Condor Ferries has stepped up its fast ferry service to France from Poole following the withdrawal of the Barfleur from the port.

The company has announced it has added more than 30 extra sailings to its summer schedule to St Malo.

Just a week before Christmas it was revealed that Brittany Ferries is to axe the Barfleur, cutting the year-round passenger ferry link to Cherbourg.

The route has been losing the company money for years and the ship will be withdrawn in the spring and not replaced.

Condor’s high-speed service takes five hours to cross the Channel to St Malo, which is known as the gateway to Western France.

Justin Amey from Condor Ferries said: “We have added over 30 extra sailings between Poole and St Malo for the summer months, giving customers a daily service to France this year.

“St Malo and Cherbourg are less than 85 miles apart and with the impressive road network in France, those wishing to holiday in Western France or travel further south can take advantage of our daily summer service.”

He said that since Brittany Ferries’ announcement there had been a rise in the number of customers booking summer trips with the company, which also sails from Weymouth.

“We hope that more locals will sail with us as Poole is such a convenient point of departure for the continent for anyone living in the Wessex region,” he said.

The Barfleur will cross from Poole to Cherbourg for the last time at the beginning of February and the Amorique will take over until March 8, when the service will be withdrawn.

Brittany Ferries will still offer a high-speed service on the Normandie Vitesse from May to September and the freight ferry Cotentin to Cherbourg and Santander, Spain.