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From no ferries to two ferries

From no ferries to two ferries

Friday 17 June 2022

From no ferries to two ferries

Friday 17 June 2022


Alderney has been without a ferry service for six weeks - but it looks set to have two ferries by the start of July.

The Salty Blonde was suspended when a serious mechanical fault was discovered early last month. But it has now been repaired and expects to resume sailings next Friday, 24 June.

Meanwhile, Alderney Ferry Services, which has not yet completed any sailings after engine problems forced it to abandon its maiden voyage, has purchased a different vessel and expects to be carrying passengers by the following Friday, 1 July.

The Salty Blonde also announced last night that it helped finance Alderney Ferry Services' new vessel as part of the two companies' commitment to co-operate for the benefit of Alderney.

"We have been working away behind the scenes with the new kids on the block - Alderney Ferry Services. We are delighted to collaborate with them and thrilled that we could help finance this exciting endeavour - and get them back in the water a few days after us," said The Salty Blonde's Group Director, Tracey Farquhar-Beck.

"The movement of people is essential to the prosperity of Alderney. Alderney Ferry Services and The Salty Blonde's prime objective is to work closely together to offer a reliable service with a varied timetable to both residents and visitors alike."

The_Salty_Blonde_inside.jpeg

Pictured: Inside The Salty Blonde.

The Salty Blonde is the ferry arm of The Blonde Hedgehog, a luxury hotel in Alderney. In April, it won the contract to run the States of Alderney's subsidised ferry service to and from Guernsey for the rest of 2022.

Before its mechanical problems, it was running two rotations per day, six times a week, and this is the schedule it expects to resume from the end of next week.  

"We are expecting Ashlin, The Salty Blonde, back in the water next week after her recovery from major surgery," said Ms Farquhar-Beck.  

"We are hoping, weather conditions being good, that she will be back in Alderney next Wednesday evening and resuming her timetable from Friday.

"It's critical that we get better transport links to the island. From the perspective of The Blonde Hedgehog, it's critical that we get more people onto this island.

"So we are very pleased to be able to provide Alderney Ferry Services with the finance they need for their service."

Braye_Bay_in_Alderney.jpg

Pictured: Alderney's two ferry operators say they want to work together to provide a frequent and reliable service to and from Guernsey.

Alderney Ferry Services originally tried to launch a daily passenger service between Alderney and Guernsey with Azula, a chartered and privately-owned vessel, but it soon discovered it had "major underlying engine issues".

The company has spent the past few weeks considering alternative options and last night announced that it has purchased its own vessel, which it expects to be operating on the Alderney-Guernsey route within two weeks with a timetable to be announced imminently. 

Alderney Ferry Services' co-owners, Daniel Slimm and Charlie Smith, said that Mr Slimm, the Lead Skipper, "travelled to the furthest north of Scotland this week to get her..we anticipate being in operation from 1 July, possibly earlier".

"We have been working hard to achieve something better for Alderney. We are collaborating with The Salty Blonde to give the best service possible to our community," they said.

"Our economy is suffering and a lot of us are now seeing this. Between us and The Salty Blonde, we want to bring a diverse schedule to ensure Alderney and its future has the best sea links possible and [make] our beautiful island busy again.

"Without Julie-Anne Uggla at The Blonde Hedgehog, who has kindly helped with financial support, and Tracey Farquhar-Beck’s advice, we would not be here today. As a small family business, we are very appreciative.

"We know that our two businesses working together can help encourage competitive businesses to do the same for the overall benefit of Alderney."

Alderney Harbour

Pictured: Alderney has had little luck with ferry services so far in 2022 and will be hoping the two operators enjoy a successful second half of the year.

Ian Carter, Acting Chairman of Alderney’s Policy & Finance Committee following the resignation of Bill Abel, said: "This is welcome good news for Alderney. It’s especially pleasing that the operators of The Salty Blonde have been working closely with Alderney Ferry Services in a spirit of co-operation that can only benefit our Island.

"We look forward to the resumption of services next week and congratulate both companies on weathering this storm with such a positive attitude."

Pictured top: Alderney Ferry Services' new vessel with co-owner Daniel Slimm (left, credit: Alderney Ferry Services) and Ashlin, The Salty Blonde (credit: Ben Taylor).

READ MORE...

Salty Blonde suspended 

Ferry service scrapped for now - owners appeal for support to resume

Ferry service should relaunch in days

Alderney awards 2022 ferry contract

OPINION: Government response to “ill-informed” critique of Salty Blonde tender

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