27 September 2017
The States of Jersey and States of Guernsey have agreed in principle to provide financial support for an inter-island, passenger-only ferry service. The service, which would start in 2018, would provide a day trip service for island residents and tourists, operating from the beginning of May to the end of September.
Both governments have agreed in principle to provide financial assistance should it be necessary to assist a ferry operator in establishing this service. Expressions of interest are therefore being sought via a 'market-sounding exercise' prior to a formal tender process to select a preferred partner to operate the service.
At this stage, a detailed specification for the service has not been set out. The intention is to give potential operators the freedom to consider how a suitable and sustainable service might best be established and run. However, in return for possible financial assistance in supporting this service, the States of Guernsey and the States of Jersey would expect the following two core objectives to be met
- to enhance inter-island connectivity, the aim being to provide a day return service from each island
- to deliver additional passenger numbers to both islands, resulting in increased economic impact due to additional spending, provide an improved offer for ‘island hopping’ for visitors, and improve social, cultural and sporting links between the two islands
In addition to the inter-island service between Guernsey and Jersey, the States of Alderney would like to see a regular passenger-only ferry service between Guernsey and Alderney and possibly Jersey. Funding would be available from the States of Alderney to assist with this service. This option may either be considered as an addition to the Jersey to Guernsey service, or as a separate service.
Jersey's Minster for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said “I am keen to improve inter-island passenger links as they are vital not only for developing both islands’ economies but to maintaining and expanding social, cultural and sporting links. A dedicated ferry service between the islands is an important component of this improvement.”
Guernsey's President of the Committee for Economic Development, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, added “We know that an effective and efficient inter-island passenger service is required by all the Channel Islands to support economic development, and in order to foster cultural and social links between the islands. We know how important it is to islanders and we look forward to receiving some interesting proposals from potential operators.”
Details of the expression of interest can be obtained from the Channel Island Tenders portal.
Channel Island Tenders