CORBIERE (III)                               1985 – 1991   

Owner         Nordisk Faergefan.

Operator      Channel Islands Ferries    

Builder         Jos L. Meyer, Papenburg  Yn 560.   1970

Tonnage       6,480gt  2218nt  1200      

Dimensions  108.72m     17.25m  4.598m    

Propulsion    2 x Man  oil engines   9,054 bhp  Ne 82   

Passengers    870dk pass

CORBIERE came to the Channel Islands in March 1985 when a new company Channel Island Ferries commenced a service from Portsmouth to the Islands. The vessel had been operating for Brittany Ferries as BENODET on their Plymouth to Roscoff route, and she arrived Falmouth from Plymouth for handover on March 3 1985. The ship left that port as CORBIERE on 9 March bound for Saint Malo where she was overhauled, and this completed, CORBIERE arrived at St. Peter Port on March 26, sailing the next day for St. Helier ready to commence her maiden voyage to Portsmouth on March 28.

In late June that year the ship included Saint Malo in her sailings, this to cover for the PRINCE OF BRITTANY, and a month later had to have a quick dry docking in Southampton to fix a propeller problem.  

On September 30 1986 it was announced that British Ferries (Channel Islands) and Channel Island Ferries were to join up and form British Channel Islands Ferries, and that CORBIERE and EARL GRANVILLE would provide the main Portsmouth to Channel Islands service. This resulted in the blocking of the ramp in St. Peter Port, and for a period of time CORBIERE was unable to berth in Guernsey.

The formation of British Channel Islands Ferries still went ahead, and when the ship returned to service after overhaul in 1987, the logo on the ships hull now included the word British.

The completion of the new ro/ro berths at Jersey in early 1989 meant that larger ships could be used on the service, resulting in the introduction of ROZEL in February that year. CORBIERE thus made her last passenger sailing on Monday February 20, then took up the cargo service until April 8 1989, being replaced by the HAVELET.

The ship was then used from May 26 to open the passenger service on the Poole to Cherbourg of the Truckline service until replaced by the TREGASTEL in that July, and she was then laid up in Cherbourg.

It announced late in 1989 that the ship would provide an extra service on the Poole to Cherbourg service, and when she arrived in the Islands on April 2  1990 to replace HAVELET during overhaul / improvements the ship was in Truckline colours, but still named CORBIERE. She remained on the C.I. route until May 10 when she sailed from Guernsey to Cherbourg.

Late in the summer it was announced that the ship had been sold to Eckero Line for delivery in 1991, but she still had a few more spells of C.I. service.

From October 1 1990 she again replaced HAVELET until November 9, and then chartered to the French Government for voyage from Toulon to the Middle East with Gulf  War supplies.

CORBIERE was back in CI waters early the following year when between January 28 1991 and February 28 again replacing HAVELET. This was her last call to the Islands, and after a summer spent on the Poole to Cherbourg route she finished service Truckline service on September 29, and ended her charter to Brittany Ferries.

The ship had been built in 1970 as APOLLO for the Baltic services of Viking Line, but remained in their service only until 1975, being replaced by larger vessels. She was sold that year to Ole Lauritzen for use by Olau Line on its Sheerness to Vlissingen service, but the company ran into difficulties in 1980, resulting in the ship being arrested on 10 September 1980. In 1981 the ship was sold to Nordisk Faergefan, renamed GELTING NORD, being used in 1982 on their Faborg to Gelting route, then in 1984 on the Hundested to Sandefjord service.

This ceased in 1984 when a long term charter to Brittany Ferries became available, and she was renamed BENODET and took up their Roscoff to Plymouth service on 29 April 1984.

As we have seen she moved to Channel Island Ferries in 1985, and following the end of her Brittany Ferries charter in October 1991 she was sold to Eckero Linjen. She was used on charter by a number of operators, Estonian New Line from 1991 to 1994, operating between Helsinki and Tallinn trading as LINDA I.  She then went to Tallink for 1994, and the following year to Eestin Linjat for whom she reverted to the name APOLLO.   

Laid up for a period in 1998, she then went on charter the following year to Langeland – Kiel, but was laid up on 1 July due to the EU terminating duty free sales on board vessels in EU waters.

