UPDATE: "It puts us on the map" - Condor set to run new high-speed ferries from Poole

Condor ferries set to run new ferries from Poole

Condor ferries set to run new ferries from Poole

First published in News
Last updated

CONDOR Ferries has confirmed that it will run its new high-speed ferries from Poole from next spring.

Its new larger high-speed ferry, the Austal 102, will sail from its new base instead of Weymouth’s Port which was deemed unsuitable and requiring millions of pounds worth of investment to make it viable.

However, Condor has said that the arrangement with Poole Harbour is a “medium-term” arrangement to allow Weymouth and Portland Borough Council time to outline its plans for the port.

Condor will still operate the Vitesse vessel from Weymouth until Easter next year.

The Austal will replace the Vitesse and Condor Express on a single sailing from UK to the Channel Islands.

The latest acquisition to the Condor fleet follows a £50million investment by the company and will come into service in spring 2015.

James Fulford, Condor chief executive, said: “I am delighted to announce that we are now proud owners of the Austal 102. “This represents £50m of investment in our Islands and it will enable us to improve reliability, increase capacity, and give our guests a much greater level of comfort.

“We plan to introduce the 102 in spring 2015 and, in the months ahead, we will be sharing more details about this superb new ship and announcing ways in which Islanders can be involved in our preparations.”

Mr Fulford added: “Poole is a modern and well-connected port, well-liked by our customers.

“We recognise that this is disappointing news for Weymouth. However, given the need for berth improvements and an Environmental Impact Assessment, Weymouth is not currently in a position to accommodate the 102.

“Reaching a medium-term arrangement with Poole will give certainty to our customers, our Islands, and Poole Harbour Commissioners, whilst also allowing enough time for Weymouth & Portland Borough Council to establish their long term plans for their port.

“We will continue to operate Condor Vitesse from Weymouth until spring 2015, when we introduce the 102.”

Jim Stewart, chief executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners, said they are pleased that Condor Ferries will be operating their new Austal 102 fast craft from Poole next spring.

He added: “The port has been providing high levels of service to Condor Ferries for the past twenty years and we look forward to operating as the exclusive fast ferry UK port for Channel Island services.

“It is also very good news for the local economy and Poole businesses will benefit from the additional sailings and customers that the new ferry will bring.

“We look forward to working closely with Condor Ferries to ensure that the impressive new vessel is a great success for their customers and the region.”

Welcoming the announcement Roger Williams, president of Poole Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said the new arrangement will provide a boost for local businesses.

“It’s very good news for Poole,” he said.

“It puts us on the map and gives us greater visibility. It will bring more people to the area to access the Channel Islands and should increase footfall in the town.”

He added: “Although it is an interim measure hopefully it will stay for some time bringing more opportunities and more revenue to the town.”

Councillor Xena Dion, cabinet portfolio Holder for a Prosperous and Sustainable Poole, Borough of Poole, said: “The Condor Ferries’ new ship is fantastic news for Poole and its residents.

“The high speed service attracts people from considerable distances but we hope local people will also use it as much as they can.

“It is important to have a vibrant and thriving economy and this potential new service will provide a welcome boost to our town.” 

Comments (18)

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9:15am Wed 20 Aug 14

Townee says...

Great news for Poole, the only down side is the length of time it takes to get from the entrance to the harbour to the dock. This is the down side but then if you haven't got to travel to Weymouth then it's ok.
Great news for Poole, the only down side is the length of time it takes to get from the entrance to the harbour to the dock. This is the down side but then if you haven't got to travel to Weymouth then it's ok. Townee
  • Score: 22

9:21am Wed 20 Aug 14

bmthtony says...

