Latest Condor Ferries News

24 July 2014 - Jersey Press Release

Condor Ferries offers incentive to encourage caravan and motorhome owners to return to the Islands next year

Condor Ferries is offering caravan or motorhome owners affected by the disruption this summer a £100 credit against a future booking to stay in the Islands to encourage their return to Jersey and Guernsey next year. The offer has been put in place to recognise the particular disruption which owners of these large vehicles have faced as a result of limited capacity on the high speed ferries.

 

A specialist Condor team is contacting all guests individually who have booked to travel this year on Commodore Clipper with large vehicles, including caravans and motorhomes.

 

The majority have been transferred to the fast ferry sailings from Weymouth or Poole. In a small number of cases, where the caravans or motorhomes are too large or heavy for the fast ferries, these guests have been offered the option to travel on its freight service, Commodore Goodwill. Other caravan and motorhome guests are travelling with alternative ferry companies to France and then back to the Islands via St Malo at Condor Ferries’ expense.

 

At this time of year Condor would expect to carry around 10-15 large caravans and motorhomes a week. Condor has already successfully managed to accommodate the majority of these and continues to find solutions for a final few customers. Unfortunately a small number of customers have elected to cancel their trip, all of which have been fully refunded. They will also be eligible for the £100 voucher.

 

Each booking takes time to rearrange and Condor is grateful for the patience of customers whilst our team manage this process.

 

Condor has received reassurances from the Department of the Environment that if the dates of permits issued to holidaymakers do not tie-in with the dates of arrival and departure, due to the travel delays, this will not cause any issues.

 

 

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24 July 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release

Condor announces freight charter vessel

Condor Ferries has announced its plans to support freight customers and guests in the coming weeks following the incident on 14 July when Commodore Clipper made contact with the sea bottom in the Little Russel en-route to Guernsey.

 

Following a worldwide search, the company has secured a charter freight vessel to continue to keep the Islands connected and supplied while Clipper is in dry dock until 26 August. The vessel will operate on the route between Portsmouth and Guernsey, allowing Commodore Goodwill to be primarily focused on servicing Jersey, also calling at Guernsey as required. The plan is for ‘MN Toucan’, a ro-ro cargo ship, to begin by collecting empty trailers in Guernsey on Tuesday morning (29 July), before returning to Portsmouth that evening to collect full trailers for the Island.

 

The company has also launched a dedicated Twitter feed (@clipperupdate), which will keep itsfreight customers updated with the latest movements of the Toucan and its freight-only ship ‘Commodore Goodwill’, and on-going updates with the works underway on Clipper.

 

Chief Executive at Condor Ferries, James Fulford, said: “We are completely committed to keeping our Islands connected and supplied via the lifeline service which we are privileged to provide.

 

“We are very pleased today be able to announce this initial charter solution, which will come into service very quickly, making a substantial contribution to easing the supply chain challenges. MN Toucan will work with the Commodore Goodwill in transporting freight between the UK and Channel Islands.

 

“Our fleet management teams have been working around the clock to secure the vessel. We are continuing to work very closely with our freight customers, along with our colleagues at all the ports we operate from, and would like to thank them for their support over the last week.

 

“Over and above this initial solution, we will work with our freight customers to review the arrangements we have in place to protect the supply chain capacity to our Islands. We are working hard to ensure that all food and priority items continue to be shipped on the day presented, and other items continue to be shipped normally within 2-3 days.

 

“Operating ships from the Channel Islands presents particular challenges in terms of the sea conditions and the characteristics of the historic ports. Combined with the decline in shipping and small ships worldwide, this means there are very few ships which are compatible with our Islands’ needs. As a result it has not been possible to secure a direct replacement for Clipper which combines passengers and freight. However, three extra fast ferry services have been scheduled to provide extra capacity.”

 

Commodore Goodwill provided an extra sailing last Sunday (20 July), which allowed freight backlogs to be cleared. Another additional sailing will be scheduled for this Sunday, to help to continue timely shipments of all freight presented at Portsmouth.

