|The HSC Condor Vitesse is a 86m fast catamaran ferry operated by Condor Ferries. |
Condor Vitesse was built in 1997 at the Incat Yards in Tasmania, Australia as Incat 044 but was not ordered by any ferry company. She was sent to Europe and arrived in July 1997 in Portland and was later moved to Århus, Denmark. By moving the vessel to Europe, Incat hoped that she would attract a buyer. In late 1997 Condor Ferries announced that they would again run services from Weymouth in 1998. The service was to operate to Guernsey and St Malo using the Condor 10 but in March 1998 Condor Ferries announced they would charter the Incat 044 and rename her Condor Vitesse for the new service. The charter had the option to purchase which was later taken up. She operated in 1998 at a reduced passenger capacity of 500 passengers and 90 cars in order to provide space to transfer passengers from the Condor Express Poole-Channel Islands service should the need arise. Condor Express had suffered a number of mechanical problems during her first year in service in 1997 and also during 1998, these problems meant that the Condor Vitesse had to move to the Poole-Channel Islands service a number of times during that year. During the winter of 1999 Condor Vitesse was chartered to Tranz Rail for the Interisland Line service and carried the marketing name of The Lynx. She returned to Europe for the summer to continue operating for Condor Ferries. In 2001 Condor Ferries and Brittany Ferries entered into an agreement to run a Poole-Cherbourg fastcraft service. Condor Vitesse was chosen for this service, possibly because of her French sounding name, and she began sailing on the route in May 2001 as well as operating for Condor Ferries in the afternoon between Poole and St Malo calling at one of the Channel Islands on the way. The fastcraft service was great success carrying double what was predicted. The summer operation pattern of a morning round trip between Poole and Cherbourg then an afternoon round trip to St Malo continues to this day.
Condor Vitesse is registered in Nassau, Bahamas.