Sea travel at half the level of five years ago

THE number of people travelling by sea has halved in the last five years, latest figures show, as Condor CEO Paul Luxon gives a continued commitment to ‘restore confidence’.


The quarterly tourism statistics for the period up to September show that a total of 45,000 visitors travelled by sea in the third quarter of this year, compared to 90,800 during the same period in 2011.

It is also down on the 2015 figure, which saw 54,250 visitors travelling by sea.

Mr Luxon said any decline in the number of passengers travelling by sea to and from the island was obviously disappointing and work was continuing to restore confidence, as well as continue improvements with punctuality and reliability.

‘Whilst the first quarter of this year was undoubtedly affected by some poor weather, one of the main contributors to the fall in quarter three is the effect of the withdrawal of the double round trips Condor Liberation had operated in 2015,’ he said.

‘We were not able to migrate all of these passengers to other sailings, which impacted on inbound visitor numbers.

‘Total route carryings are made up of both visitors and residents and the difficulties we experienced in 2015 clearly discouraged some islanders from travelling this year.’

Mr Luxon said that as a company they were all focused on continuing to work hard to restore confidence in the service.

Comments for: "Sea travel at half the level of five years ago"


And travelling on Condor costs twice as much, schedules are not customer friendly.

Sea travel is going backwards in quality of service, isn't there a message there somewhere.


Sorry should have added, it's just talk, talk, talk, with no concerted effort to improve things.

Donkey Boiler

Mr Luxon has tinkered with the schedule of the Liberation in order to provide a small degree of inter island connectivity and to improve arrival/departure times, but, what they marginally improve in one area they worsen the situation elsewhere as there is a finite level of service that they can offer with this one ship. Also, not only is Liberation STILL restricted to a 3.5m wave height (remember the promise that she would be reassessed for a 5.0m limit? That was a lie), but she has the additional serious defect of not being able to berth in winds of only 30 knots. This means that on days when the wave height is only 2.7m, as happened a couple of weeks ago, she could legally sail. However, her inability to manouevre in what are only moderate winds that would not have restricted her predecessors causes her to cancel crossings that she should make. Condor have been incredibly lucky since Easter, there have been hardly any days of strong winds so Mr Luxon can make some claims to improved reliability. That will be short lived, and average, normal sea conditions in the Channel are always going to be a problem for this unsuitable vessel, no matter how often Mr Luxon drags out the weighty tome of the Houlder report to justify running the Liberation.

Nick Le P

How does this figure compare with overall visitor numbers? In some ways if they have remained reasonably comparable over the same period then the impact is not so bad.

Obviously the sea links need to be vastly improved but prices need to come down to make it more attractive. In my experience it remains cheaper to fly and hire a car than bring my own car on Condor.

Mr Bee

There are many problems with Condor, the Liberation probably being the biggest. Pricing should also be looked at as these are far to high.

Master B

Now there's a surprise... not. There are 3 sailings from GSY to St Malo and 3 return sailings St Malo to GSY in November. That is not acceptable. Would I be correct in saying that Condor are in breach of their Service Level Agreement as they are not providing 4 sailings a week of which they have to. Mr Luxon is just a puppet it is the share holders that are the driving force.


No sign of an apology for being way below par as an operator.

I personally still have little confidence in the Liberation so any Condor trips off-island are Brittany-bound on the Rapide. I wonder how many have a similar stance?



The elephant in the room here is the overall drop in visitors by both sea and air.

A major influence is the price of things for people when they get here. At one time in the 60's and the 70's we were well known as a holiday destination with cheap booze and cigarettes, likewise petrol and diesel.

I can remember the days when the hire car companies used to charter a car carrier for their hire car fleets for the summer season. Bringing Spanish built Fords in at Easter then moving them into the UK at the end of the season as second hand thus avoiding tax.

It's all gone, we are expensive and not as attractive as we once were.

Travel is prohibitively expensive and unreliable, not a good combination.


If travel by both plane and plane is down, how are all the hordes coming here for holidays? You know, all those who visit as a cruise stop, spend £1 on the bus tour and decide to spend a fortune returning for a proper holiday? You're not telling me that those people don't exist??? Well I never, who'd have thought it?


Slow ferry is only choice - duty free prices (and fares) 20% higher than airlines

Stop the PR - get real


Of course not, one single person aside from Luxon is surprised at this. He is as good at running a ferry company as he was at 'negotiating' Guernsey's agreement with Condor. Fortunately for him, he's rather better at feathering his own nest.


