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Condor's new ferry glides into Poole on Boxing Day

The new arrival will sail to the Channel Islands Credit: Condor Ferries

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.


Union to stage protest over ferry worker wages

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.

"Condor Ferries respects the right of RMT members to protest in a peaceful and nondisruptive manner.

"However, we do not agree with their point of view. Condor Ferries is a diligent and concerned employer and we take care that all our employees are trained to the highest standards, work in safe conditions and receive competitive wages.

"90% of our crew are from the EU and paid accordingly, however a small minority of crew who live aboard our conventional freight ferries are recruited from Ukraine - a highly regarded seafaring nation.

The rate of pay referred to only applies to 14 entry level crew members and we are concerned that the situation is being distorted for political reasons.

"The pay, terms and conditions for all employees meet or exceed all the requirements of international employment regulations and worker protection, and many crew members return to work year after year, in preference to other employment opportunities.

– Condor Ferries spokesperson

Ferry firm welcomes harbour wall repair plans

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 is pleased that Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has decided to approve the plan to go ahead with the works to repair the harbour wall.

“We will continue to liaise closely with the Council to confirm the timescales of the work involved. This is an important step toward the long term aim of developing Weymouth as the gateway to the Channel Islands, with the appropriate modern port facilities.

“It is our long term intention to return to operating regular sailings from Weymouth, once the works to restore the ferry port have been completed.”

– Captain Fran Collins, Operations Director, Condor Ferries

Twenty-five years since firm's first ferry crossing to Channel Islands

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.