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WATCH: Smooth sailing for 157-metre Barfleur in berthing trial

WATCH: Smooth sailing for 157-metre Barfleur in berthing trial

Tuesday 26 March 2024

WATCH: Smooth sailing for 157-metre Barfleur in berthing trial

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Islanders gathered at the Albert Pier and Elizabeth Terminal this morning to watch a huge Brittany Ferries passenger ship – larger than any vessel in Condor’s fleet – carry out a berthing trial in St Helier Harbour.

Plumes of smoke filled the air as two tugs – Mercia and Handfast – helped guide the 157 metre-long ship in across calm waters.

Just weeks after it was announced that Condor’s CEO, John Napton, was being replaced on an interim basis by Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu, the vessel, Barfleur, pulled alongside at the west berth by the Elizabeth Terminal.

WATCH: The huge Brittany Ferries passenger ship is larger than any vessel in Condor’s fleet. 

Some islanders watched from their cars outside the terminal, while others gathered along the Albert Pier.

Ports of Jersey employees could be seen at the west berth to greet Barfluer, as Mercia pulled away from the stern to join Handfast alongside the vessel – slowly nudging it into position.

The ship currently operates up to two crossings daily between Poole and Cherbourg, carrying up to 900 passengers and 590 cars.

The vessel dwarfs the 102-metre Condor Liberation, which has capacity for 880 passengers and 245 cars.

Condor Voyager is 97 metres long and has space for 850 passengers and 235 cars, while the 129-metre Commodore Clipper has space for just 300 passengers and 100 cars.


Pictured: Two tugs helped to guide Barfleur alongside the west berth during the berthing trial this morning.

Barfleur was built at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Finland and entered service in April 1992.

It is shorter than the 162-metre cargo ship Finlandia Seaways, which last year became the largest vessel ever to berth in Jersey.

In a statement, Ports of Jersey said that Brittany Ferries, which is a shareholder of Condor Ferries, was undertaking the trial “as part of its own business continuity plans”.

Condor’s current operating agreement with Jersey expires next year, with Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel recently confirming the Government was still “working towards agreement with a ferry operator beyond 2025”.


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