One of the most exciting invites I have received so far this year, was to attend the launch of the magnificent new addition to the Condor Ferries fleet, the Condor Liberation. I was over the moon to be invited to the launch event / naming ceremony / inaugural inter-island sailing of the beautiful Condor Liberation.
The day was set to be full of celebration, starting at 8:30am with a journey over to our neighbouring Channel Island of Guernsey. We eagerly arrived, tickets in hand, at Elizabeth Terminal in St Helier, Jersey. We enjoyed a quick drink from the new pop-up cafe, The Terminal GBJ, which is situated in the main terminal until the full launch of their new, much larger restaurant, which will also be situated in the terminal.
We hopped right on board our transport to Guernsey, and indulged in an early morning breakfast snack and Mimosa’s. We were there to celebrate after all!
We were blessed with a beautifully calm and swift sailing over to Guernsey, and enjoyed the idyllic views on the way over. One of the great delights of travelling by sea, is the ability to be able to go out on deck and enjoy the sea view and the fresh breeze throughout the journey. I absolutely love to be out on the ocean.
Upon arrival at our destination, we were greeted by more balloons, flags and smiling staff, ready to escort us for refreshments at the wonderfully traditional, five star, Old Government House Hotel. We welcomed the red carpet arrival and took the opportunity to explore this delightful hotel and all its quirky surroundings.
The hotel has so many quirky different areas, it really is worth exploring and finding all the little historical treats that lie within, it is also the only five star hotel in Guernsey, so well worth a visit if you happen to be there. Although we could have stayed in the comfort of the hotel for many hours, we decided to explore the St Peter Port in Guernsey, and see what it had to offer.
The answer was glorious blue skies, some beautiful historical architecture, quaint streets adorned with modern shops and some rather amusingly named shops, which gave us a bit of a giggle (Yes, very childish, but you should always embrace your inner child!)
We eventually gave in to hunger pains and settled on a place for lunch. With French influences all around, similar to Jersey, Le Petit Cafe seemed the perfect choice for us.
We both opted for the Petit Cafe burger, which was completely unlike anything I’ve had before, but totally delicious! The burger fell apart the minute you touched it, which made it exceptionally difficult to eat, but also meant it tasted so juicy and tender! It was akin to pulled pork, but somehow more succulent. The Gaufrette potatoes were also a revolution, basically like crisps to you and I, but a perfect accompaniment to the burger as they added just the right crunchy texture to the soft burger.
The ‘cafe’ itself was so fascinating too. With funky decorative touches, different levels and decor in every area, and the most amazing staff. They managed to make you feel like the only person in the place, despite it being completely bustling, a true talent!
The cafe serves light bites all day, and advertises itself as offering the ‘spirit of France’ in every dish, I can whole heartedly agree. With full tummies, we made our way back to the port to have a little play around, before climbing onboard the utterly magnificent Condor Liberation for its inaugural voyage between the two islands.
We applauded as the official naming of the vessel took place with speeches from local dignitaries, before the unveiling of the naming plaque on the ship. We all joined to sing ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save‘ as per tradition, to bless the ship. It truly was a moving experience and I’m so pleased to have been a part of it.
We explored the beautiful new ship, enjoyed the view of the waves, indulged in canapés, chatted and networked and of course, dived straight in to the new and much larger duty free shop onboard Condor Liberation.
I was hugely impressed by the standard and smoothness of the whole voyage on Condor Liberation, she truly is a beautiful ship, and I am sure many thousands of people will enjoy sailing on her.
One extra little surprise that absolutely made my day, was the highly inspired and completely genius new safety video produced by Condor! I have NEVER paid so much attention to, nor enjoyed a safety demonstration so much to date! You have absolutely got to check this out and let me know what you think? It has had mixed reviews, but personally I think it is totally inspired! Take a look at the brand spanking new Condor Ferries Safety Rap here!
Upon arriving back to beautiful Jersey, we were graciously greeted by a flotilla of local boats, including the RNLI, which truly was a spectacular sight. We then entered the harbour to be greeted by fireworks, confetti cannons and the Jersey Band of the Island. The whole entrance back to Jersey felt exceptionally regal and I have to thank Condor for an absolutely unforgettable experience, what an amazing day of celebration!
Condor had even laid on an arrival drinks reception and nibbles for us in the Elizabeth Terminal back in Jersey; however, we made our apologies and left at this point due to other commitments.
I would like to sincerely thank Condor for an the invitation to be part of exceptional experience, a chance to be part of their history and an unforgettable day out. I wish them all the very best with the beautiful Condor Liberation and all who sail upon her over the coming years, I am sure they will all enjoy it just as much as me!
Since my trip on Condor Liberation, she has unfortunately been troubled with bad luck, bad weather and teething problems; but I have absolutely no doubt the staff are doing their utmost to help passengers and get this amazing vessel back out on high water where she belongs. I would sincerely urge people to be patient, almost all new ideas encounter teething problems, I am sure Condor Liberation will be back and providing you all with amazing journeys soon!