Jump to content

CI Inter-Island Service


Recommended Posts

Yes you can fly but the fog tends to cause problems at certain times of the year.

Out of interest, the fast ferry to Alderney has just stopped running due to a lack of support from the States. But the company involved does seem to be interested in tendering for this new contract. Ed. 

Edited by Cabin-boy
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 116
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

It is reported that Manche Illes have won the tender

Aurigney already exist so why take time on a passenger only ferry. Also no way give it to Condor, no competition and they are not over popular over recent years.  

Right - those who are not interested in historic timetable data do not need to read this post.  But for those who are interested in the facts behind yesterday's discussion about the historic Sealink o

Posted Images

I always understood the deluxe Sealink British Ferries service from Portsmouth with Earl Granville and Earl William achieved a certain popularity as it offered a daytime call at Cherbourg while crossing direct overnight.  I assume it would have involved a measure of interisland connection but perhaps not as intensive as is now desired.  Even so I am surprised no-one has tried to revive it but leaving out Mr James Sherwood's deluxe elements.  However getting suitable ships might prove rather difficult!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes HT.  The daytime schedule was Portsmouth - Cherbourg - Guernsey - Jersey and vv, with direct Portsmouth - Jersey and vv crossings overnight. So Granville did a daily Guernsey - Jersey crossing and William did Jersey - Guernsey.

Meanwhile Godwin and Harold were providing Weymouth - Guernsey - Jersey Weymouth and vv rotations, so an additional inter-island service was provided each way by that pair.

So Sealink was providing two inter-island sailings each way per day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I have a vague recollection that the Weymouth operation at that time was daytime only, with no overnight crossings.  Can't remember whether both ships overnighted in Weymouth, with one going round the circuit one way and one going the other, or whether one of them spent the night in St Helier.  If it was the latter then it's possible the schedules were W - G - J - G - W and J - G -W - G - J.  If so there might have been 3 inter-island sailings by Sealink each way per day in total.  I'll check my records when I get a moment and let you know what the Weymouth schedules were.

Edited by Gareth
Link to post
Share on other sites

I must see if I still have a Sealink BF timetable to check up.  I used the crossing Ports-Cherbourg on the Granville a number of times and the William was always coming out of Cherbourg as we came in.  This would be early afternoon.  Thus it would seem each vessel performed a daily round trip between the islands -- the William in the morning and the Granville in the evening.  Then as has been rightly pointed there were the Weymouth ships.  Thus it would seem the Islanders were better provided for in terms of interisland travel and travel to the UK and French mainlands in Sealink days than now!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to spend time in Weymouth as a child and would walk down to the Portland side of the harbour in the mornings with my grandmother to get the paper and milk etc. I recall seeing the Sealink ferry in port regularly but don't remember seeing both at the same time. I don't think there would have been space and would not have made much sense. I'm pretty sure they started at either end each day. I also took them once to visit family in Guernsey and remember calling at Jersey on the way there or back which means they might have started each rotation in Guernsey (strange logic but perhaps due to loading constraints). Ed 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just thinking myself that overnighting in Guernsey would have made some sense, because it would have meant that that ship could have done an early morning G - J run whilst Earl William was going the other way.  Then direct to Weymouth and back to Guernsey.  Then the other ship could have crossed direct from Weymouth to Jersey in the morning before doing a mid-afternoon J - G run whilst Earl Granville was going the other way.  Then evening return to Weymouth.  But I'll look up what actually happened and let you know (if HT doesn't get there first).

It's worth pointing out that this Sunliner / Starliner operation did not last long.  Two years I think, before the Sealink and CIF operations merged (to form BCIF amd Weymouth closed down).

Before that arrangement, when Granville did the Portsmouth route and Godwin and William did the Weymouth route, there were 2 inter-island sailings each way per day.  Granville did Portsmouth - Guernsey - Jersey overnight and then Jersey - Guernsey - Portsmouth by day.  (Not sure when the outbound Guernsey call was but it must have been at a fairly anti-social hour).  Then the Weymouth ships did Weymouth - Jersey in both directions overnight, with W - G - J and J - G - W by day.

HT is right, the Channel Islands were much better served by Sealink than they are now.  Then again, they were also served much better by Condor a few years ago than they are now too.  The bottom line is, the service that Condor is providing now is probably the worst it has ever been since the age of the car ferry dawned.  Certainly from an inter-island point of view.

