(Commodore Clipper, Commodore Goodwill. The Goodwills service is extended to St Malo at the weekends)
(seasonal service operated by Commodore Clipper and primarily aimed at the caravan market)
Condor Ferries Fleet
HSC Condor Express - Condor Express was built in 1996 at the Incat Yards in Tasmania, Australia for use by Condor Ferries then joint owned by Commodore Shipping of Guernsey and Holyman. Condor Express was the first of a series of four 86m catamarans.
Condor Express arrived in her home waters from her builders in January 1997 and was opened to the public in Poole before taking up service between Weymouth and the Channel Islands later that month replacing Condor 12. On 1 March 1997 Condor Express opened the Poole-Channel Islands service for Condor Ferries after operating what was planned to be the last sailing from Weymouth for the company the day before. As part of a bid to improve the ferry further as part of the tender agreement Condor Express and her sister Condor Vitesse were fitted with a Club Lounge and an area of reclining seats.
Condor Express received an updated version of the Condor Ferries livery in 2003. In August 2005 Condor Express briefly ran on the Brittany Ferries Poole-Cherbourg service. She had been experiencing technical problems and so the Condor Vitesse was transferred to the more taxing Channel Islands service. During this time Condor Express did not sail to St Malo instead running an afternoon roundtrip to Cherbourg to ensure she would return to Poole in time for the 07:30 Brittany Ferries departure time. Condor Express ran once again for Brittany Ferries on 19 May 2008.
HSC Condor Vitesse - The HSC Condor Vitesse is a 86m fast catamaran ferry operated by Condor Ferries. Condor Vitesse was built in 1997 at the Incat Yards in Tasmania, Australia as Incat 044 but was not ordered by any ferry company. She was sent to Europe and arrived in July 1997 in Portland and was later moved to Århus, Denmark. By moving the vessel to Europe, Incat hoped that she would attract a buyer. In late 1997 Condor Ferries announced that they would again run services from Weymouth in 1998. The service was to operate to Guernsey and St Malo using the Condor 10 but in March 1998 Condor Ferries announced they would charter the Incat 044 and rename her Condor Vitesse for the new service.
The charter had the option to purchase which was later taken up. She returned to Europe for the summer to continue operating for Condor Ferries. In 2001 Condor Ferries and Brittany Ferries entered into an agreement to run a Poole-Cherbourg fastcraft service. Condor Vitesse was chosen for this service, possibly because of her French sounding name, and she began sailing on the route in May 2001 as well as operating for Condor Ferries in the afternoon between Poole and St Malo calling at one of the Channel Islands on the way. The fastcraft service was great success carrying double what was predicted. The summer operation pattern of a morning round trip between Poole and Cherbourg then an afternoon round trip to St Malo continues to this day. In 2003 her livery was modified with the application of the new Condor Ferries and Brittany Ferries logos, it was altered again in 2007 when three flags were painted on the ships side forward of the bridge. The flags are those of Jersey, Guernsey and St Malo. Condor Vitesse was holed after colliding with the jetty in St Malo on March 22nd 2008.
HSC Condor 10 - The HSC Condor 10 is a 74m fast catamaran ferry operated by Condor Ferries. Condor 10 was built in 1992 at the Incat Yards in Tasmania, Australia as Condor Ten but was renamed Condor 10 shortly after. She entered service with Condor Ferries between Weymouth and the Channel Islands in April 1993 replacing the smaller passenger only Condor 9. With Condor 10 Condor Ferries captured a significant share of the Channel Island passenger market which resulted in the closure and sale of British Channel Island Ferries which operated from Poole in 1994.
After 1999 Condor 10's place on the Lynx service was taken by Condor Vitesse. After her service on the Interisland Line she was briefly chartered by TT-Line for service between Devonport and Melbourne after the M/S Spirit of Tasmania was forced to be laid up for repairs due to fuel contamination after which Condor 10 was laid up at the Incat Yards in Hobart in 1999.
