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Condor splashes out on Clipper-like new passenger and freight ferry

Condor splashes out on Clipper-like new passenger and freight ferry

Wednesday 08 March 2023

Condor splashes out on Clipper-like new passenger and freight ferry

Wednesday 08 March 2023

Jersey's main ferry provider has purchased a new passenger and freight vessel, which is due to enter service on its UK, French and inter-island routes this autumn.

Condor said the acquisition of the 125m long 'MV Straitsman' - currently operating in New Zealand - follows a year-long search for a vessel that would help "provide resilience, add capacity and improve connectivity" on key routes.

CEO John Napton commented: "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.

"We have been interested in purchasing another vessel for a while and would have already done so had it not been for the challenges caused by Covid and the limited availability of these size of vessels. This is a fundamentally important step in showing our commitment to the Islands and demonstrates we have listened to the needs of our clients and key stakeholders."

He added: "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. 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.

"There is considerable amount of work to be done before she enters service but this is very positive news for the islands."

The Straitsman was built in 2005 at the Dutch shipyard, Merwede BV, and has operated under different names in both Europe and New Zealand.

The ferry will be renamed and undertake berthing trials in Guernsey and Jersey later this year prior to her entry into regular service.


Name: MV Straitsman(to be re-named) 

Built: 2005 at Hardinxveld, Holland 

Size: 124.9m

Capacity: 400 passengers

Top speed: 18.5 knots StraitNZ

Condor's existing fleet: Commodore Clipper – freight and passengers, Commodore Goodwill – freight only, Condor Liberation – high-speed passenger ferry, Condor Voyager – high-speed passenger ferry

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Posted by Isabel Jeune on
I think Jersey should bring back the Weymouth route. It would benefit both Weymouth and Jersey. I know a lot of Islanders who miss this route, myself included.
Posted by Frustrated Islander on
Those of us that are a bit sceptical and have experienced Condor's service for many years would question the timing of this new vessel and the start of renewing their contract with the island for another 10 years. No doubt hoping we forget that they have left many islanders stranded and without a decent service for many years and without a much needed new vessel.

I am a little bit biased as a former member of the "frequent traveller club" on Condor who had to give up their home and holidays in France as the cost of getting there with a car became so excessive by Condor throughout the year, not just summer.
Posted by Denise Shrives on
Have I got this right ? Condor has bought a new Ferry which was registered in 2005, how can this ship be called new when it is 18 years old, how long will it be before it too is in and out of dry dock ? Also please Condor bring back the Weymouth service it is very missed and much needed.
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