New Condor ferry arrives in Europe ahead of commencing Channel Islands sailings

The Condor Islander received its new paint job in New Zealand before traveling to Europe via the Panama Canal and Atlantic Ocean. Credit: Condor Ferries

Condor Ferries' new flagship, the Islander, has arrived in Europe after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.

The 13,000-tonne ship is now docked in the Spanish port of Santander, on its way to begin regular sailings between the UK, France and the Channel Islands in the autumn.

Since it was first constructed in 2005, the ferry has operated as the MS Dueodde in Denmark and MV Straitsman in New Zealand.

The newly-renamed Condor Islander has already crossed the Atlantic and navigated the Panama Canal, and is now expected to head to the south coast of England, where the ship will remain in dry dock for two months before commencing sailings.

Condor Ferries' CEO, John Napton, explained why: "We need to make a number of alterations to the ship from its current use with a domestic operator – and a maximum four-hour travel time – to one suitable for international transit journeys of more than eight hours, so there are different requirements involved.

"Changes will also include installing a duty-free retail shop which is not currently available."

After leaving dry dock, the ship will undergo berthing trials in Portsmouth, Jersey, Guernsey and St Malo, ahead of it entering service later this year.

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