Condor Liberation, the new 102-m Austal-built trimaran, came into service for British operator Condor Ferries at the end of March. It improves the ferry services between the British mainland and the Islands of Guernsey and Jersey in the English Channel off the French coast.
Further development of the Benchijigua-Express
The high-speed trimaran represents a further development of the Benchijigua-Express
, the ferry also built by Australian shipyard Austal in 2005 that shuttles between Tenerife and La Gomera in the Canaries. The new 102-m trimaran has various features in common with its older sister, the Benchijigua-Express
. Both are capable of speeds up to 40 knots (roughly 70 km/h), making them faster than many a superyacht. The only real difference lies in propulsion, with three 9,100-kW, 20-cylinder Series 8000 M71L units used to power Condor Liberation
, while four Series 8000 units from mtu
are needed for Benchijigua-Express
. Condor Liberation
is also equipped with four gensets based on Series 60 engines, each of which delivers 270 kW for on-board power.
Five-year all-inclusive maintenance agreement
Captain Fran Collins, Executive Director – Operations at Condor Ferries, is very satisfied with the latest addition to the fleet: "It's fantastic to have such an impressive ship join our fleet. Condor Liberation
not only improves our reliability, but allows us to give passengers a much greater level of comfort and smoother journeys." To ensure absolutely hitch-free service, Condor Ferries has also signed a Customized Care all-inclusive maintenance agreement with mtu
. This covers all preventive maintenance and repairs over the next five years. With British subsidiary mtu
-UK, service personnel can also be made available immediately.
A ceremony was held at the end of March to mark the new trimaran's entry into service. Operating from its base port Poole on the English Channel, the ferry can shuttle up to 245 vehicles and 880 passengers to and from the Channel Islands. Although geographically speaking the Channel Islands belong neither to the British Isles nor the United Kingdom, they are a dependency of the English crown since William the Conquerer. There are around 160,000 residents in the Islands and each year they attract many hundreds of thousands of visitors who choose to spend their holidays. The Islands are well known for their spectacular coastline the outstanding quality of their restaurants and rich heritage which dates back to prehistory as there is evidence of human occupation as far back as 250,000 years.