I hope ECR enjoyed Inside-Out tonight as the BBC 'borrowed' inspiration from his hilarious 'Bonanza' paint on /paint off clip from last year. Did anyone spot the 'Cabinet Member' and 'OBE' on 'Wogers' high vis jacket in the replay of last year's interview? I missed it first time round. Why stop there, I thought, why not have a medal ribbon or two, as well. I wonder what 'Mauwice' has on his high vis jacket?
I am surprised that Tony Flaig on Big News Margate, expresses ignorance on Euroferries and the 'Bonanaza' saga; should have followed 'Strife' on the subject since this time last year, Tony and you would have been better informed.
Well my informants from last week were pretty good in respect of LD lines and The Norman Spirit. If Mr Gillan of Euroferries reads 'Strife' and I am sure they do from their 'offices', here is a clear example of how you start up a passenger ferry service from Ramsgate so read carefully the announcement below and for those in Thanet, one is reminded of 'Sally' again:
LD Lines and Transeuropa Ferries have announced a commercial agreement to commence a collaboration on the Ramsgate – Ostend freight and passenger ferry service, initially operating one vessel together.
Starting between 15th and 30th March 2010, the two companies will co-operate on commercial aspects of the route with LD Lines taking a lead in the development of the tourist passenger business, whilst Transeuropa Ferries will continue to build its focus on freight traffic and ship operations.
The agreement also includes fleet changes with LD Lines’ Norman Spirit transferring to the route, which Transeuropa Ferries will operate on a long term charter basis.
Norman Spirit will be re-named Ostend Spirit, operating two return sailings daily, with a crossing time of four hours. The ship is expected to replace one of the current Transeuropa Ferries’ fleet later in 2010.
LD Lines’ Managing Director, Christophe Santoni, said, “We are very pleased to announce this development which will combine the considerable expertise of both companies.
For LD Lines it will further expand our ferry service network and we can now offer the market an extensive choice of routes from the west to east across the English Channel to France, and now to a northern located port in Belgium. The port of Ostend geographically is very well placed to attract new business from the Benelux, Germany and Eastern European countries.”
Dominique Penel, General Manager of Transeuropa Ferries added : “This makes good economic sense for both companies in relation to moving the service forward. Transeuropa have established an excellent, solid freight business via the Ramsgate – Ostend route since we began in 1998 and now with a larger ship, we have the potential to improve the level of service to our freight customers whilst also developing the tourist traffic through LD Lines’ passenger marketing resources.”
The newly named Ostend Spirit will continue to operate under the British flag and be branded in LD Lines’ and Transeuropa Ferries’ colours.
Mr Johan Vande Lanotte, Chairman of the port of Ostend and former Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium said, “This is excellent news for the port of Ostend and for the region. This is a clear signal we have survived the worst of the crisis and we are now building for the future. This co-operation is an important step in our plan for growth.”
In Ramsgate, Councillor Roger Latchford, Thanet District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said, “This is marvellous news for both Ramsgate and Thanet. The port was built to receive vessels of this size and it’s good to welcome them back, especially because of the increased freight and passenger business they represent.”
Ostend Spirit will be returning to her original home port of Ostend, having previously been named Prins Filip. Built in 1991 by the then Belgian ferry operator Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT), the ship entered service in 1992 on the Dover – Ostend route, switching to operate between Ramsgate and Ostend, where she remained until 1997.
The ship will be transferring from LD Lines’ Dover – Boulogne service in March, to be replaced by the ex Brave Merchant which will be re-named,to further develop the route’s freight and tourist traffic and continue to provide a service frequency of four return sailings daily.
Built in 1999, the UK flag 22,152 gross tonnes Brave Merchant has capacity for 2000 lane metres for freight and tourist vehicles and up to 400 passengers.
LD Lines’ tourist fares on the Ramsgate – Ostend service will be available for cars and passengers, cars and caravans, motorhomes, motorcycles and for added on board passenger comfort facilities include cabins and sleeper seats. LD Lines’ launch offer starts from £24 single for a car and five passengers, subject to availiability.
LD Lines’ cross channel ferry service network includes : Dover – Boulogne, Newhaven – Dieppe and Portsmouth – Le Havre routes. For more information and to book : www.ldlines.com or call : 0844 576 8836.
For Transeuropa Ferries information contact : www.transeuropaferries.com orcall : 01843 595522.
Issued on 8th February 2010