Edited by Gareth
Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the relatively poor ferry service reflect the increase in visitors flying to the Islands over the years? Not really much point in taking a car to either Jersey or Guernsey if you are a tourist, you can rent something locally.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea really, I would like more information on the reasons why there needs to be inter island traffic and its volume if anyone cares to explain. Obviously there does need to be a connection between the islands for non tourists but I am curious as to what prompts it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gareth said:

Actually I have a vague recollection that the Weymouth operation at that time was daytime only, with no overnight crossings.  Can't remember whether both ships overnighted in Weymouth, with one going round the circuit one way and one going the other, or whether one of them spent the night in St Helier.  If it was the latter then it's possible the schedules were W - G - J - G - W and J - G -W - G - J.  If so there might have been 3 inter-island sailings by Sealink each way per day in total.  I'll check my records when I get a moment and let you know what the Weymouth schedules were.

The first time I had a holiday in Guernsey was 1974. I remember as a 6 year old watching from a Weymouth B&B window in the early hours as they unloaded cargo from one of the Sealink's onto a train waiting on the quayside.

I've a mid or late '70's Weymouth/Portsmouth timetable hiding on a shelf which I'll dig out too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, cvabishop said:

No idea really, I would like more information on the reasons why there needs to be inter island traffic and its volume if anyone cares to explain. Obviously there does need to be a connection between the islands for non tourists but I am curious as to what prompts it.

Exactly Colin. It's all very well people wanting to build new harbours and new large RoRo vessels but without the certainty of bodies to fill the available spaces disaster could quickly follow. The call from the states is for day trip facilities.The CI are all small so for inter island travel you don't need to take a car and you certainly don't need anything other than a small HSC if you wish to expand that market and offer three or four return trips a day.  

Edited by G4rth
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the feedback we have had from the "inside" (in the form of Nick Hyde) is that the erosion of inter-island services has been an issue to the islanders.  He can no doubt amplify as to why (and is probably the best-placed to answer Colin's legitimate question).  From his last post it has been hinted that expansion of air links between the islands might be going some way to filling the gap left by Condor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One small example I know about is the impact on schools.  I understand that the removal of much of the inter-island provision has had a significant impact on the ability of school teams to be able able to travel to the "other island" for sports fixtures.  There are only so many schools on each island.

That, by itself, doesn't make a business case I know, but there must be many such cases of island life where the inability of people to get from one island to the other has had an impact on the ability of the islanders to go about their business.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that 'Waves' airline has a website to explain its purpose and expansion plans if its initial offering is a success. I couldn't find any prices as yet so that will be the crunch plus the cost of getting to and from the airports. Ed 

Edited by Cabin-boy
Link to post
Share on other sites

It just piqued my curiosity as to the travel patterns affecting the CI.

The most obvious elements would seem to be (in no particular order):

Inward vacation tourism from the UK mainland and, to a lesser extent France. I imagine this would be mainly by air as cars can be hired on the islands.

Locals visiting the mainland for business, pleasure and social reasons which would probably include a proportion taking their cars and the rest mainly flying.

Day or short breaks to the Islands from Poole. Seasonal.

Freight to keep the Islands supplied.

Some inter island footpax demand but perhaps not that much that a small HSC couldn't take care of as suggested above.

Guernsey is also visited by cruise ships as a tender port.

Anything else?

It would be interesting to have a breakdown of reasons for travelling on Condor Liberation in both the summer and winter seasons.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Right - those who are not interested in historic timetable data do not need to read this post.  But for those who are interested in the facts behind yesterday's discussion about the historic Sealink offering to the Channel Islands, here they are:

From 1977 to 1984 the Weymouth service was a 2-ship operation using Earl Godwin and initially Caledonian Princess.  Caley P was replaced by Earl William in 1980 when the latter was released from Portsmouth.  The Portsmouth operation was single-ship, initially using Earl William and then Earl Granville from 1980.  The schedules were similar throughout the period.  The early 1980s daily schedules were as follows:

Earl Godwin:  0600 arr Weymouth; 1330 dep Weymouth; 1800 arr Guernsey; 1830 dep Guernsey; 2030 arr Jersey; 2155 dep Jersey.

Earl William:  0615 arr Jersey; 0800 dep Jersey; 0945 arr Guernsey; 1030 dep Guernsey; 1500 arr Weymouth; 2330 dep Weymouth.

Earl Granville:  0600 arr Guernsey; 0620 dep Guernsey; 0820 arr Jersey; 0950 dep Jersey; 1135 arr Guernsey; 1155 dep Guernsey; 1850 arr Portsmouth; 2300 dep Portsmouth.

So Granville's first call at Guernsey was not that anti-social.  You will notice that both Weymouth ships spent a lot of their day alongside at Weymouth.  7.5 hours for Godwin, and 8 hours for William.  Both ships had to shift along the quayside everyday during this "layover" to make way for Maid of Kent, which called at Weymouth between 0830 and 1000 and between 2030 and 2000 en route from and to Cherbourg.