It was while laid up that the ship was sold to the Labrador Marine Inc., part of the Woodword Group in Canada, for use on the service between St. Barbe in Newfoundland and Sablon in Quebec. The vessel is still in service making two round voyages each day, and is still named APOLLO.

                                                       Picture  :  © PHOTO ONE 301w  93k     

Arriving Jersey for the first time March 27 1985                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Picture  :  PHOTO ONE

                                                                                                                  131w  9.928



                                                                                                                                                                   126w 9.38k  

                                                                                                                                          Picture  :  PHOTO ONE  CP88/M/13  

   Seen operating with the title British Channel Island Ferries, on February 9 1989 ,   ten days before being replaced by ROZEL.                                    

                                                                                                                                         Picture  :  PHOTO ONE   CP88/M/14

 Pictured on same day as above.                                                         310web  105k


                                                                                                                                                              Picture  :  PHOTO ONE  

  Her last spell of service saw her in the colours of  Truckline Ferries.      305web  66k


CORNOUAILLES                       IMO 7527899    (LN7527899)             


Owner:          Brittany Ferries  

Operator        British Channel Islands Ferries.       

Builder           A/S Bergens M/V, Bergen.   Yn. 735      1977

Tonnage         6,918ngt   2,294nrt  1650    1,1650dw

Dimensions    109.7m  length bp  102.24m  x 16.50m  Draft  4.312m

Propulsion     Twin screw, oil engines.  2 x Pielstick  K-H-Deutz    11,200 bhp  

Passengers     500 pass     1990 560 pass                                                  16 kts

This vessel first came to the Islands as CORNOUAILLES in 1986 when between March 4 and March 15 she replaced CORBIERE on the Channel Islands Ferries between Portsmouth and the Islands. She returned the following year when she stood in for the PORTELET on the British Channel Islands Ferries service from Weymouth to the Islands.

Her first call as HAVELET was on April 10 1989 when she took up the BCIF service between Poole and the Islands. being on charter from Brittany Ferries.

See HAVELET for full history.

                                                                                                                        Picture  :  PHOTO ONE  CP86/7/24   201w  54.3k

CORNOUAILLES  arriving Jersey April 15 1987


COTE DES ILES (I)                      1973-1975

Builder         Nort-sur-Erdre, Nantes.                       1970

Tonnage       53gr  30net

Dimensions   17.5m  4.2m  2.0m

Propulsion    Twin screw, Baudoin oil engines each 125 H.P.

Passengers    80

The vessel was used to commence a service between Port Bail and Gorey in 1973. A new company was set up to challenge the service from Carteret, and commenced  on June 4 that year. The service came about due to the Association Pour Le Developpement et la Ronouiation Rurale de Secteur Barneville - Carteret - Portbail, and such was its success that she was replaced after only two seasons by a larger vessel.

COTE DES ILES had been built in 1970 as DE POINTIS for use at Nantes, and was altered before entering service at Port Bail.

Withdrawn at the end of the 1974 season, she left Port Bail on November 7 and was delivered to her new owners Flotta Sg at Greenock on November13 when she was renamed FLOTTA. The vessel was registered in Glasgow on January 12 1976 to Ian David Wilson of London, and on January 26 1976 there were five Bills of Sale , each of 9 shares to Roro Shipping Co. Ltd., M. C. Baker, C. W. Herbert, G. L. Robinson, M. T. Waters. All 64 shares were sold on February 25 / March 7 1977 to Offshore Workboats Ltd., and on April 15 1977 permission was granted to rename the vessel FLOTTA OWL.

By Bill of Sale dated October 24 1983 the vessel passed to Jeship Ltd., of Great Yarmouth, and on November 29 1983 she was registered as PINGER.

The registry was cancelled on June 1 1987.

Last known details are that she had a certificate for 58 passengers until September 24 1980.