Condor makes it's money from freight, the passenger side of the company is just an impediment it has to bare. That side of the company went to the dogs a long time ago.

A passenger carrying company shows it's worth when things don't go to plan, bad weather for instance, when this happens Condor has always from the beginning descended into absolute chaos. This has now been compounded by downsizing to one vessel which is an absolute lemon. The bottom line being the surface passenger service is now in the hands of a company which is incapable of providing a reliable passenger service.

While the answer is to get rid of them, the question is how. I think the owners would be quite happy to get rid of the problem ridden passenger service, they downsized it after all but wouldn't want to lose the profitable freight service.

Which begs the question, is this why the States have failed in their duty to rectify the situation because they are afraid of Condor taking them to court to keep the profitable freight service.

Island Wide Voting

Condor makes its money from freight

Lucky for them that smooth talker / big spender Luxon almost single-handedly led the Assembly down the path of exporting our waste for someone else to deal with

Meanwhile Les Vardes quarry gets deeper by the week

Trevor Hockey

Er, let me see, you reduce three ports down to two, you reduce two boats down to one and you wonder why visitor numbers are down.?

It's a difficult problem, operators are not lining up to run this service but as we can seemingly run two oil tankers and make some money, perhaps that company should be asked to investigate running a shipping line as well.?

Of course it would have to have a monopoly of freight to subsidise passengers, so goodbye Condor, hasn't really been nice doing business with you.!


Beanjar, i like your 5.15 comment, hits the nail on the head.

Weymouth Boy

My wife and I (living in the UK) absolutely love Guernsey and have been many many times (starting in 1983). We were very badly let down by Condor in the early 2000's and vowed we would never use them again. (My wife doesn't like flying, so it has to be sea travel) In 2015, our love for Guernsey made us decide to forget the past and celebrate a special anniversary in Guernsey. We travelled on Condor's new "wonder" boat, Liberation, and had a reasonable crossing to the island (although many were seasick - perhaps due to the uncomfortable rolling motion of the vessel). We enjoyed a delightful week at the Jerbourg hotel.

The return crossing was an absolute nightmare, starting with a delay in departure of over two hours. The boat rolled to alarming angles - at one point about 20 degrees. See the video posted all over the internet. There is absolutely no chance whatsoever that we will ever travel on it again. I have no doubt that many others on that crossing feel the same.

So Guernsey has lost two visitors who will never return. Do condor care? I doubt it.


I don't know what my favourite bit about this disgusting debacle is…

is it how Paul Luxon had the bare faced audacity to migrate from being the politician who negotiated the lucrative binding contract between 'us' and Condor, to leaving politics to become their CEO…….without so much as a disapproving mutter from his former colleagues……..?

is it how Condor are continuing to run this appalling service (and our tourist industry) into the ground, with a ship that clearly isn't fit for purpose….without no solution or robust response from our establishment, who are totally aware it is happening….?

Is it how we have a UK head of Tourism, who commissioned a report at great expense about his 'aspirations' for the future of tourism, whilst blissfully ignoring the fact that numbers by sea are down because of Condor's appalling service, NOT Brexit, as he insulted our collective intelligence by suggesting…….?

I really don't know, but the amount of lying (by omission and otherwise), bouvaing, dithering and skulduggery reads like an episode of Triangle, with equally unconvincing actors and enough fictional stories to make another ten series…at least.



I know it's not as simple as 'get a new boat and all will be fixed' but hey it's not a bad starting point.!

There are too many deep seated issues and problems with our system of government/procurement to get a quick fix to the problems caused by sustained rape and pillage of this sector that has been happening for years now but we can the powers that be please make one simple common sense decision to get out tourism trade back up and running with the basic infrastructure based around simple and efficient travel links designed for the industry to flourish and not for the lining of a few pockets.

If we can't we will continue to see the rapid decline of all the benefits of living in this island once had to offer.


Travelled on the express to St Malo last friday, late by over an hour, the service has dropped, half the toilets not working. It's a dump of a vessel.

Just awful, travelled back to UK with Brittany such a difference.

I just hate Condor , it is getting in worse.

I have two friends in UK who will never set foot on the Liberation again.


Simple message to Condor: Your service is pants and you are solely the reason why tourism in Guernsey has hit rock bottom! You have single handedly ruined this islands you bunch of greedy, banking, no hopers!