A new fast ferry service, which will provide great travel links between Ramsgate and Boulogne, has been agreed between Thanet District Council and Euroferries.
The new cross channel passenger service ‘ Bonanza Express’, will see five daily crossings between the two ports and will be operated in conjunction with renowned fast ferry operator Fred Olsen. It will carry a combination of cars, foot passengers, coaches and a limited amount of freight and caravans to the continent and is expected to commence in September.
A second vessel is expected to join the service in 2010 to help increase passenger capacity.
The state of the art ferry will reach speeds of up to 38 knots and is expected to provide a rapid journey time of 75 minutes. Onboard the vessel, passengers will be treated to an extensive ‘tax paid’ shopping area, restaurants and first class designated area.
As part of this agreement it is also anticipated that this new service will provide two dedicated passenger terminals, one at Ramsgate and one at Boulogne, which are expected to include shopping areas, restaurant and waiting lounge facilities.
Deputy Leader of the council, Cllr Roger Latchford said: 'We are delighted that Euroferries, working in partnership with Fred Olsen will be operating out of the Port of Ramsgate. The council has been working very hard to regenerate the area of Thanet, and this additional ferry service, which will operate from Ramsgate will provide much needed employment opportunities as well as greatly enhancing tourism prospects to the area. The quick crossing times and easy access into both ports will make this service an attractive alternative route into France and will really prove an invaluable part of the wider regeneration of the district. This is a great attraction for Thanet and we extend a warm welcome to Euroferries and wish them every success.'
Per Staehr Chairman of Euroferries said: 'The signing of this Agreement with Thanet District Council enables us to look forward to building a long term relationship with the local community. Our new five crossing a day high speed service, will be focused on tourist traffic and takes full advantage of the new motorways both to Ramsgate and Boulogne along with the fast turn round terminal facilities within both Ports. This agreement permits us to shortly announce the release of the new web booking service, further details and the provision of our new commuter coach service between London's Stratford Hub and Ramsgate serving Canterbury and the Medway towns. Whilst, today is Thanet District Council's special occasion, we are delighted to attend and to welcome our partner Fred Olsen. The impending arrival of Bonanza Express, Incat 96m in its new Euroferries livery will provide the opportunity for Euroferries to welcome you when we will make further announcements.'
Cllr Peter Campbell, deputy leader of the Labour Group in Thanet, welcomed the news that EuroFerries are to run a new ferry service from Ramsgate Port. 'This is really good news for Ramsgate & Thanet. Our Labour Group supports an expanding and vibrant port, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy. May this service flourish'.