In 1985, the Starliner and Sunliner operation started, and lasted 2 years before the Sealink / CIF merger.  The Weymouth operation was daytime only but in fact both ships lay overnight in the Channel Islands (one island each).  Both ships crossed to Weymouth first, then to the other island, then provided reciprocal inter-island sailings at the end of the day.  Schedules were as follows:

Earl Godwin:  0715 dep Guernsey; 1145 arr Weymouth; 1315 dep Weymouth; 1945 arr Jersey; 2015 dep Jersey; 2215 arr Guernsey.

Earl Harold:  0730 dep Jersey; 1345 arr Weymouth; 1515 dep Weymouth; 1930 arr Guernsey; 2000 dep Guernsey; 2215 arr Jersey.

Earl Granville:  0715 arr Portsmouth; 0930 dep Portsmouth; 1415 arr Cherbourg; 1500 dep Cherbourg; 1800 arr Guernsey; 1845 dep Guernsey; 2045 arr Jersey; 2145 dep Jersey.

Earl William:  0700 arr Jersey; 0745 dep Jersey; 0945 arr Guernsey; 1030 dep Guernsey; 1315 arr Cherbourg; 1400 dep Cherbourg; 1845 arr Portsmouth; 2215 dep Portsmouth.

So the Portsmouth pair look like they met each other in Cherbourg harbour each day.  Jersey - Guernsey looks like it was quite well provided for at each end of the day (departures at 0745 and 2015).  But Guernsey - Jersey was at 1845 and 2000.  I think the Harold's schedules could perhaps have been a bit better designed if she had spent the night in Weymouth.  An 0800 departure from Weymouth to Guernsey could have enabled her Guernsey to Jersey departure to have been at around 1300 which would have been more meaningful than a sailing just an hour after Granville's.  So it looks like, although there were indeed 2 sailings each way per day, the schedules were not designed primarily with providing a good inter-island service in mind.

Edited by Gareth
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, G4rth said:

Exactly Colin. It's all very well people wanting to build new harbours and new large RoRo vessels but without the certainty of bodies to fill the available spaces disaster could quickly follow. The call from the states is for day trip facilities.The CI are all small so for inter island travel you don't need to take a car and you certainly don't need anything other than a small HSC if you wish to expand that market and offer three or four return trips a day.  

I think the public service angle does have a bearing on this and I suppose we must differentiate between surface connections with particularly the English mainland and specifically interisland travel.  Maybe the two require different vessels.  

But surveying the scene internationally there are a large number of services all around the world using the smaller foot pax type ferries.  For example I was astounded to read about the astonishing number of such ferries linking Singapore with the Indonesian islands all around.  Thus one wonders what the problem is with the CI.  Some might say a lack of political will to bite the bullet and do something.  Maybe such a service will have to be subsidised to a greater or lesser extent but if it serves a social purpose so be it, some would say.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If we are going international may I follow HT and quote Hong Kong to Macao. It's 37 miles and the helicopter service runs every half hour from 0900 to2300 and takes 15 minutes. The jetfoils run day and night and take 55 minutes. The helicopter is far more expensive but the bankers, businessmen  and finance boys like it. Do they not have bankers, businessmen and finance boys in Jersey and Guernsey ?

Edited by wortley
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not people commuting to work the new service needs to serve (like in Singapore or Hong Kong or Manhattan or even the Isle of Wight) but those wishing to travel occasionally for meetings, training and tourism. Therefore the needs are different and may also be seasonal. Anybody tendering for such a contract will have big problems combining all those requirements and making a profit at the same time. Ed

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

It's not people commuting to work the new service needs to serve (like in Singapore or Hong Kong or Manhattan or even the Isle of Wight) but those wishing to travel occasionally for meetings, training and tourism. Therefore the needs are different and may also be seasonal. Anybody tendering for such a contract will have big problems combining all those requirements and making a profit at the same time. Ed

Which rather does support the view that the Island authorities should subsidise the route as a public service. I don't think Jersey is poor!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed they should Colin, if they believe that the tourism sector (amongst others) will see significant increases in revenues. The two ferries which operate to the islands from the Normandy coast are owned and run by the local authorities. They are also heavily subsidised, not in the belief that islanders will flock over but that French, German, Dutch and other tourists will choose La Manche as a tourist destination, spend money there and pop across to the islands for days out. They may spend more money in Jersey or Guernsey shops than they would in Granville etc but the overall economic impact is enough to justify the subsidy. The fact that the service has been running for over 10 years and has recently acquired a brand new vessel proves that it can be made to work. But even with the subsidy is not cheap. Ed. 

Edited by Cabin-boy
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...