It has been reported that she has appeared in the sales lists of several magazines since that time.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Picture  : PHOTO ONE

  COTE DES ILES approaching Gorey August 4 1973                         305web  59k

                                                                                                                                                             Picture  :   Emy - Le Goubey, Caen  No. 22    

 Arriving at Portbail                                                                          301 web  271k

                                                                                                                                                 Picture  :  ARTAUD Freres   820   

  Alongside at Portbail                                                                                                    832k


COTENTIN    Data LR 1897/98    

Owner         Societe de la Roche et Cie, Port Bail

Builder        R & H Green, London     Yn 472             3.1884

Tonnage      132gr  67net

Dimensions  97oa  90.0(rl)  18.1  8.4  6’ draft

Propulsion   Single screw, SR, 2cyl 15" & 27" -18"  by Alex Wilson & Co., Vauxhall   

                        26 NHP  157 i.h.p.        9 knots                             

COTENTIN was built for the Portbail - Gorey route and  launched in London on April 5 1884, arriving in St. Helier from Portbail to show the flag May 8.

She mostly ran all the year round but as traffic built up through Carteret there were times when she was laid up during the winter months.  

The vessel spent much of 1891 under repair, and also for a period in 1892, and this no doubt led to the law suite in April 1883 between the Commune of Portbail and M. De La Roche regarding the poor service.

Changes took place in the following year, but COTENTIN did not return.  

The next know service of the ship was in about 1909 when she started operating on the Brest / Le Conquet to Ouessaint, and Lloyds Registers would indicate that she was still owned by Le Roux & Cie but registered in Brest.

By 1915 the vessel was at Boulogne and in LR 1919/20 she was owned by P. Libert, but still registered at Brest. Her last entry in LR was in the 1926/27 edition.

                                                                                                                                         Picture  :

   COTENTIN at Gorey.                                                                                                 546k


COURIER (I)                                 1876-1913           On 71854  


Operator     T.N. Barbenson & Co.

Builder        Day, Summers & Co., Northam. Yn 39  Completed 4.1876

Tonnage     1876  86gr  35net

                 1894  105gr 37net

Dimensions 1876  99.8(rl)  17.1  7.9

                 1894  109.7(rl)  17.1  8.1  Re-measured

Propulsion   Single screw, SR, 2cyl 13" & 26" -18"         30 HP

Upon  the death of Capt. George Scot in 1875 Alderney found itself without a steamer service to Guernsey, and some residents joined together and decided to built a ship for the route. The vessel was named COURIER and launched by Miss Wills on February 26 1876, arriving in Guernsey following a call at Alderney on April 11 that year. The ship was owned by six  shareholders and operated by Mr. T.N. Barbenson & Co. The vessel proved too small for the trade, and a larger vessel was built in 1883 and given the same name, but as COURIER (I) was not sold the two ships became known in the islands as little COURIER and  big COURIER.

In 1897 the share holders formed the Alderney Steam Packet Co. to own the two vessels,  and the registration passed to the company.

COURIER (I)  was used as relief vessel when required and operated excursions during the summer, and was based in Jersey for 1901 1902, 1903, 1905, 1910 and 1911.

In January 1913 it was stated that COURIER (I) had been sold to Italian buyers for use in and around Constantinople. She sailed from Guernsey as AHDON on February 3 bound for Naples after a call at Dartmouth.  The vessel was then to  proceed to Turkey to be used as a passenger steamer in and around Constantinople.           

The vessels change of name was noted in Lloyds Register of Shipping for 1912/1913 as AYDON but no owners, and her entry in the Register remained until the 1919/1920 edition, but no further information has been found for her removal from the book.

                                                                                                                                          Picture  :  Collection P.B., Cherbourg

   The two COURIER’s in Cherbourg                                                             101w  19.87k




                                                                                                                                                  Picture  :      

    COURIER (I) close to the harbour mouth at Creux, between 1889 - 1894.

    Note - There is no lower landing in the pier head.                                  101w  20.1k


COURIER  (II)       1883-1947            On 86457

Operator      T. N. Barbenson & Co.

Builder         Day, Summers & Co., Northam.  Yn 68 Completed 7.1883

Tonnage       1883 140gr  49net

                    1899 151gr  55net

Dimensions  129.8(rl)  19.2  9.7

Propulsion    Single screw, SR, 2cyl 20" & 40" -24"  65 RHP

Passengers       1947 had Steam 2 cert for 185 pass.

Built to provide a better service in the conditions experienced in the area, the ship was given the same name as her smaller sister, and they became known as the Big and Little COURIER’s. The vessel underwent trials in Southampton Water on June 28 1883, and arrived in Guernsey on July 5.

