CONDOR’S new conventional passenger and freight ferry is to be called Condor Islander, the firm has announced.
The vessel, which is currently operating between the North and South islands of New Zealand under the name MV Straitsman, is due to enter service in the autumn.
It will be used on the company’s routes between Guernsey, Jersey, the UK and France.
The ship, which is similar in size and speed to Commodore Clipper, is expected to leave New Zealand next month ahead of an extensive refit in dry-dock in England.
John Napton, chief executive of Condor Ferries, said: ‘Whilst a name may not be important to some, we really wanted something that reflects we have been part of Channel Islands’ life for just over three quarters of a century.
‘We also felt it should resonate with visitors to our shores so Islander seems appropriate.’
Mr Napton confirmed that the company’s focus was now on bringing the vessel to Europe.
‘Islander will transit from New Zealand in late April via the Panama Canal which takes around seven weeks, so she will arrive in early summer and then be placed in dry dock.
‘We need to make a number of alterations to the ship from its current use with a domestic operator – and a maximum four hour travel time – to one suitable for international transit journeys of more than eight hours, so there are different requirements involved.
‘Changes will also include installing a duty-free retail shop which is not currently available.’
Once dry dock has been completed, Islander will undergo berthing trials in Portsmouth, Jersey, Guernsey and St Malo.