M/V Commodore Clipper

Commodore Clipper berthing in Saint-Malo.
M/V Commodore Clipper. Picture Antoine H.

Commodore Clipper is a RoPax ferry operated by Condor Ferries since 1999. She operates a daily service between Portsmouth and the Channel Islands.


Technical Specifications of M/V Commodore Clipper
M/V Commodore Clipper (1999 onwards)
The Ship
Launch 8th May 1999
Maiden Voyage 27th September 1999
Shipyard Van der Giessen de Noord, Krimpen a/d Ijssel (NDL)
Cost US$48 millions
Owner Commodore Shipping (1999 - 2004)
Condor Ferries (2004 onwards)
Operator Commodore Shipping (1999 - 2004)
Condor Ferries (1999 present)
Routes Portsmouth (GBR) - Channel Islands
Portsmouth (GBR) - Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (Summer)
IMO 9201750
MMSI 308094000
Call Sign C6QQ3
Port of Registry Nassau, Bahamas
Technical Specifications
Length 129.14 m
Breadth 23.43 m
Draught 5.80 m
Gross Tonnage 13,456 GT
Net Tonnage 4,201 NT
Deadweight 4,504 DWT
Engines specifications
Engines 2 engines MaK 9M32
Power 8,640 kW
Maximum Speed 18.80 knots
Passengers & Cargo
Passengers 500 passengers, 38 crew
Cabins 40 en-suite cabins, 160 berths
Garage 1,265 lanemeters
92 12m-trailers or 279 cars

Service History

Commodore Clipper's early years

Commodore Clipper leaving Portsmouth bound to the Channel Islands.
Commodore Clipper. Courtesy Ian BOYLE (Simplon Postcards).

Commodore Clipper was ordered by Commodore Shipping on 3rd July 1998 following a request of the Channel Islands’ government. Indeed, Condor Ferries scrapped in 1997 its conventional ferry service from Weymouth, operating only high speed crafts. However, they proved not being able being operated in inclement sea conditions, whilst Condor Express suffered a myriad of technical issues in 1997. Therefore, the governments asked Condor Ferries to keep Havelet as a back up ship until the delivery of a new purpose-built ferry if they were wanting to keep their operating agreement.

Therefore, Condor Ferries and Commodore Shipping (the owner of Condor Ferries at the this time) ordered a ship that would replace both Havelet and Island Commodore (a RoRo ferry built in 1995), and that would be operated from Weymouth.

Commodore Clipper was launched one 8th May 1999 and eventually introduced on the Portsmouth – Saint-Peter Port – Saint-Helier – Portsmouth round service on 27th September, only carrying trailers. Her first crossings with passengers on board took place on 18th October.

In 2005, due to Condor Ferries’ policy of operating all of its services under its brand, Commodore Clipper was repainted to remove any mention of Commodore Shipping on her.

Incidents on board Commodore Clipper

Commodore Clipper leaving Portsmouth bound to the Channel Islands.
Commodore Clipper. Courtesy Ian BOYLE (Simplon Postcards).

On 16th June 2010 at 02:42 GMT, a cooled trailer parked on Commodore Clipper's car deck took fire. Crew was unable to extinguish the fire alone and firemen had to help them once the vessel had berthed. The fire damaged several other trailers alongside Commodore Clipper’s electrical system, preventing her from being operated. Commodore Clipper had therefore to be removed from service until the completion of repairs. She resumed service on 4th July.

On 26th April 2011, a fire took in a boiler located in her engine room. Crew achieved extinguishing the fire without help.

Whilst Commodore Clipper was arriving in Saint-Peter Port on 14th July 2014, she grounded. Her hull was damaged but Commodore Clipper had been able to berth without assistance. To enable repairs to be carried out, she had to be drydocked and Commodore Goodwill had to operate alone cover for her schedule whilst operating her schedule too. MN Toucan was chartered on 29th July to provide additional freight capacity, and then Arrow on 31st July. Passengers were transferred on the alternative high speed services operated from Weymouth and Poole. Commodore Clipper was scheduled to resume service on 26th August, however works were completed ahead of schedule and she eventually resumed service on 16th August.

The enquiry that followed this grounding highlighted that it was due to the lack of vigilance from the crew, that was not using all of the instruments it has at its disposal. It also highlighted that some drills have also been disabled.

The scrubber installation

Commodore Clipper arriving in Saint-Malo after her 2015 refit.
Commodore Clipper in her 2015 livery. Picture Antoine H.

In order to enable its ships to the latest European Regulations regarding sulphur exhausts, that has been enforced since 1st January 2015, Condor Ferries ordered to Dupont scrubbers for installing on both Commodore Clipper and Commodore Goodwill.

They were to be installed on Commodore Clipper during a drydock between 10th September and 11th October 2015. However, due to scrubbers delivered behind schedule, the installation could not be completed and therefore she has only been overhauled. Commodore Clipper was then sent back to drydock from 04th November to 14th December 2015 on the purpose of eventually installing them on board.

Aboard Accommodations

Aboard Dining and Bar

  • The Clipper Brasserie - Pub;
  • Condor Traveller Bar - Bar.

Aboard Shopping

  • Adore - Duty Free Shopping;

Passengers Accommodations

  • 40 Indoor and Outdoor cabins with 4 berths;
  • 2 wheelchairs accessible cabins;
  • Reclining Seats lounge;
  • Ocean Club class seats lounge.


  • Children Play room.

Photo Library

See Also


  • "'Technical Incident' suspends a Condor ferry service". In BBC News, British Broadcasting Corporation, 2015. [retrieved 24th August 2015]. Available at www.bbc.com;
  • "Condor Ferries charters second freight vessel". In BBC News, British Broadcasting Corporation, 2015. [retrieved 24th August 2015]. Available at www.bbc.com;
  • "Condor Ferries charters freight boat to replace Clipper". In BBC News, British Broadcasting Corporation, 2015. [retrieved 24th August 2015]. Available at www.bbc.com;
  • "Onboard". In Condor Ferries, Condor Ltd, 2016. [retrieved 25th August 2016]. Available at www.condorferries.co.uk;
  • "News". In Condor Ferries, Condor Ltd, 2014. [retrieved 24th August 2015]. Available at www.condorferries.co.uk;
  • "Mv Commodore Clipper, Past and Present". In Dover Ferry Photos Forum, Goodfellow, R. ; Thornton N. ; Cloke P., 2015. [retrieved 24th August 2015]. Available at www.doverferryphotosforums.co.uk ;
  • "M/F Commodore Clipper". In The Ferry Site, Koefoed-Hansen, M., 2015. [retrieved 24th August 2015]. Available at www.ferry-site.dk ;
  • "Commodore Clipper". In hip Technology, Kable, 2016. [retrieved 25th August 2015]. Available at www.ship-technology.com.
  • "Condor Ferries: Page 1 - Commodore Shipping Conventional Ships". In Simplon Postcards, Boyle, I., 2008. [retrieved 25th August 2015]. Available at www.simplonpc.co.uk ;
  • "MAIB: Insufficient Passage Planning Grounded Commodore Clipper". In World Maritime News, World Maritime News, 06th August 2015. [retrieved 25th August 2015]. Available at worldmaritimenews.com.
  • Winterflood, S.. "Tour of Commodore Clipper", YouTube, 10th July 2011, 4:44min. Available at www.youtube.com.