After years of lay up Condor 10 was refurbished in 2002 for use once again by Condor Ferries, she was delivered to them in Poole where she was prepared for service. She was placed on the St Malo-Channel Islands run replacing the Condor 9 once again. Condor's use of the Condor 10 on the St Malo-Channel Islands route and their aggressive marketing and fare structure for the service was one of the reasons for the decline of Emeraude Ferries which eventually closed down. Condor 10 remains on the St Malo-Channel Islands service to this day but can occasionally be seen in Weymouth when she is laid up for the winter, her place taken by one of the larger Condor fastcraft.
Commodore Clipper - Built in 1999 this is Condor's only standard ROro ferry.
Condor Ferries History
Condor Ferries established the first high speed car ferry service to the Channel Islands from Weymouth in 1993 using the 74m Incat catamaran Condor 10. In the winter of 1993/1994 Condor's parent company, Commodore Shipping took over British Channel Island Ferries (BCIF) which operated conventional ferry services to the Channel Islands from Poole. Upon taking over BCIF Condor moved all passenger services to Weymouth and the BCIF freight service was transferred to Commodore Shipping. The BCIF vessel Havelet ran a conventional ferry service from Weymouth from 1994 alongside the Condor 10.
The 1994 season was the Condor 10's last on the Weymouth-Channel Island route, as she was replaced in March 1995 by the larger 78m Incat Condor 11 but her introduction was delayed when the vessel grounded during the sea trials off Tasmania. Condor 11 was travelling at 36 knots and under the command of Incat managing Director Robert Clifford when she struck Black Jack Reef some 12 miles off Hobart on 9 October 1994. Between March and May 1995 the Weymouth service was operated by the chartered Seacat Isle of Man. The Condor 11 finally entered service on the 18 May 1995, she was used for one season on the route before being redeployed to Cat-Link in Denmark.
Condor's next vessel was the Condor 12 a 81m Incat which ran between Weymouth and the Channel Islands for the 1996 season. Condor 12 was redeployed to Holymans new Ramsgate-Ostend service and renamed Holyman Rapide.
1996 was the last year that the Havelet remained in regular service with the company. In 1997 Condor 12 and Havelet places on the Channel Island run was taken by another Incat this time a 86m design which was named Condor Express.
In March 1997 Condor moved its UK port to Poole. The Condor Express suffered technical problems that led to late-running services. As a result the Channel Island governments put the licence to operate ferry services to the UK out to tender. P&O European Ferries and Hoverspeed placed bids to run the service but ultimately Condor retained the licence but were forced to purchase the Havelet to act as all weather backup until the delivery of a new conventional vessel in 1999. They also purchased the Condor Vitesse for a new service to St Malo via Guernsey and made Weymouth their primary UK port but retained summer sailings from Poole. Commodore Shipping became sole owners of the company around this time.
In 1999 the Commodore Clipper was delivered to Commodore Ferries and replaced a freight ferry Island Commodore. The new Commodore Clipper was able to replace the Havelet as all weather backup for the fast craft as she had space for 500 passengers.
The outbound Condor ferry passes through Poole Harbour, Dorset, England, in 2002Condor 10 returned to the fleet in March 2002 to replace the Condor 9 on the St Malo - Channel Island service and fully compete with the existing fast car ferry service of Emeraude Lines. Later that year the Commodore Group, which included Condor Ferries, Commodore Ferries and Commodore Express, was sold to a management buy-out team for a reported £150 million. The deal was backed by ABN AMRO. Shortly after the Condor Ferries logo was redesigned for the start of the 2003 season using the same font as the logo Brittany Ferries had adopted in 2002. In 2004 the group was rebranded with Commodore Ferries coming under the Condor Ferries name and Commodore Express becoming Condor Logistics. The group was sold once again in 2004 to the Royal Bank of Scotland's venture capital arm for £240 million.
On 10 December 2007 the Commodore Goodwill struck the entrance to La Collette yacht basin in St Helier harbour due to a combination of high winds and bow thruster failure. One of the vessels propellers was damaged and the ship was sent to Falmouth for the damaged part to be removed to return the ship to service as soon as possible in the run up to Christmas. On 13 December 2007 the Brittany Ferries freight vessel Coutances was chartered to temporarily take the Commodore Goodwills place.
Condor Ferries - Related and Alternative Ferry Companies