Embarrassing start for new Condor fast ferry
UK ferry operator Condor Ferries biggest fast ferry yet, the 102m Australian-built trimaran Condor Liberation, has had a rather unfortunate start to her service career. Having made her maiden voyage from the south coast UK port of Poole to the Channel Island on 27 March, the £50m ferry had to be taken out of service two days later after damaging her hull after crashing into the quay wall while berthing, in high winds, in St. Peter Port, Guernsey on 29 March.
Damage was sustained to the vessel’s aluminium hull above the water line, in way of her protective belting. Condor Liberation, which can carry 880 passengers and 245 cars, returned to Poole for repairs which, according to Condor Ferries, would take ‘a couple of days.’ However, repairs are taking slightly longer and her sailings for 1 April have been cancelled. Passengers booked on the vessel have been transferred to the company’s much slower conventional Ro-Pax Commodore Clipper, which operates to the Channel Islands from Portsmouth, although the vessel has been operating out of Poole on 31 April, due to the hi passengers with cars booked on the fast ferry on the run up two the Easter holidays.
Condor Liberation is, currently, the only fast ferry operating between the UK mainland and the Channel Islands, following the sale of two smaller Condor fast ferries to Greek owners earlier this year.