Talks over year-round boat to Alderney

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Talks over year-round boat to Alderney

Post by GD on Thu 08 Mar 2012, 5:02 pm

Hopes for a year-round boat to Alderney could be realised.

French maritime company, Vedettes du Cotentin, are in early talks to transport fresh food and building supplies and make a regular link between the island and the Cotentin viable.

Benjamin Bon, managing director of Vedettes du Cotentin, said French tourists were willing to come to Alderney but unreliable crossing dates put them off.

The problem, he said, was being unable to cross The Race in windy conditions.

He said: "As long as we are not able to propose a viable and reliable service all year round between the island and the mainland, tourist development will stay limited."

"A lot of clients wanted to stay for several days on the island, but when we explain that nothing is guaranteed the major part of them change their plans. That is a shame for everyone."

He has plans to use a larger, heavier vessel, better capable to cope with very strong winds.

A larger vessel would need more cargo, and he suggests a mixed load of people and freight.

Mr Bon said: "Our solution is a new 75 foot vessel, which is under offer at the moment, able to carry 12 people in a comfortable saloon and 20 tons on its 70 square metre deck area.

"The boat project will be included in a complete offer where another small bulk carrier will take building materials, cars and trucks one way and waste the other way."

He said guaranteed crossings would generate an overspill of custom - meaning vessels like the Lady Maris II could benefit.

He said: "We could offer the island reliable passenger traffic for the tourism industry; reliable traffic for fresh goods; an easy way of carrying cars into France and a long term and economical solution to export the waste of the island."

The company is in talks with local wholesalers, the States of Alderney and the Conseil de la Manche about the plan.

Mr Bon said: "We want to export all that the island needs without disturbing the balance of the local economy."

Vedettes du Cotentin introduced a day trip to Jersey to their schedule this year, with the first set to depart on April 14th.

(from CTV)

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