Condor Ferries sells Express and Vitesse to Greek firm

Condor Express (top) and Condor Vitesse
Image caption The company has blamed the age of its vessels for intermittent breakdowns

Two of the ferries operating from the Channel Islands have been sold and will be replaced by a single larger vessel.

The Condor Express and Condor Vitesse currently operate between Guernsey, Jersey and the UK.

The vessels, built in Tasmania in 1997 and 1998, have been sold to Greek firm Seajets for an undisclosed sum.

They will be replaced on the service by a £50m Austal-class vessel, which was bought earlier this year, and has yet to be given a name.

Due to the size of the vessel, known as Condor 102, the company will no longer sail to Weymouth and will only go to Poole.

The 102m (335ft) vessel can carry up to 880 passengers and 245 vehicles, compared to the current fast ferries with capacity for up to 741 passengers and 175 vehicles each.

Image copyright Austal
Image caption The new vessel can carry more passengers and more vehicles than the company's current fast ferries

The company said the Vitesse would be delivered to its new owner at the end of February, while Condor Express would remain on standby with Condor Ferries until the successful introduction of Condor 102 on the Channel Islands-to-UK route.

Captain Fran Collins, executive director of operations, said: "Condor Vitesse and Express have served our customers extremely well over the years and we shall be sorry to say goodbye to them.

"We are very excited with the excellent progress being made on the final fit-out of Condor 102 and look forward to introducing her to the islands in March.

"Until then, we will operate our normal winter schedule between the Islands and the UK."

The company's other fast ferry, the Condor Rapide, will continue to operate between the islands and St Malo.

Condor Ferries is the only firm operating a passenger service between Guernsey, Jersey, the UK and France.

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