Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

New cross-Channel ferry to start

A new ferry company has announced it will begin its cross-Channel service from Kent within weeks.

Euroferries said it would initially operate four daily 75-minute crossings between Ramsgate and Boulogne from 31 March in partnership with Fred Olsen.

Its 96m (315ft) catamaran Bonanza Express, previously used in the Canary Islands by Fred Olsen Express, has capacity for 900 people and 300 cars.

The service is expected to bring jobs and business opportunities to the area.

Stephen Ladyman, MP for South Thanet, said in January that the company's plans were "a patch of blue sky" in bad economic times and followed several years of negotiations.

London link

Geoffrey Ede, formerly managing director of Dover-based Hoverspeed, has been appointed as Euroferries operations executive.

A company spokesperson said: "Euroferries' base at Ramsgate will bring employment to the area and business to the local community."

The Bonanza Express, which was built in 1999, has a maximum speed of 48 knots unloaded or 38 knots (more than 70 km/hour).

Fred Olsen Express operated the catamaran between Los Cristianos de Tenerife, San Sebastian and El Hierro in the Spanish-owned archipelago.

Euroferries said the vessel has shops, restaurants and a first class area there would be a "limited amount" of space used for freight and caravans.

The company will also operate an express coach service linking the ferry to London via Ramsgate, Canterbury and the Medway Towns.

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New cross-channel ferry service
07 Jul 08 |  England

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