The Channel Islands:  Mont Orgeuil Castle, Jersey.  It's easy to reach Jersey by train & ferry.

The No-Fly Zone...  Air-conditioned electric train from London to Poole, then the Condor Ferries Liberation from Poole to Jersey & Guernsey...

Condor Ferries fast ferry to Guernsey & Jersey

London to Guernsey or Jersey from £29...

There's no need to fly.  It's easy to reach Jersey or Guernsey by train & ferry, a more civilised, less stressful & more environmentally-friendly way to go.  First book the ferry from Portsmouth or Poole then add a train ticket from your local station to Poole or Portsmouth.  This page explains train & ferry times, prices & how to buy tickets, and why the ferry is more fun than flying...

  To Guernsey & Jersey by fast ferry from Poole - times, fares, tickets

  To Guernsey & Jersey by all-weather ship from Portsmouth - times, fares, tickets.

  Buses on Jersey & Guernsey

  Ferries between Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark & Herm

  Ferries from the Channel Islands to France

  Hotels on Jersey & Guernsey

Visiting the Channel Islands...

The Channel Islands are a great place for a holiday or short break, with sandy beaches, castles, history and lots to explore.  "Great Britain is our oldest possession" is a long-standing Channel Islanders' joke.  The Channel Islands, lying a few miles from the coast of France but over 70 miles from the UK, were part of Normandy when William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded and captured England in 1066.  When the French king later invaded and captured Normandy in 1204, the Islanders chose to stay subject to the Crown of England.  In return for their loyalty, the Islands were allowed to retain their own government (called the 'States') and even today they are not legally part of the UK or even the EU.  The resulting favourable tax laws have made the Channel Islands a major financial centre and home to many wealthy Brits.  It's also the reason you'll find 'duty-free' goods sold on the ferry to the Channel Islands, but not on a ferry to France!  For tourist information see www.visitguernsey.com or www.jersey.com.

Sponsored links...


Option 1, by fast ferry from Poole

  Condor Liberation fast ferry leaving Guernsey for Jersey
 

The Condor Liberation

The fastest option.  London to Jersey or Guernsey from £44...

This is the fastest ferry option to the Channel Islands, using Condor Ferries wave-piercing trimaran Condor Liberation from Poole.  A very comfortable & relaxed way to travel, although the slower train & ship option via Portsmouth can be slightly cheaper.

London Jersey & Guernsey

Jersey & Guernsey ► London

How much does it cost?   London to Jersey or Guernsey from £44 each way...

How to buy tickets...

Integrated train & ferry tickets from any British station to the Channel Islands existed for over a century, but in recent times were not advertised, weren't made available online, and unsurprisingly were discontinued in 2014.  So you now need to buy separate tickets as explained here.

 

 

- Select 'UK' as your place of departure if your journey starts on the mainland. 

- then select a route to your chosen Channel Island, Jersey or Guernsey.  It doesn't matter whether you select Poole or Portsmouth, as in the search results you'll see departures from both UK ports to your chosen Channel Island.

- After booking the ferry, buy a train ticket from any British station to Portsmouth or Poole at www.virgintrains.co.uk.

Children, luggage, dogs & bikes...

What's the journey like?

 

Travel from London Waterloo to either Poole or Portsmouth by air-conditioned 100mph electric train. 

Take a train to Poole for the afternoon fast ferry to Jersey or Guernsey...   On board the train from London to Portsmouth to get the ferry to Jersey...

On board the Condor Liberation from Poole to Guernsey or Jersey...

The Condor Liberation is a wave-piercing Trimaran, built in Australia in 2010 with a service speed of 35 knots (40 mph).  She has regular seating, premium Ocean Plus seating with a 180-degree panoramic forward-facing view and premium Ocean Club seating with at-seat steward service and complimentary tea, coffee & soft drinks.  There's a self-service cafe-restaurant, a bar and open observations decks at the stern from which to enjoy the sea views both leaving the UK and arriving in Guernsey and Jersey.  You'll be treated to a departure past all the small boats in Poole Harbour, past the 16th century castle on Brownsea Island, past Sark and Herm before sailing into St Peter Port on Guernsey, then a trip right along the south-west coast of Jersey past Corbière lighthouse, St Brelade's Bay and Portlet Bay, then an entrance to St Helier Harbour passing right by Elizabeth Castle.  Condor Ferries' Ocean Club Class is easily the most comfortable and civilised way to reach the Channel Islands, although you can't beat that panoramic view from Ocean Plus!

