Condor 102 – the latest addition to the Condor Ferries fleet – arrived into the UK this morning, sailing into her UK base of Poole. The ship is the first of her kind in Northern Europe.
Watched by keen on-lookers and escorted by a tug, Condor 102,sailed past the Sandbanks peninsula and alongside Brownsea Island, before berthing at Poole Port.
The arrival concludes her long journey from Cebu in the Philippines, from where she departed on 4 December. During her 10,500 nautical mile journey she has sailed across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal and via the Mediterranean before travelling up the Bay of Biscay and into the English Channel. The new ship represents £50m of investment in the Channel Islands, securing the future of high speed ferry travel to the Islands.
Condor 102 will now go through a period of customisation in Poole with a full internal fit out completed by interior refurbishment specialists Trimline. She will also complete a series of sea trials in the UK and the Channel Islands before she officially comes into service in late March, sailing from Poole to Guernsey and Jersey.
A protest will be held in Portsmouth later against working practices at Condor Ferries. The RMT Union says some workers from the Ukraine are paid £2.35 an hour. The union says that amounts to 'poverty wages'. However the ferry firm says it abides by employment law.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has approved plans for works to repair the harbour wall at Weymouth. Earlier this year regular sailings by Condor Ferries were suspended after the quayside began to collapse.
The ferry firm has welcomed the move to approve the works.
Condor Ferries, based in Poole in Dorset is celebrating twenty-five years of sailing to the Channel Islands today. The captain of that first voyage will take part in a special crossing later.
The firm was founded in 1964 and originally carried passengers between France and the Channels Islands. Then in 1987 the company launched the first service linking the Channels Islands and the UK.
Police in Poole are asking for the public's help as they try to find a 39-year-old woman. Sarah Fenton, from Fishpond, Bristol, was last seen by her husband on Sunday as they travelled on a Condor Rapide ferry from Guernsey to Poole.