LD Lines has announced the launch of the largest fast ferry ever to operate on the cross channel routes between England and France, with the introduction of a brand new, high-speed Incat 112-meter Wave-Piercing Catamaran to its Dover–Boulogne service from May 29.
The fast ferry will be the first-ever freight carrying high speed vessel to operate across the Dover Straits and LD Lines becomes the first-ever French ferry company to operate high speed ferries on the short sea routes from Dover. The vessel is also the world's largest diesel-powered catamaran and it will be the first Incat 112-meter to operate in Europe.
At nearly 11,000 gross tons, the new craft is one of the largest vessels yet built by Incat, providing significantly greater seakeeping qualities and passenger comfort than earlier generation fast ferries familiar to Dover Strait, cross channel passengers.
The new fast ferry will increase frequency from the current two to six return sailings daily, LD Lines says. All types of tourist traffic will be carried onboard, including cars, caravans, motorhomes, motorcycles, coaches and foot passengers, in addition to freight.
The fast ferry will operate up to four return sailings daily between Dover (Eastern Docks) and Boulogne with a crossing time of 1 hour; from Dover at 4:15 a.m.; 7:45 a.m.; 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. From Boulogne, ferries will depart at 7:00 a.m.; 10:45 a.m.; 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Two return 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 1 hour 45 minutes.
Both vessels will initially operate into the Port of Boulogne’s existing ferry berths, but following completion of Boulogne’s new Hub Port Ro Ro Terminal from July 1, both will transfer to the first linkspan of the new Hub Port Terminal.
Dover–Boulogne fares start from approximately $35 one way and short break day returns from $41 for a car and four passengers. For more service information, sailing schedules and to book, visit www.ldlines.com or call 011-44-844-576-8836.