Condor Ferries issues an apology after dozens of vehicles were stuck in a ferry for more than 12 hours after a ramp to disembark failed.

A fault with the internal ramp meant cars on the upper deck were unable to get off the vessel which arrived in Portsmouth from Jersey at 7am on Saturday morning.

Condor said 110 people and 44 vehicles had been stuck but they all disembarked the Commodore Clipper ferry at about 7.50pm.

Many of the passengers whose vehicles were on the upper deck chose to stay on board for the day, where free food and drink was provided. Others chose to leave the ship, returning to collect their vehicles once the ramp was repaired, according to the ferry company.

The ramp was due to be repaired yesterday (Sunday).

Condor expects to be able to operate Clipper’s next scheduled sailing today after a sailing from Portsmouth on Saturday was cancelled.

Meanwhile, work to repair fast ferry Condor Liberation, which developed two technical faults on Friday, was continuing in Poole, the company added.

Condor Liberation will not sail between the UK and the Channel Islands today but an additional service is planned for tomorrow.

Executive chairman, Russell Kew, who spent Saturday at Condor’s Portsmouth terminal and on board Commodore Clipper, said: “I’d like to apologise to all those customers who have been inconvenienced over the last 24 hours, and to thank them for their understanding and patience.  

“Having spent today in Portsmouth, members of the senior management team and I were able to answer customer questions, and support our staff in looking after all those who were affected. 

“I’d like to thank our engineering, call centre, on board and port staff for their commitment to supporting our customers.”

The problems came a day after the company issued a statement saying it was “acutely aware of the inconvenience and frustration experienced by some customers over recent months”.

Condor said: “We value and appreciate every one of our customers and value all feedback very highly. We have been listening, and will continue to listen to the positive and critical feedback that we receive on a daily basis.

“The Condor board, management, crew and staff are all committed to delivering a reliable and comfortable Channel Islands ferry service for our customers, whether freight, car or foot passengers.

“We have invested significantly and made many improvements and changes over the last year to remedy the issues experienced during 2015. 

“That effort, focus and commitment remains front of mind for the company. We are always happy to meet with customers who would like to discuss their experience of travelling with us, and will always welcome ideas of how we can improve our service.”