Can Poole Harbour Commision now invest in improving the foot passenger experience? The prefab portacabins are way past their shelf life. If they want to encourage cruise liners and keep the new condor, they need to invest harbourside.
Can Poole Harbour Commision now invest in improving the foot passenger experience? The prefab portacabins are way past their shelf life. If they want to encourage cruise liners and keep the new condor, they need to invest harbourside. bmthtony
  • Score: 39

10:10am Wed 20 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

Very happy that they are staying in Poole and congratulations on the new ownership of the Austal, sure she will provide years of great service.
Very happy that they are staying in Poole and congratulations on the new ownership of the Austal, sure she will provide years of great service. FerryFan
  • Score: 19

10:14am Wed 20 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

bmthtony wrote:
Can Poole Harbour Commision now invest in improving the foot passenger experience? The prefab portacabins are way past their shelf life. If they want to encourage cruise liners and keep the new condor, they need to invest harbourside.
Does get a bit chocka as it is at present. Now Barfleur is as busy as she is of recent and is staying on, the new Condor vessel is a lot bigger, and will carry a lot more people.
[quote][p][bold]bmthtony[/bold] wrote: Can Poole Harbour Commision now invest in improving the foot passenger experience? The prefab portacabins are way past their shelf life. If they want to encourage cruise liners and keep the new condor, they need to invest harbourside.[/p][/quote]Does get a bit chocka as it is at present. Now Barfleur is as busy as she is of recent and is staying on, the new Condor vessel is a lot bigger, and will carry a lot more people. FerryFan
  • Score: 21

11:57am Wed 20 Aug 14

burgerboy says...

POOLE......ITS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.
One in the eye for the Weymouth whingers.......
Good on you Condor...you know it makes sense.
POOLE......ITS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE. One in the eye for the Weymouth whingers....... Good on you Condor...you know it makes sense. burgerboy
  • Score: 16

12:34pm Wed 20 Aug 14

thecurryman15 says...

Lets hope this 'new' 4 year old boat works well
Lets hope this 'new' 4 year old boat works well thecurryman15
  • Score: 14

1:36pm Wed 20 Aug 14

twynhamob says...

So Roger Williams thinks this will put Poole on the map. Where was it before? Is Poole getting a ferry for the very first time? Oh and just where will the passengers park their cars? and how many will even stop to look around town or spend money?
So Roger Williams thinks this will put Poole on the map. Where was it before? Is Poole getting a ferry for the very first time? Oh and just where will the passengers park their cars? and how many will even stop to look around town or spend money? twynhamob
  • Score: -21

1:43pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Tictock says...

Well done and an enhancement for Poole and Condor, just need to sort out the dockside facilities, the roads and the bridges/approach.
Well done and an enhancement for Poole and Condor, just need to sort out the dockside facilities, the roads and the bridges/approach. Tictock
  • Score: 15

1:51pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Local fan says...

Wonderful, great news.
Wonderful, great news. Local fan
  • Score: 15

3:00pm Wed 20 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

Be a large gathering at the Haven to see her come in - make her grand entrance!!
Be a large gathering at the Haven to see her come in - make her grand entrance!! FerryFan
  • Score: 16

4:46pm Wed 20 Aug 14

TheDistrict says...

At this time this not a permanent fixture. There is a possibility that Austal may go back to Weymouth. Personally, although good for Poole, why Condor could not have paid for Pier 1 to be improved at Weymouth and paid part or all of the £10 required. It would be advantageous to them.
At this time this not a permanent fixture. There is a possibility that Austal may go back to Weymouth. Personally, although good for Poole, why Condor could not have paid for Pier 1 to be improved at Weymouth and paid part or all of the £10 required. It would be advantageous to them. TheDistrict
  • Score: -16

4:58pm Wed 20 Aug 14

billy bumble says...

The right decision

Weymouth was out on a limb as far as access is concerned - and in any event it's a family holiday resort - and should stay that way
The right decision Weymouth was out on a limb as far as access is concerned - and in any event it's a family holiday resort - and should stay that way billy bumble
  • Score: 10

4:58pm Wed 20 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

burgerboy wrote:
POOLE......ITS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.
One in the eye for the Weymouth whingers.......
Good on you Condor...you know it makes sense.
I can't help but wonder though how many people on here would be doing the same if it was Weymouth that had got the nod, expect there would be plenty who would be upset and annoyed here and plenty of likewise posts! Best try and be sensitive to the feelings of those along the coast, it might well have been us. Yes there are whingers but there would be here too if the boot was on the other foot.

