Luxury catamaran set to operate across Channel?

The Spirit of Ontario. Picture courtesy BAY FERRIES LTD PHOTO
The Spirit of Ontario. Picture courtesy BAY FERRIES LTD PHOTO

A NEW company planning to start a fast-ferry service from Dover is reported to have made an offer for a large catamaran in America.

It is understood that Navmed wants to bring the Spirit of Ontario to Dover by mid-April ready to start a cross-Channel service from May 1.

As revealed by the Dover Mercury newspaper last week, Navmed has been formed by former Hoverspeed employees and is expected to create some 500 jobs, not all of them being recruited in the UK.

The company is said to have offered 30 million US dollars for the Spirit of Ontario - nicknamed The Cat - which had been operating on Lake Ontario, between the ports of Rochester in New York and Toronto in Ontario. This service was suspended in September 2004.

Journalist Berkeley Brean, from the American television news Channel 10NBC, was among those who have contacted the Dover Mercury this week seeking information about Navmed’s plans for the new ferry service between Dover and Calais and Boulogne.

"We have confirmed that the company has signed an initial contract with the City of Rochester and they are just waiting for the city to sign it," he said.

"A spokesperson for the city said consideration of the proposals for the sale of the ferry were continuing and there would be no comment further until the final agreement is reached, which has not happened."

The Spirit of Ontario was made in Australia by Austal Ships. It is one of the fastest and most luxurious catamarans of its class in the world. Called "The Cat", it is 87 metres long and five storeys high. It holds 774 passengers and up to 230 cars, trucks, and busses.

It has three restaurants, two cinemas, conference and internet facilities, a games room, a children’s play area, a duty-free store and many other up-market amenities.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More