The first passenger sailing left the South Coast for the Channel Islands in April 1987, in a year which also saw the iconic film ‘Dirty Dancing’ hit cinemas, the start of work on the Channel Tunnel and the release of Michael Jackson’s prolific ‘Bad’ album. Since then, Condor Ferries has transported over 14 million passengers and more than 2.7 million cars, whilst travelling around 5.7 million miles in total between the UK and Channel Islands, the equivalent distance of sailing around the world 229 times.
Condor has made a significant contribution to the local economy around all its ports, currently employing over 550 people on board its ferries and in its contact centre and port teams, some of whom have been with the company since the first sailing three decades ago.
Paul Luxon, CEO of Condor Ferries, commented: “We’re delighted to be marking this significant anniversary. The last 30 years have seen our services expand and evolve but what has remained constant throughout is our efforts to provide an offering which is valued by our customers and sustainable.
“We would like to thank our customers and staff for their tremendous support over the last 30 years. As ever, we will continue to work hard to develop our services, and we are looking forward to the next 30 years of sailing with great optimism and enthusiasm.”
Jim Stewart, PHC Chief Executive, added: “Poole Harbour Commissioners is proud of its close links to Condor Ferries, stretching back to 1996. We were delighted when Condor chose Poole as their UK fast ferry port and Condor Ferries is now recognised as an important and iconic feature of Poole Harbour. We look forward to working closely with Condor Ferries over the next 30 years.”
Over the years Condor Ferries has carried much more than just passengers, their vehicles and freight. Dozens of more unusual consignments have also been transported between the UK and the Channel Islands, including a colony of penguins and an adult male gorilla destined for their new homes at Jersey Zoo, a life-size model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and a full-sized working replica of a WWII tank. Famous faces who have chosen to travel with Condor in the past 30 years include Nigel Mansell, Martin Clunes and Tony Robinson, as well as Superman himself, Henry Cavill. The Teletubbies and Pudsey Bear have even made special appearances too!