Condor plans to replace the Rapide by 2021.
The ferry company says it will begin the process of designing a new vessel next year, hoping to have the Rapide's replacement operating the French route in four years' time.
A spokesperson for the ferry company said: "We have not started the work to replace Condor Rapide but this process will start in 2018. We will look at the design, specification and requirements of a new vessel based on a whole number of factors and when this has been completed, the ship will be built. As mentioned, she would enter service and replace Rapide in 2021."
Condor's Comprehensive Service Review published last November suggested that the "Condor Rapide should be replaced with a vessel which will enable the continued provision of high speed passenger and car services between the Channel Islands and France."
This news comes after the Ports of Jersey’s first annual report revealed that, by the end of 2016, the number of passengers travelling by boat decreased by over 104,000.
This figure equates to a 14% decrease on the previous year as 2015’s 772,445 sea passengers fell to 667,638 in 2016.
The report indicates that it was the inter-island route which took the biggest hit after suffering a 30% decrease in passengers. The number of passengers travelling the UK and French routes reduced by 15% and 7% respectively.
The Ports of Jersey attribute the sailing slump to "reliability concerns on our main ferry routes". Later on in the report, it goes onto say that "however, the early part of 2017 has seen improvements in schedule performance, along with encouraging indications of increasing passenger volumes."
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