The Channel Islands ferry Condor Liberation sailing from Guernsey

The Condor Liberation wave-piercing trimaran, leaving St Peter Port on Guernsey...

Enrance to Ocean Club class on the Condor Liberation   Club class on the Condor Liberation

Ocean Club:  The top class on board.  A small premium lounge located on one side of the vessel, with steward service of complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits & soft drinks, orders for food, wine and beer taken and served at your seat.  There are power sockets at all seats.

The Man in Seat 61 says, "On an evening crossing, the quiet environment and at-seat food & drink service has wonderful.  But on a daylight crossing I think I'd miss the panoramic views in Ocean Plus."

Ocean Plus class on the Condor Liberation   Entrance to Ocean Plus class on the Condor Liberation

Ocean Plus:  The middle of the three classes.  A large lounge at the front of the vessel with a superb forward-facing panoramic 180-degree view.  There are power sockets at all seats, and the lounge has its own bar service wine, beer, tea, coffee, soft drinks, cakes & snacks.  The door to Ocean Plus has a digital lock, you'll be given the 4-digit code when you check in.

The Man in Seat 61 says, "This is my favourite class.  More spacious and comfortable seats than the regular ones (almost as good as Club class seats), power sockets, its own bar, but best of all that wonderful panoramic forward view.  Well worth the small premium over a regular ticket.  I heartily recommend the Liberation Blonde craft beer, brewed on Guernsey"

Regular seats on the Condor Liberation   The Condor Liberation's self-service cafe

Regular seats:  Comfortable and with drop-down tables, though no power sockets.

  Cafe serving hot meals with wine, beer, coffee, tea, soft drinks.  You take it back to your seat...
Brownsea Island from the Poole-Guernsey ferry   Open deck on the Condor Liberation

Brownsea Island to starboard as we sail out of Poole Harbour, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownsea_Island.

 

The Condor Liberation has quite a lot of open deck aft, on two levels.  Though it's windy at 30 knots!

Open deck on the Condor Liberation   Open deck on the Condor Liberation

A perk of the job.  Given permission to visit the bridge of the Condor Liberation.  In son Nate's words, awesome...

View of Sark from the Condor Liberation Ocean Plus lounge

Sark ahoy!  That superb panoramic forward-facing view in Ocean Plus is put to good use as the Condor Liberation passes Sark and Herm on her way in to Guernsey.

Castle Cornet, St Peter Port, Guernsey   The Condor Liberation enters St Peter Port, Guernsey

Castle Cornet, on the left as the Liberation enters St Peter Port harbour on Guernsey.

 

The Condor Liberation enters St Peter Port harbour on Guernsey...

Condor Liberation fast ferry departs Guernsey for Jersey

Goodbye Condor Liberation...  Off she sails for Jersey, her next stop.  Taken from Castle Cornet pier.

The Man in Seat 61 says, "Our outward crossing on a late September morning was smooth and comfortable out of Poole Harbour.  Wave height was about 1 metre, enough to cancel some fast ferries, but the slight up & down in mid-Channel was nothing to write home about as the Condor Liberation rode the waves.  Once approaching Guernsey past Sark & Herm, it was all smooth again.  Our return crossing was pretty smooth all the way.  We were spot on time both ways..."


Option 2, by all-weather ship from Portsmouth

The leisurely all-weather option.  London to Jersey or Guernsey from £29...

This is the leisurely all-weather option, and the foot passenger fare is usually slightly cheaper than the fast ferry.  The Condor Liberation can sail in anything up to 3.5m wave height, making her more reliable than most other lightweight fast ferries.  But she can be cancelled if the weather is very bad, especially in winter.  Condor Ferries also operate a daily all-year all-weather sailing using their conventional ship Commodore Clipper from Portsmouth to Jersey & Guernsey taking 9-10 hours.  In the northbound direction she sails overnight with cosy cabins available, making it very time-effective.

London Jersey & Guernsey

Jersey & Guernsey ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

Integrated train & ferry tickets from any British station to the Channel Islands existed for over a century, but in recent times were not advertised, weren't made available online, and unsurprisingly were discontinued in 2014.  So you now need to buy separate tickets as explained here.

 

 

- Select 'UK' as your place of departure if your journey starts on the mainland. 

- then select a route to your chosen Channel Island, Jersey or Guernsey.  It doesn't matter whether you select Poole or Portsmouth, as in the search results you'll see departures from both UK ports to your chosen Channel Island.

