Condor Ferries commits to Portsmouth ahead of new ferry arrival

By: Steven Tarbox
CONDOR ISLANDER shortly after her renaming from STRAITSMAN. Image: Condor Ferries.
CONDOR ISLANDER shortly after her renaming from STRAITSMAN. Image: Condor Ferries.

Channel Islands ferry operator Condor Ferries has agreed a new long term deal which will see the company continue to use Portsmouth International Port until at least 2033

The agreement comes ahead of the introduction of Condor’s new ferry CONDOR ISLANDER.  Presently Portsmouth is served by Condor’s Ro-Pax COMMODORE CLIPPER and the freight vessel COMMODORE GOODWILL.  In addition, the fast craft CONDOR LIBERATION pays a weekly visit to the port when operating a Portsmouth – Cherbourg trip for Brittany Ferries.

Condor Ferries COMMODORE CLIPPER is the closest BEN-MY-CHREE has to a sister-ship. Condor Ferries.
Condor Ferries COMMODORE CLIPPER. Condor Ferries.

Towards the end of summer Condor expects to introduce the new vessel which will operate in addition to the existing fleet on routes linking the Channel Islands with the UK and France. COMMODORE ISLANDER is currently a week into an expected two month maintenance and refit period at the Astander shipyard in Spain. 

Lifeline ferry service

Commenting on the port agreement, Ian Palacio, business development manager at Portsmouth International Port said: 

“I’m delighted that we’ve signed this 10 year agreement with one of our longest standing customers. We are proud to play our part in providing these essential lifeline ferry service to the Channel Islands.

“With the port’s excellent location right next to the UK’s motorway network, we look forward to working closely with Condor Ferries to continue to boost trade and tourism between the UK and the Channel Islands.”

Source: Press Release.

CONDOR ISLANDER has a similar silhouette to COMMODORE CLIPPER and was based on the same design.  Although originally built for services to the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm, CONDOR ISLANDER spent the past decade as STRAITSMAN crossing the Cook Strait linking the main islands of New Zealand.  The eight week voyage to Europe was via the Panama Canal and Atlantic Ocean.

STRAITSMAN. Image: Bluebridge
CONDOR ISLANDER in her previous guise as STRAITSMAN. Image: Bluebridge

The introduction of CONDOR ISLANDER will take the Condor Ferries fleet to five ships.  In addition to COMMODORE CLIPPER, the company also operates the freight ferry COMMODORE GOODWILL as well as the fast craft CONDOR LIBERATION and CONDOR VOYAGER.

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