Plans for new ferry between the islands ‘a very exciting prospect’
‘A VERY exciting prospect’ is how Tourism Management Board president Hannah Beacom has described plans by a new ferry company to offer day trips between Jersey and Guernsey next summer.
Islands Unlimited has said it intends to charter a boat capable of carrying about 240 passengers and will offer a scheduled service between the two islands from next spring, with a few sailings to Alderney.
Mrs Beacom said that she hoped the company’s plans were successful.
‘I have had some preliminary conversations with those behind them,’ she said.
‘The board is aware of Islands Unlimited’s plans and I think it would be a very exciting prospect.’
A spokesman for Alderney’s States said that the company had not made any approach to it.
This past summer season the States provided a subsidy to the Alderney Ferry Company to offer a service between Guernsey and Alderney.
The spokesman said that the Policy and Finance Committee was due to discuss the 2024 service at one of its meetings but is awaiting receipt of all the necessary data in order to make an appraisal.
‘Discussion around extending the current agreement or going to tender is subject to the full data being received,’ he said. ‘That will be discussed next year.’
If the day trips were well advertised, the service could work, said the owner of a company which has offered day trips this year.
Richard Seager offers fishing and wildlife-viewing trips on his boat Out The Blue, but over the summer he also operated a day trip to Jersey on one day a week. He carried 12 passengers on most trips and commented on social media that he did not have a waiting list of people who he had to leave behind. But he told the Guernsey Press that, with the right advertising, he thought day trips to Jersey could be viable.
‘As I only advertise on Facebook my audience is limited,’ he said. ‘But a once-a-week trip for me is fine as my wildlife and fishing charters are very busy.
‘Advertising is key and you can spend a lot of money putting it out there. A big boat would be more viable with advertising costs and keep the ticket prices down.’
He said that trips to the zoo in Jersey and visits to the water parks were among the reasons people went on his boat.
‘Of course if Guernsey had these attractions then it would be less attractive to leave the island.’