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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Ferries cancelled due to bad weather.

Both High speed ferries to Weymouth cancelled following news of high winds and wave heights

Condor Ferries

 For sometime, I have been critical of the fast ferries operated by Condor on the Channel Island routes. Engine problems, delays and "high winds and wave heights exceeding limits", have frequently caused disruption to the service and frustration to the passengers.
In addition, when they do sail, the condition of the facilities on board are less than satisfactory,and as I wrote in "The terminal decline of tourism to Jersey ?"  (and in other blogs on related subjects) "....  the ships are generally grubby, the reclining seats  are mostly broken and remain un repaired, and Club Class travel now only provides complimentary coffee and a muffin, which has usually seen better days". ( 
All in all, the conditions, standards, quality and value of the on board facilities including the food is pretty poor.
With these latest cancellations wrecking the travel arrangements and no doubt spoiling Christmas for many people, there is surely, a reasonable argument for replacing these "wave piercers" with the conventional ferry, which will usually sail regardless of weather. Even James Fulford, Chief Executive of Condor Ferries says, “Our Commodore Clipper lifeline service is essential at times like this and we will be suggesting that affected passengers transfer to the Clipper".
The conventional ferry may be uncomfortable in rough seas, (we were on the very last scheduled sailing of the "Havelet" from Jersey and on that day it was very rough), but at least you will arrive reasonably close to the time that you had expected.
Jersey and Guernsey States, together with Condor, or even some other operator, should now seriously consider travel arrangements between the islands and the mainland and the replacement of existing "fast ferries" with traditional ships.