'Disruptive' dock workers put Condor under threat

Rebecca Thorn

BBC News

Condor Rapide

The head of Condor Ferries says a new company could be set up by mid-August to load and unload ships arriving at St Malo.

On Monday protesters stopped a Brittany Ferries boat from docking, actions which were described as "disruptive and unreasonable" by Condor.

Sailings to the French port were able to resume this month after being delayed on two occasions by strikes, but Condor said this weekend's departures were now "under review".

Chief executive Paul Luxon said those who need to get to France this weekend may need to consider going via the UK.

Whilst we continue to try and find a solution to allow us to sail to St Malo, we are left with no option but to explore the possibility of operating to another French port."

Elwyn DopCondor Operations Director

Nearly 2,000 people expected on Jersey-St Malo sailings

Rebecca Thorn

BBC News Online

Nearly 2,000 people are expected to travel between Jersey and St Malo this weekend, as the route restarts for the first time since March.

Condor Ferries said 1,240 passengers were due on board services to St Malo this weekend, with a further 508 people booked to arrive in Jersey from the French port.

On the first day of the sailings, 336 islanders will depart for St Malo, and 100 people will set sail for Jersey.

Condor had attempted to restart the service on two previous weekends amid the coronavirus pandemic, but were halted by industrial action from dock workers at St Malo's port.

Operations director for Condor Elwyn Dop said he was "delighted" for the sailings to recommence.

Condor to resume Jersey-St Malo sailings on Friday

Rebecca Thorn

BBC News Online

Condor Ferries will resume its sailings between Jersey and St Malo.

The company tried to restart the service on 3 July, but has been stalled twice due to industrial action by dock workers at the French port.

The route had been suspended since March due to the coronavirus crisis.

A spokesman for Condor said disputes at St Malo had been resolved during talks held this week, allowing the first sailing to go ahead on Friday.

Elwyn Dop, Condor’s operations director, said: "It has been, and still is, a really challenging time for us without any French services since March, so we are delighted we can commence our first high speed sailing to St Malo to coincide with the start of the school summer holidays."

The service will operate with a reduced capacity, and travellers will be required to wear face masks.

A weekly freight service between Portsmouth, the Channel Islands and St Malo will not resume this weekend while discussions continue, Condor said.

DFDS Amsterdam ferries resume

The DFDS ferry service between Newcastle and Amsterdam has resumed after a four month suspension caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The first vessel, the King Seaways, left Amsterdam last night arriving at North Shields at 09:00 today, from where it will make the return trip at 17:00.

The ferry
Aaron O'Roarty/NE Drones Aerial Photography

Photographer Aaron O-Roarty, who pictured the service's arrival, said the King Seaways and sister vessel Princess seaways have been the "lifeblood between the North East and Eruope for years".

DFDS said it has made many changes on board to comply with social-distancing guidelines and capacity will be "reduced tremendously".

Jersey and France to have meetings over stevedores strike

BBC Radio Jersey

Jersey representatives will meet officers in France on Wednesday in the hope of restarting ferry sailings to St Malo.

Crossings have been cancelled in recent weeks due to industrial action by stevedores at the French port.

External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said his team had been speaking to French officials.

Ferry company Condor said it was frustrated at the industrial action, and it hoped a new stevedore company could be found as soon as possible.

Ferry operator resumes service to Jersey

Rebecca Thorn

BBC News Online

The French ferry operator Manche Iles Express has announced it will resume services to Jersey from 18 July.

It follows the reopening of Jersey's borders to all travellers on 3 July.

All passengers must wear masks on board, and will be required to fill out a pre-registration form required by the States of Jersey prior to arriving in the island.

Sailings to Guernsey, Sark and Alderney remain suspended until 31 August, after the States of Guernsey announced it would not reopen its borders until 1 September at the earliest.

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Ferry passengers for France told to go via UK

BBC Radio Jersey

The head of Condor Ferries has suggested people in Jersey should travel to France via the UK, while industrial action in St Malo continues to cause uncertainty.

The ferry company has had to cancel sailings to the port again for this weekend.

Workers who handle luggage and freight walked out following the collapse of the company that serves the french port, leaving Condor unable to restart its route after lockdown.

CEO Paul Luxon hopes to begin sailings again next weekend, but says there are no guarantees.

Jersey's government says it's working with authorities in France to try to reopen the route.

It says Condor is considering asking passengers to carry their own luggage as an alternative.

Condor Ferries CEO

We are pushing hard. We want to be able to sail next weekend. We will work tirelessly to try and make sure that is the outcome we achieve, but we can't guarantee anything."

Paul LuxonCondor Ferries