 

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22 July 2014 - General Press Release

Advice for passengers rebooking

We’re very sorry that your sailing has been disrupted as a result of the problems with our Clipper service. This information sheet tells you how we’ll help to rearrange your travel.

 

Our customer service team are working through bookings in date order and will be in touch with you very soon.

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21 July 2014 - Ferry News

Commodore Clipper – Update 21 July

Condor Ferries has announced its plans to support guests and freight customers in the coming weeks following the incident on 14 July when Commodore Clipper made contact with the sea bottom in the Little Russel en-route to Guernsey.


Complex repairs are required. These are being carried out in dry dock in Falmouth, meaning that Clipper is now expected to be out of service until 26 August 2014. Until then, Condor will transfer Clipper passengers onto its high speed ferries and put in place a charter solution specifically for its freight customers, the details of which will be announced in the coming days.


The company is liaising with key freight customers to ensure that the interim schedule being operated by its freight-only vessel, ‘Goodwill’, continues to keep the Islands supplied with essential goods. Goodwill provided an extra sailing on Sunday 20 July which allowed backlogs to be cleared. All food and priority items continue to be shipped on the day presented, and other items continue to be shipped normally within 2-3 days.
Condor has also announced that it will operate three extra sailings over the period from Weymouth to provide extra capacity for passengers; this is in addition to the 14 weekly sailings which operate during the summer holidays. As a result, there is sufficient capacity to accommodate all guests who were booked to travel on Commodore Clipper, and all affected guests are being contacted and offered alternative sailings on the high speed ferries.


CEO James Fulford said “We are completely committed to keeping our Islands connected and supplied via the lifeline service which we provide. Our staff are working around the clock both to minimise disruption for our customers and to put in place the most robust contingency arrangements as our top priority.”


“Our Fleet Management team is working around the clock to secure the very best freight charter solution as early as we can. I hope to announce this imminently.”


“Operating ships from the Channel Islands presents particular challenges in terms of the sea conditions and the characteristics of the historic ports. Combined with the decline in shipping and small ships worldwide, this means there are very few ships which are compatible with our Islands’ needs. As a result it has not been possible to secure a direct replacement for Clipper which combines passengers and freight.”


“I would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we work our way through the rebooking process, prioritising those travelling soonest. I’d also like to pay tribute to the dry dock team in Falmouth who are working 24 hours a day to repair Clipper to the highest possible standard and to our teams helping freight customers and our guests rearrange their travel plans.”


The incident remains the subject of an investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. As is standard in this process, the Master involved is contributing to the investigation. Whilst the quasi-judicial process is underway, Condor will not be commenting or speculating on the cause of the incident.

 

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17 July 2014 - Ferry News

Commodore Clipper - Update 17 July

Commodore Clipper is now in Dry Dock in Falmouth for further investigations and repairs following the incident on Monday 14th July. As a result of preliminary investigations with the ship now out of the water, the indications are that the damage is worse than originally hoped and regrettably all Commodore Clipper services up to 27th July are cancelled.


A specialist team is working to implement our contingency plan and bring the ship back into service as swiftly as possible.


Whilst this team works on detailed plans, we are unable to confirm dates for her return to service but an update will be made by 4pm, Monday 21st July. This will give full details of the repair timescale as well as options for those expecting to travel on the ship in the intervening period.


Commodore Goodwill is delivering all essential freight promptly and transporting less urgent freight within 2 days. Fast ferry services continue to operate as scheduled.


James Fulford, Chief Executive, Condor Ferries said:


“I’d like to apologise for the inconvenience and concern that our passengers will feel and to reassure people that we are working tirelessly to resolve this situation. We would like to thank you for your patience and to reassure you that there is sufficient capacity to accommodate you on our fast ferries to get you to your destination.


“We have teams in place who are contacting customers and although we know the uncertainty is difficult please try not to call us but wait for our teams to contact you.


