Euroferries service between Ramsgate and Boulogne
In January some exciting news came about for the people of Thanet and East Kent with the announcement that a new fast ferry service from Ramsgate to Boulogne was to commence in spring 2009.
A quick bit of googling lead to the Euroferries website with this statement:
“Euroferries service commencing Spring 2009 between Port of Ramsgate, Kent to the French Port of Boulogne-Sur-Mer.
Dedicated Euroferries passenger terminal areas in both Boulogne and Ramsgate, including shopping areas, restaurant and waiting lounge facilities.
The service will accommodate cars, coaches and foot passengers.
Euroferries state of the art 98m high speed ferry provides a rapid journey time of 75 minutes. The vessel incorporates an extensive onboard ‘tax paid’ shopping area, restaurants and first class designated area.
Boulogne has many restaurants, historical places of interest and the Nausicaa National Sea Experience Centre. Adjacent to the Euroferries Boulogne terminal is a newly built casino, along with a recently completed motorway link which provides fast access to the national motorway network through France.
‘Euroferries Express Coaches’ commuter service linking the ferry to and from London via Ramsgate, Canterbury and the Medway Towns conveniently connects the service to London and the Olympic venues.
New motorway road links at Ramsgate provide a unique gateway to Kent locations such as Canterbury Cathedral, the Whitefriars shopping centre, as well as the newly built shopping and leisure complex at Westwood Cross all within 20 minutes.
The M2 motorway to Ramsgate provides a direct route from London to Ramsgate, avoiding travel congestion associated with other ports.
Leading UK and French coach operators in conjunction with Euroferries will provide a speedy and efficient service to day trip and tour passengers wishing to cross the channel.”
There used to be a passenger service between Ramsgate and Calais until 1998 but now Trans Europa Ferries are currently the only company to operate out of Ramsgate, travelling to Oostende (Belgium), but this service doesn’t accommodate foot passengers, dealing mainly with freight along with some car traffic.
For someone who usually only goes on the ferry for a ‘piss up’ the only option is to sail from Dover, but it’s not just about me on a weekend jolly, of course we should also be thinking of the possibility of extra tourism in the area coming over from France and if this actually goes ahead then it is fantastic news for not just Ramsgate, but Thanet and East Kent, and will hopefully be a success rivalling the old ‘Sally Line’ days.
Local MP Stephen Ladyman commented that “The ferry is expected to arrive in Ramsgate in the middle of February for a start on 1 March” although “Until then we need to keep our fingers crossed that no problems arise – I’ll breathe a sigh of relief when I see the service started and we should save our celebrations until then.”
I’ve had my fingers crossed, my toes crossed and I’ve also been holding my breath awaiting for further news, but at time of writing (2/3/09) there has been no sign.
Roger Latchford, Thanet Council cabinet member for culture and economy, at the end of February said “We are involved in negotiations with Euroferries and their partners about increased routes from the harbour. Ramsgate Port is open for business.”
It appears that there is still some way to go and maybe earlier reports were a bit premature but as long as there is a possibility for this cross-channel service then I will keep my bottle of champers on ice in anticipation.
Popularity: 40% [?]