- After booking the ferry, buy a train ticket from any British station to Portsmouth or Poole at www.virgintrains.co.uk.

Children, luggage, dogs & bikes...

What's a crossing on the Commodore Clipper like?

The Commodore Clipper is designed to carry passengers, cars & freight at 18.5 knots.  Her passenger accommodation isn't as extensive as some ships, but she's clean, comfortable and well-run.  Private cabins are available, and there's a self-service brasserie, a lounge-bar with panoramic views, a duty free shop, and Club class seating available for a supplement.  You'll be treated to a departure from Portsmouth Continental Ferry port past the Royal Navy frigates and even the odd aircraft carrier in the naval dockyard, past Nelson's HMS Victory and ironclad HMS Warrior in the dockyard museum, a call at St Peter Port on Guernsey, then a trip along the coast of Jersey from Corbière lighthouse, past St Brelade's Bay, then an entrance to St Helier Harbour with great views passing right by Elizabeth Castle.

Condor Ferries 'Commodore Clipper' conventional ship from Portsmouth to the Channel Islands   Taking the ferry to Jersey or Guernsey:  A cabin on the Commodore Clipper

The all-weather Commodore Clipper...

 

A cabin on the Commodore Clipper.

Sailing out of Portsmouth by ferry to Jersey

Sailing out of Portsmouth is a highlight, past the naval dockyard with Nelson's HMS Victory and (visible above) the first iron-clad warship HMS Warrior.  You can also see Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower in this shot, on a misty morning...

At sea on the ferry to Jersey   The ferry arrives off Jersey

A day at leisure at sea...

 

Arriving off Jersey...


Buses on Jersey & Guernsey...

There are good bus services between all major points on Jersey and Guernsey.

Bicycles are also a great way to see the Islands, with well-marked low-traffic cycle routes across the Islands and several bike hire agencies available.  Jersey is only 10 miles across, so bikes are an easy way to get around.

Ferries between the Channel Islands...

  The Channel Islands:  Mont Orgeuil Castle, Jersey.  It's easy to reach Jersey by train & ferry.
 

Mont Orgeuil Castle, Jersey

Guernsey - Sark

The Isle of Sark Shipping Co provides 1 to 5 sailings daily between St Peter Port (Guernsey) and Sark, taking 45 minutes.  See www.sarkshippingcompany.com.

Guernsey - Herm

Travel Trident provides regular daily sailings between St Peter Port (Guernsey) and Herm island, taking 20 minutes.  See www.traveltrident.com.

Guernsey - Alderney

www.manche-iles-express.com provides occasional sailings to Alderney ('Aurigny' in French) by fast ferry.  Also see www.alderneygiftbox.com/index.php?p=1_5_Lady-Maris 

Jersey - Guernsey

www.condorferries.co.uk offer fast ferries between St Helier (Jersey) and St Peter Port (Guernsey) in about 55 minutes, with day trips possible, plus a daily sailing by ship.  www.manche-iles-express.com and www.hdferries.co.uk also offer sailings by fast ferry.

Jersey - Sark

www.manche-iles-express.com provides occasional sailings to Sark ('Serq' in French) by fast ferry.

Ferries from the Channel Islands to France...

Jersey & Guernsey St Malo

www.condorferries.co.uk operates fast ferries from Jersey to St Malo.  www.hdferries.co.uk also started running this route in March 2007, twice daily in summer, 3 times a week in winter, but are suspended again for winter 2008/9.  Emeraude Lines (www.emeraudelines.com) also used to run from Jersey to St Malo, but the company ceased operating in 2006. 

For onwards train connections from St Malo to Paris, see the French Railways website, www.loco2.com or www.trainline.eu.  You can check fares and book online at this site.

Jersey & Guernsey Normandy

See www.itferries.com.

Alderney Cherbourg

See www.manche-iles-express.com for fast ferries from Jersey/Guernsey to Diélette, Barneville-Carteret and Granville in Normandy.


Hotels & accommodation

Find a hotel in Jersey or Guernsey...

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

  • www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

  • www.booking.com is my own preferred hotel booking system (Hotels Combined being a search/comparison system).  It has a simple interface, a good selection in most countries worldwide, useful online customer reviews of each hotel, and decent prices, usually shown inclusive of unavoidable extras such as taxes (a pet hate of mine is systems that show one price, then charge you another!).

Suggested hotel on Guernsey...

  • In St Peter Port on Guernsey, easily the best hotel in town is the Old Government House Hotel, formerly the residence of the Governor.


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