“Please may I ask those booked to travel on Commodore Clipper after 27th July not to contact us now but to await the update on Monday after which, if necessary, we will contact you directly.”


Condor Ferries continues to cooperate fully with the all official investigations and it is inappropriate to comment or speculate on the cause of the incident, or outcome of the investigations.

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15 July 2014 - Ferry News

Commodore Clipper - Update 1100

Yesterday afternoon (Monday 14 July) we believe that the Commodore Clipper made contact with the sea bed in the Small Russel en-route to Guernsey.

She is safely alongside in St Peter Port where a thorough survey is taking place to assess her condition.

We are implementing a contingency plan to minimise disruption to our freight customers and guests to protect the life line services to the Islands. Services between Portsmouth and the Islands have been cancelled for the remainder of the week and guests booked are being contacted and offered a refund or alternative travel. Our specialist freight teams are contacting their customers individually.

All High Speed ferries and Commodore Goodwill services will continue to operate and guests due to travel on these services should check in as usual.

 

For further information on rescheduled sailings visit www.condorferries.com.

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15 July 2014 - Ferry News

Commodore Clipper Update 1430

Yesterday afternoon (Monday 14 July) we believe that the Commodore Clipper made contact with the sea bed in the Small Russel en-route to Guernsey.

She is safely alongside in St Peter Port where a thorough survey of the hull is taking place.  When the necessary permissions have been acquired she will depart for Falmouth this afternoon where she will undergo repair in dry dock.  We will then be able to provide a realistic return to service date.  Latest indications are that this is now unlikely to be before the end of next week (26th July). 

In order to keep guest and freight customer disruption to a minimum, services have been rescheduled up to Saturday 19th July.  For further information please visit www.condorferries.com. Those affected will be individually contacted and offered alternative travel options or a full refund. 

 All High Speed ferries and Commodore Goodwill services will continue to operate and guests due to travel on these services should check in as usual.

Guests travelling beyond Saturday 19th July will be updated on Thursday 17th July at 12:00 after further assessments have been made in dry dock.

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14 July 2014 - Ferry News

Clipper Incident - Update 20:00

Earlier this afternoon (Monday 14 July) we believe that the Commodore Clipper made contact with the sea bed in the Small Russel en-route to Guernsey.

She is safely afloat alongside in St Peter Port having initially berthed safely, and then moved under her own steam to an alternative berth in the harbour to allow for other port movements.  There were no injuries and all passengers have now safely disembarked.

Following a preliminary inspection, Commodore Clipper is undergoing a thorough survey to assess her condition.

We anticipate running a revised timetable for the rest of this week.

Guests who were due to travel this evening from Guernsey to Jersey have disembarked in Guernsey and have been provided with food and accommodation at Condor Ferries’ expense in local hotels.  They will be offered alternative travel to Jersey on the fast ferry or a refund.  Guests who were due to travel from Guernsey and Jersey to the UK tonight on the Clipper are being offered a refund or alternative travel on high speed services into Weymouth, and Condor will meet the costs of their onward travel to Portsmouth if required.  Guests booked for the rest of the week are being contacted and offered a refund or alternative travel.  Our specialist freight teams are contacting their customers individually.

The High Speed and Commodore Goodwill services will continue to operate and guests due to travel on these services should check in as usual.

 

14 July 2014 - Ferry News

Commodore Clipper incident

Earlier this afternoon (Monday 14 July 2014) the Commodore Clipper is believed to have made contact with the sea bottom in the Small Russel en-route to Guernsey.

 

She is now safely alongside in St Peter Port.  All passengers and crew are safe and there are no injuries.

 

So that we can investigate any damage, we have suspended the Clipper timetable for 24 hours.  Guests due to travel from Guernsey to Jersey or onward to Portsmouth overnight tonight are being contacted by our customer services team to rearrange their travel.  Freight customers are also being personally contacted.

 

The High Speed and Commodore Goodwill services will continue to operate and guests due to travel on these services should check in as usual.

 

The next update will be at 2000.