ld lines announcement

20th April 2009, 15:06
The new, high speed Incat 112 metre Wave-Piercing Catamaran will be introduced on the Dover–Boulogne route from May 29.

The vessel is capable of carrying 1,200 passengers and crew and up to 417 cars or a mix of cars and trucks.

The company’s Dover-Boulogne service will be enhanced as the new fast ferry will increase frequency from the current twoto sixreturn sailings a day with a crossing time of one hour.

All types of tourist traffic will be carried including cars, caravans, motorhomes, motorcycles, coaches and foot passengers, in addition to freight.

At nearly 11,000 gross tonnes, the new craft is one of the largest vessels yet built by manufacturer Incat.

It claims to offer “significantly greater seakeeping qualities” and passenger comfort than earlier generation fast ferries familiar to Dover Strait, cross channel passengers.

The fast ferry will be the first freight carrying high speed vessel to operate across the Dover Straits.

LD Lines also becomes the first-ever French ferry company to operate high speed ferries on the short sea routes from Dover.

The vessel is the world's largest diesel-powered catamaran and it will be the first Incat 112 metre to operate in Europe.

The fast ferry will operate up to four daily return sailings between Dover (Eastern Docks) and Boulogne. at 0415; 0745; 1230and 1900 and from Boulogne at 0700; 1045; 1700 and 2230.

Tworeturn sailings daily to Boulogne and one to Dieppe (Monday-Friday) will continue to be operated by the conventional ferry, which introduced the earlier than planned start of the new Dover-Boulogne service in February 2009. Crossing time by conventional ferry is one hour 45 minutes.

Dover–Boulogne fares start from £24 one way and short break day returns from £28 for a car and four passengers.

Both vessels will initially operate into the Port of Boulogne’s existing ferry berths. Following completion of Boulogne’s new Hub Port Ro Ro Terminal from July 1, both will then transfer to inaugurate and operate into the first linkspan of the new Hub Port Terminal.

The introduction of the high speed ferry to operate with the conventional ferry on the Dover-Boulogne service will now mean that the ship “Norman Spirit” will remain on LD Lines’ Portsmouth–Le Havre route.

The vessel had previously been expected to operate the service to Boulogne’s new Ro Ro terminal from July 1.

The introduction of LD Lines’ first-ever fast ferry is a major development for the company, further emphasising the strategy to firmly establish its business on the cross channel routes from Dover,

LD Lines managing director Christophe Santoni said: “This is a very exciting, innovative step forward for LD Lines and with the introduction of this new high speed ferry, we will be dramatically revolutionising ferry transport across the channel, with a style of service never experienced before on the Dover Straits.

“We will be offering a unique, combined high speed and conventional ferry sailing frequency via the Boulogne service, providing great appeal and choice, to meet the demands of tourist and freight customers and create new markets.”

LD Lines’ ferry route network comprises Portsmouth–Le Havre ; Rosslare–Le Havre; Newhaven–Dieppe ; Dover–Boulogne and Dover–Dieppe.