Good to see Brittany Ferries' Barfleur is back in action on the Poole - Cherbourg route this week. The service ran regularly from Poole until March 2010 when it was withdrawn. It was then reinstated in February 2011 but only lasted the season before being withdrawn again.
This latest re-introduction sees a daily service for the forseeable future, although its first two sailings earlier this week were cancelled as a result of recent bad weather which had delayed the preparation, certification and approval processes.
According the the BBC report, "The Barfleur had been leased to another firm, while Condor Ferries had been providing summer crossings between Poole and Cherbourg. A Brittany Ferries spokesman said the end of both contracts prompted the return of the Barfleur, which he said would run year round depending on how it does this summer".
Disclaimer: Other ferry services are available, but they don't all link Dorset to the Continent. I mean, you could try Red Funnel from Southampton, but you wouldn't get further than the Isle of Wight, and the Brownsea Island ferries don't even get out of Poole Harbour!