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Channel Islands New Fast-Ferry Condor 102 Arrives in UK on Boxing Day

27th December 2014
Channel Islands New Fast-Ferry Condor 102 Arrives in UK on Boxing Day

#Condor102 – The latest addition to the Condor Ferries fleet, Condor 102 as previously reported arrived into the UK waters yesterday following her 10,500 nautical mile delivery voyage.

The Condor 102 sailed into Poole, Dorset, which is to be her UK base when she enters Channel Islands service in late March 2015. The ship will be the first of her kind in Northern Europe.

Watched by keen on-lookers and escorted by a tug, Condor 102 sailed past the Sandbanks peninsula and alongside Brownsea Island, before berthing at Poole Port.

The arrival concludes her long journey from Cebu in the Philippines, from where she departed on 4th December. During her delivery voyager she has sailed across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal and via the Mediterranean before travelling up the Bay of Biscay and into the English Channel.

The new ship represents £50m of investment in the Channel Islands, securing the future of high speed ferry travel to the Islands.

Condor 102 will now go through a period of customisation in Poole with a full internal fit out completed by interior refurbishment specialists Trimline. She will also complete a series of sea trials in the UK and the Channel Islands before she officially comes into service in late March, sailing from Poole to Guernsey and Jersey.

Captain Fran Collins, Executive Director – Operations at Condor Ferries commented: "We're delighted our new ship – Condor 102 – has completed her long journey here to the UK and is now safely docked at Poole Port."

She continued: "It was exciting to see her sail into the port early this morning - the crew were in great spirits. They have done a fantastic job of bringing her home on schedule - everyone at Condor is very thankful for all their hard work and commitment over the last 24 days, and we hope they get home to their families soon to enjoy the rest of the festive period and to see in the New Year."

Jim Stewart, Chief Executive Poole Harbour Commissioners welcomed the sleek new state-of-the-art 102m trimaran saying: "We are delighted to welcome this superb new ship to Poole port which will be her operational base. Poole is a highly successful south coast port set in the beautiful location of Poole Harbour and we look forward to continuing our long and successful working partnership with Condor Ferries.

"From the end of March, all journeys to the Channel Islands will be on the new Condor 102 from Poole, offering improved reliability, increased capacity, and a greater level of comfort with smoother journeys. Condor 102 will also feature three seat classes, with two upgrade areas available for passengers.

 

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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