Like the smaller vessel, COURIER (II) was owned by many local residents holding a small number of shares, with the vessel being managed by T. N. Barbenson & Co. This changed on September 24 1897 when all the privately owned shares were sold to the newly formed Alderney Steam Packet Company, but still with the same managers.

The vessel was a well loved ship, but operating in an area of fast tidal runs and narrow passages the ship suffered a number of incidents.

On November 16 1893 in thick mist she struck the Flat Rock off Herm when inward bound to Guernsey but managed to reach St. Peter Port. On August 26 1901 when taking the Perchee Passage off Herm the ship struck rocks and had to be beached at Herm, and following patching and re-floating, she proceeded to Southampton on September 6 where repairs took a month.

The most serious incident took place on April 30 1906 when she was again off Herm and struck rocks, but this time she was not so lucky and sank with the loss of one life. The vessel was uninsured at the time, but her owners salvaged her, the vessel being raised on July 13 1906 and towed to Southampton on October 8 by the tug ALBERT EDWARD (later to become JOYBELL III). COURIER (II) was repaired, and arrived back in Guernsey on December 16 1906, with the steering position having been raised by three feet.

The ship maintained her lifeline service during the first World War, and little changed until 1928, when on October 6, Peter Thomas Mignot and Edward George Willis were designated as managers.

Further changes took place the following year, when in August 1929 Rev P. T. Mignot purchased the remaining shares in the company that he did not own, and then in the November, the Alderney registered company was placed in liquidation, and a company of the same name was registered in Guernsey. COURIER (II) passed by a Bill of Sale dated November 13 1929 to the Guernsey company, with the P. T. Mignot being named Manager.

The operation of the vessel must have been proving difficult at this time, as on February 2 1931 it was announced that the ship had been sold to the St. Malo & Binic S. S. Co. this to take effect upon completion of her overhaul at Dartmouth, for which she left Guernsey the next day. COURIER (II) returned on March 11, and that day ownership was transferred, with Piperell being the managers. During the overhaul, the bridge had been raised to a full deck height, and it was noted in the press that the ship sailed for Sark on March 13 with the new owners house flag at her main mast.

This was a time of changing traffic in the area, and on April 29 1933, to better reflect the current business of the owners, the company title was altered to the Guernsey, Alderney & Sark Steamship Co., with J. G. Piperell & E. G. Piprell remaining as Managers.  

By the late 1930’s a rival company was providing a serious challenge, and on October 20 1938 the Guernsey, Alderney & Sark company was taken over by Capt. John Albert Leighton, who became the managing owner, but the company retained its name.

The ship went to the United Kingdom before the Islands were invaded by the German forces in June 1940 and she spent much of her time working in the Clyde as H.M.S. CARACOLE.

Unfortunately Capt. Leighton died in 1944, and there was thus no one to re-start the company after the War, and COURIER (II) came under the management of Mr. Farrar Wolferstan Thomas. The ship was purchased on June 6 1947 by a company called Sark Projects Ltd with Mr. Albert Edward Hussey of Sark as manager.  

The ship returned to Guernsey on July 11 1947 amidst much nostalgia, and commenced services to Sark and Alderney, but there were too many operators on the routes, and a coal fired steamer was not an economic venture, and COURIER (II) slipped out of St.Peter Port on November 25 1947 never to return.

She sailed to Shoreham and was laid up, remained there until January 14 1949 when she left in tow of the Dutch tug HUMBER bound for Niew Lekkerland in Holland where she arrived the following day to be broken up by Mach en Scheeps "De Koophandel".

                                                                                                                                                                   Picture  : Fred Tozer


   COURIER ((II) pictured as built at Alderney.                                                  395w  808k

                                                                                                                                       Picture  :

    Providing trips round the Royal Yacht VICTORIA AND ALBERT during a visit

  by King George V and Queen Mary on July 11 1921.                                   397w  341k

                                                                                                                                                  Picture  :

   COURIER (II) seen alongside Quai Cologny, her usual berth for her twice weekly

 service from Guernsey and Alderney.                                             395w

   Seen departing St. Peter Port.                                                             401w  216k

                                                                                                                                                     Picture  : Courtesy  G. Harris.

   Seen at Alderney after March 1931, showing the bow scroll to good effect.