It is not a permanent arrangement - and anything can happen in the future. Been a long time of uncertainty, now people can put their feet up.
[quote][p][bold]burgerboy[/bold] wrote: POOLE......ITS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE. One in the eye for the Weymouth whingers....... Good on you Condor...you know it makes sense.[/p][/quote]I can't help but wonder though how many people on here would be doing the same if it was Weymouth that had got the nod, expect there would be plenty who would be upset and annoyed here and plenty of likewise posts! Best try and be sensitive to the feelings of those along the coast, it might well have been us. Yes there are whingers but there would be here too if the boot was on the other foot. It is not a permanent arrangement - and anything can happen in the future. Been a long time of uncertainty, now people can put their feet up. FerryFan
  • Score: -12

6:56pm Wed 20 Aug 14

BIGTONE says...

Very well done PHC.
Very well done PHC. BIGTONE
  • Score: 10

7:53pm Wed 20 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

Love the thumbs down on what is actually meant to be a helpful comment!!
Love the thumbs down on what is actually meant to be a helpful comment!! FerryFan
  • Score: -1

8:20pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Me-in-Bmth says...

Apart from the obvious answers of having the use of your own transport at your destination, and the limits on baggage weights; I cannot understand why people don't fly to the Channel Islands, and vice-versa. Flying takes a fraction of the time, and you bypass the chance of feeling really sick in bad weather.

As most of Poole's residents seem to be '20 something' single Mums, with a penchant for cheap cigarettes and swearing, I hope Condor will be advertising their new ship nation wide. My very best wishes though, and good luck.
Apart from the obvious answers of having the use of your own transport at your destination, and the limits on baggage weights; I cannot understand why people don't fly to the Channel Islands, and vice-versa. Flying takes a fraction of the time, and you bypass the chance of feeling really sick in bad weather. As most of Poole's residents seem to be '20 something' single Mums, with a penchant for cheap cigarettes and swearing, I hope Condor will be advertising their new ship nation wide. My very best wishes though, and good luck. Me-in-Bmth
  • Score: -4

9:10pm Wed 20 Aug 14

justme20092009 says...

now reopen the railway line to poole harbur so people using the train dont need ti use rip off taxis from the station who in the holidays take people the long route round
now reopen the railway line to poole harbur so people using the train dont need ti use rip off taxis from the station who in the holidays take people the long route round justme20092009
  • Score: 8

9:33pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Benagain says...

Me-in-Bmth wrote:
Apart from the obvious answers of having the use of your own transport at your destination, and the limits on baggage weights; I cannot understand why people don't fly to the Channel Islands, and vice-versa. Flying takes a fraction of the time, and you bypass the chance of feeling really sick in bad weather.

As most of Poole's residents seem to be '20 something' single Mums, with a penchant for cheap cigarettes and swearing, I hope Condor will be advertising their new ship nation wide. My very best wishes though, and good luck.
The advantages over flying are many. You can take your car and as much luggage as you wish. Also you are able to carry anything you like in your bag or pockets. If you want to eat there is an extensive menu to choose from.
To me, the biggest advantage is that you don't have to remove most of your outer clothing including shoes and belt before you can get on board.
[quote][p][bold]Me-in-Bmth[/bold] wrote: Apart from the obvious answers of having the use of your own transport at your destination, and the limits on baggage weights; I cannot understand why people don't fly to the Channel Islands, and vice-versa. Flying takes a fraction of the time, and you bypass the chance of feeling really sick in bad weather. As most of Poole's residents seem to be '20 something' single Mums, with a penchant for cheap cigarettes and swearing, I hope Condor will be advertising their new ship nation wide. My very best wishes though, and good luck.[/p][/quote]The advantages over flying are many. You can take your car and as much luggage as you wish. Also you are able to carry anything you like in your bag or pockets. If you want to eat there is an extensive menu to choose from. To me, the biggest advantage is that you don't have to remove most of your outer clothing including shoes and belt before you can get on board. Benagain
  • Score: 3

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