Latest Incat Catamaran Acquired by LD Lines

Revolutionary New Fast Ferry For Dover – Boulogne Route
Incat is delighted to announce the acquisition of its latest 112 metre high speed catamaran by France’s LD Lines. The largest ever fast ferry to operate on the cross channel routes between England and France will enter service between Dover and Boulogne on 29 May 2009.

The new 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 is the first Incat 112 metre to operate in Europe.

At nearly 11,000 gross tonnes 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 passengers.

LD Lines’ new Dover-Boulogne service will be greatly enhanced as the new fast ferry will increase frequency from the current two to six return sailings daily. All types of tourist traffic will be carried including cars, caravans, motorhomes, 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 0415 ; 0745 ; 1230 and 1900 and from Boulogne at 0700 ; 1045 ; 1700 and 2230.

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 1 July 2009, the Incat fast ferry will then transfer to inaugurate and operate into the first linkspan of the new Hub Port Terminal. The conventional ferry will continue to operate into the current Port of Boulogne berth.

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, as Managing Director, Christophe Santoni explains.

“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.”

The step is no less exciting for Incat, whose vessels have been a part of the Dover scene for nearly 20 years. “We are thrilled that our latest generation 112 metre ship has been placed with LD Lines on the Dover Strait where passengers are familiar with earlier generation Incat vessels. We believe they will be pleasantly surprised by the increase in size and capacity that this new ship brings to the Channel,” Robert Clifford says.

Commenting on the expansion of the Dover – Boulogne service with a brand new fast ferry, Francis Leroy, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Boulogne-sur-Mer Cote d’Opale, said, “By creating the new Hub Port Terminal, the commercial port of Boulogne is positioning itself strongly within the ferry transport market. For the port of Boulogne this new service is a new step in the development of rapid links.”

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

Incat 112 metre / Hull 066

The vessel has been specifically built for the European market by Incat for MGC Chartering an Irish based leasing company providing a wide range of financial solutions to ferry operators including longer term bareboat charters of both new and second hand vessels. MGC has over 25 years of experience in aviation leasing and in founding MGC Chartering has adapted that very successful aviation model to the needs of the ferry market.

The new craft will operate at speeds of approximately 40 knots providing capacity for up to 417 cars or 567 lane metres of truck space and 195 cars. The accommodation is designed to cater for up to 1200 passengers in high levels of stylish comfort.

Technical details:

Builder: Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd
Length overall: 112.60 metres;
Beam (moulded): 30.50 metres
Draft: approx: 3.93 metres;
Speed: approx 40 knots
Deadweight: 1000 tonnes – high speed operation
1000 -1450 tonnes – reduced speed ‘cargo-only’ operation
Passengers: 1200 including crew
Vehicles: 567 metres of freight plus 195 cars or total of 417 cars