Condor Ferries has purchased a new passenger and freight ship which will enter service in the Channel Islands later this year.
It comes after a year-long search for a vessel suited to the island’s and the firm's routes.
The 125m long MV Straitsman is currently operating in New Zealand but it’s hoped to improve capacity, resilience and connectivity between the island’s, the UK and France from the autumn.
It will be the second ‘ropax’ ferry in the company's fleet which is similar in design and functionality to the Commodore Clipper.
The 18-year-old Straitsman, which will be renamed, can carry 400 passengers and travel at a speed of 18.5 knots.
John Napton, CEO of Condor, said the purchase shows the firms’ “commitment to the islands and demonstrates we have listened to the needs of our clients and key stakeholders”.
“Condor has always maintained that its primary focus is to support the three strands of the Islands’ economies – lifeline freight, connectivity for Islanders and inbound tourism – which is clearly demonstrated through this additional vessel.”
Pictured: The vessel is similar to the long standing Clipper.
Mr Napton added that a search for a new boat has been ongoing for “some time”, but covid and market availability of suitable vessels have hampered efforts.
“The new ship is similar to Clipper in size, speed and capability so we plan to use her on the important freight supply route from Portsmouth, offering an overnight service in both directions and creating an overall more weather resilient service,” he said.
“She will also enable the larger fleet to assist with inter-Island frequency and continue to develop freight services from France, which are showing real growth and potential.
“Condor has always maintained that its primary focus is to support the three strands of the Islands’ economies – lifeline freight, connectivity for Islanders and inbound tourism – which is clearly demonstrated through this additional vessel
“There is a considerable amount of work to be done before she enters service but this is very positive news for the islands.”
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