Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Euroferries press conference - commencing operations in 'late August'

I first passed on the news back in March of Euroferries announcement of a new ferry service from Ramsgate to Boulogne that was due to start on 31st March and this date came and went without the service launching. By June there was still a holding page on their website and it looked like the service had been nothing more than a pipe dream.

Well on Friday as announced on Kent Online Euroferries held a press conference at Ramsgate Port and finally confirmed that the service would be going ahead with crossings on the Incat Bonanza Express taking just 75 minutes.

There's a fuller press release on Euroferries website which I've repeated below:
EUROFERRIES announces today it will commence its planned Fast Cross Channel Passenger Ferry Service between the ports of Boulogne & Ramsgate during August.

EUROFERRIES recently announced fast ferry services will operate from its two dedicated ferry terminals located within the ports of Boulogne and Ramsgate and have now signed agreements with both Ports.

The fast ferry the “Bonanza Express” will be operated by Euroferries in conjunction with its partner, FRED OLSEN who over the years has developed its highly regarded fast ferry service.

EUROFERRIES initial service, commencing late August will comprise of 5 daily crossings, with Bonanza Express an Incat 96m with a capacity of 146 first class and 570 additional passengers, carrying a combination of cars and luxury coaches. Capable of an operational speed of 38 knots it enables the channel crossing to be completed in a time that favourably competes port to port with the Channel Tunnel crossing time.

A second vessel will join the Bonanza Express service increasing passenger capacity and will also carry a combination of cars and luxury coaches.

EUROFERRIES are responding positively to passenger demand for a fast, efficient and friendly crossing, combined with the use of comfortable seating and attentive cabin crew providing an “in-seat” shopping service. The latest internet technology will further improve our customer experience bringing further added value customer benefits.

Euroferries Chairman, Per Staehr today said : "Euroferries 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."

Further announcements will be forthcoming in the near future including Euroferries partners, ferry services, timetable, pricing and booking arrangements in addition to further announcements regarding the introduction of Euroferries commuter coach service between London and Ramsgate.

Personally I find the suggestion that the service will be up and running by the end of this month a bit over optimistic when they haven't announced prices and can't yet take bookings on their website; and the idea of a second boat also sounds fanciful - surely it'd be good business sense to prove that the service is viable with the first boat before obtaining a second?

Unfortunately even if they do manage to launch in August they'll all but have missed the peak school holiday period and they'll now be looking to pick up passengers on an unproven route as Winter approaches.

We shall see ...

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  • I see Euroferries have just announced their first sailing will be the 14th November 2009. Online
    booking now available on the website.

    By Anonymous Richy, at October 12, 2009  

  • Hi Richy, thanks for the tip-off. The Euroferries website is at last live.

    I did some quick searches, seems prices from 14th November are £66.50 for a return crossing up as far as April 2010 - which is pretty price competitive.
    There wasn't any crossings available from May 2010 onwards so can't book summer holiday crossings for next year yet.

    If anyone actually travels with Euroferries please leave a comment to say what you thought of the new service.

    By Blogger Geoffrey, at October 19, 2009  

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