US deal for Folkestone ferry firm

Contributed by editor on Mar 18, 2006 - 04:41 PM


The Spirit of Ontario in New York


Navmed Limited, the Channel ferry operators who are hoping to run a service from Folkestone are reportedly negotiating to buy an American high-speed ferry currently working the Great Lakes between Rochester NY and Ontario in Canada.

The company also called Navmed-Highspeedferries is based in Folkestone. Its financial backers plan to invest more than £30m in a plan that includes two other high-speed ferries crossing the channel from Dover and Folkestone. 

Should the Australian built ship be sold to Navmed, it would be taken out through the St. Lawrence Seaway, which opens for the season on Thursday (23 March). 

The Spirit of Ontario is one of the fastest and most powerful diesel-powered vehicle ferries in the world. The 5 deck vessel is 284 feet long and in sea trials, it reached speeds of 55 mph.

The two passenger decks have a duty-free shop, restaurants, bars, two cinemas, and a children’s play area. Passengers will also have access to satellite TV and Internet access.

The Spirit can carry 774 passengers and up to 238 cars or 10 lorries.