                                                                                                       346w  808k

                                                                                                                                               Picture  :

    COURIER (II) pictured at Alderney in March 1931, now with a raised bridge, and

     black top to her funnel.                                                                      399w  430k

                                                                                                                                                Picture  :

   COURIER (II) seen arriving St. Peter Port for the first time after WW II on July 10

 1947.                                                                                               307w  423k


CYGNE                                   1894 - 1912


Builder         A.Normand, Havre.                             1854

Tonnage       146gr  63 net

Dimensions  138.1(rl)  19.0  9.3

Propulsion    Paddles, SR, 2cyl  37½ " -41¾ "   Mazeline Freres, Havre.    140nhp

The vessel made her inaugural voyage from Carteret to Gorey on June 30 1894, and was to remain on this route for the next eighteen years. Many post cards of the ship were produced of her, both at Gorey and Carteret most with her flying the CRN house flag of Compagnie Rouennaise de Navigation, and being registered at Rouen.

In September 1895 it was reported that a new steamer was to replace CYGNE for 1896, but this did not occur, but on August 3 1897 the paper stated “the new French paddle steamer CYGNE arrived at Gorey this morning. The boat is much on the same model as the old CYGNE but much improved upon. Has straight stem, with rounded stern, with anchors of the improved  type to draw up close to the hawse pipe”.

This proved to be incorrect, as it was the same CYGNE, but she had undergone a major overhaul, and at the same time undergone a change of ownership.

Although many post cards were produced of the vessel, all collected so far can be dated to after the ships major overhaul.

During her time on the route she had one major incident, when in October 1903, the vessel had a machinery defect just outside Carteret harbour, and the local lifeboat took off  the passengers as the steamers position appeared critical.

On October 14 1912 CYGNE made her last sailing on the route, and left the same day for Havre.

The Lloyds Casualty Returns for 1 April - 30 June 1913 state that the vessel had been  broken up at Boulogne.    

The details of the vessel first appeared in Lloyds Register in the 1890/1891 edition, stating that she had been built in 1854, and that her name had been changed from HALLOIN to CYGNE in 1882.

It is difficult to exactly state her owners, but the local newspaper reports give the following operators, 1894 - Steamboat & Omnibus Co. of Rouen, 1895 - Rouen Steam Packet Co.,  - 1897 Rouen Co.,  - 1901 Compagnie Francaise de Navigation et de Constructions Navales, and in 1909 Compagnie Rouennaise de Navigation.

Owners taken from Lloyds Registers give -

1890 -1895 Cie Anonyme des Paquebots à Vapeur entre Le Havre, Caen, Honfleur,

                  et Les Ports De la Normandie.  

1896 – 1902 Cie des Bateaux Omnibus de Rouen.  

1903  - 1905 Cie, Franc. De Nav. & de Const. Nav et Satre Reunis. ( the 1905 entry

                   states company in liquidation)        

1906 – 1912  Soc des Bateaux Omnibus de Rouen.  

                                                                                                                                                                     Picture  :  unknown

    CYGNE in an all white colour scheme, and being dressed “overall” it could be

  following her major overhaul in 1897. The card is post marked July 1902.

                                                                                                                                 319w  557k

                                                                                                                                                                          Picture  :  No 40

    At Gorey, note the wooden slide down which luggage and small parcels were

 loaded onto the ship. The light house was erected in June 1898.           309w  785k

                                                                                                                                                         Picture  :  H. G. Allix  No 71

    Seen leaving Gorey.                                                 311w  696k

                                                                                                                                                 Picture  :

   Arriving Carteret                                                                                321w  602k

                                                                                                                                                          Picture  :  

    Note the CRN house flag.                                                                   315w  647k

                                                                                                                                                     Picture  :   

                                    A very smart CYGNE pictured at Gorey alongside the wooden landing stage

      erected early in 1909.                                                                               011w  853k              

                                                                                                                      Picture  :  Collect des Nouvelles Galeries  No 29

   Seen laid-up for the winter at Les Quais et la Bourse.                            323w  663k

                                                                                                                                                                      Picture  : Ian Boyd

   A painting by Ian Boyde, used as the basis for the Jersey Post stamp issued in

                                                                                                          1w  235k