "Finished with Engines"

User avatar
Chris Jones
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Chris Jones » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:52 pm

Number6 wrote:Now upriver in Bristol and "Finished with Engines"
She was captured by Avonmouth Pirates before she made it into the river! ;-)
Follow my blog on www.channelimages.com

User avatar
Number6
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Number6 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:22 am

Statement from Waverley Excursions Ltd
Since 1986, the Waverley organisation has operated its two ships, Waverley, and Balmoral, each summer on a programme of cruises around the coast of the United Kingdom.

Balmoral's operation has been hampered increasingly in recent years by extreme weather conditions. This has led to many cancelled or disrupted sailings, which has had a significant impact on that ship’s contribution to operating results. Waverley’s timetable is less susceptible to such disruptions.

Clearly, we are unable to predict the weather for 2013, but none of the forecasters is predicting a significant improvement over recent years. After taking a wide range of considerations into account, we have decided, reluctantly, that it would be too great a risk to operate Balmoral next year and that doing so would increase the threat to the future of both ships. We are not in a position to take such a risk and so we will not be operating Balmoral on a programme of cruises in 2013.

At the moment Balmoral is being looked after on a care and maintenance basis by volunteers in Bristol. We are looking at alternative ways of utilising the ship in 2013 and, over the coming months, we will seek to identify a robust operating programme to offer the prospect of returning her to service in 2014 and beyond.

Waverley will operate her usual extensive programme visiting all the areas she has served for so many years.

This has been a very difficult decision but we consider that it offers the best way in the current circumstances to ensure Waverley's continued operation. As a stakeholder in our organisation, we were keen to advise you of this as soon as possible.

Should you wish to discuss the implications of this decision on your own organisation, please communicate with your normal contact at the company or e-mail info@waverleyexcursions.co.uk.

Yours faithfully


Kathleen O’Neill
Chief Executive

User avatar
alasdairmac
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:10 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by alasdairmac » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:36 pm

Sad but perhaps inevitable. Hopefully there will be some light at the end of the tunnel and that a viable new use can be found for her.

Possibly Waverley will pick up extra business from former Balmoral cruisers when she visits Bal's old stomping grounds, particularly the Bristol Channel, and could WEL ease the need to search for relief masters with Andy O'Brian and Ian Clark now able to share the Waverley roster.

Sent from my GT-I8150 using Tapatalk 2

User avatar
Clydebuilt1971
Posts: 170
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:39 am
Location: Greenock, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Balmoral

Post by Clydebuilt1971 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:17 pm

I agree Alasdair - personally I thought that this would happen a couple of years before it actually has. Given Waverley visit the Bristol Channel for roughly 10 - 14 days a season - does this put some piers in that area at risk of closing? Why maintain your pier to allow a ship to call for such a small period of time.

I sincerley hope this will not be the case.

The positive news from that release is that Waverley appears to be operating a 2013 season. With only one ship in operation I would hope that this should allow WEL to focus on devising business strategies moving forward as the economic climate is not about to radically change for the best just yet! Handouts from millionaires cant and shouldnt be the "plan"


Gav

User avatar
Number6
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Balmoral

Post by Number6 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:20 pm

I am afraid to inform you that marine officals in the area confirm that the closure of piers and navigable waters is exactly what will happen as a result of lack of sufficient use to keep them viable.

That Balmoral has been scheduled on a sucide prognosis for the past few years has been bad enough - but to see how it will have a double whammy on Waverley's residual business and finances is worse

Post Reply

Return to “CLYDE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests