PRESS RELEASES / ANNOUNCEMENTSBACK
LAUNCH OF THE NEW SUPERFAST FERRIES SCOTLAND – BELGIUM ROUTE IN THE NORTH SEA
The Board of Directors of Attica Enterprises S.A. is pleased to announce the launch of the new Superfast Ferries North Sea service between the ports of Rosyth in Edinburgh, Scotland and Zeebrugge in Belgium. The new service will be inaugurated today with the departure of Superfast IX from the port of Rosyth at 17:00 local time for the port of Zeebrugge and the corresponding departure of Superfast X at 18:00 from Zeebrugge destined for Rosyth. Superfast IX was greeted with enthusiasm by a cheering crowd who gathered at the port today to witness what for Scotland was a historic moment: the departure of a direct ferry to the Continent. Prior to the ship’s departure an official launch reception took place at the port of Rosyth attended among others by the First Minister for Scotland, Rt Honourable Jack McConnell MSP, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Honourable Gordon Brown MP, as well as leaders of the Scottish political and business community. Mr. George Anomeritis, Greek Minister for Mercantile Shipping also attended the ceremony on behalf of the Greek government.
In his speech during the launch ceremony, Superfast Ferries’ President and Managing Director, Mr. Alexander Panagopulos said: “I am delighted to be here in Rosyth today to welcome you all on board brand new Superfast IX, the sister of the even more brand new Superfast X. Scotland can now be proud in having its own unique fast ships. A year ago in Rosyth we promised that we would start this service this May. As promised we are here on time.”
It should be reminded that in September 2000, following extensive assessment by a steering Group established by Scottish Enterprise, Superfast Ferries was selected among 42 expressions of interest to operate the first direct service between Scotland and the European Continent with a pair of modern and fast car-passenger ferries. In June, 2001, Superfast Ferries selected the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium as the corresponding port for the service. After careful consideration, the port of Zeebrugge was selected as the best qualified and the most conveniently located port to serve tourism and freight needs.
The new Superfast Ferries Rosyth-Zeebrugge service is the first daily direct service linking Scotland to the European continent. Until now, the only way to travel to the Continent was by a combination of a long drive South and then a ferry crossing. By reducing transit time to approximately 17.5 hours with an overnight crossing Superfast Ferries is revolutionizing the way transport and trade for Scotland. As such the project received financial assistance of GBP 12 million towards infrastructure work at the port of Rosyth. Additonally the new service receives funding from the European Union under the PACT Programme (Pilot Action for Combined Transport).
Superfast Ferries is already present with its own sale offices in both Rosyth and Zeebrugge and bookings reveal a very warm support for the service, both by freight hauliers and individual travelers. The new route will be operated by ultramodern car-passenger ferries Superfast IX and Superfast X both delivered by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft shipyard in Kiel, Germany in January and February, 2002, respectively.
Superfast IX and Superfast X each have a capacity of 626 passengers and garage decks for 110 large trucks and at the same time 115 private vehicles. Superfast IX and Superfast X have an overall length of 203.3 m., width of 25.0 m, draught of 6.5 m and a maximum speed in excess of 30 knots. Equipped with the latest navigation and communication technology, the two cruise-class ferries offer 5-star comfort to their passengers and amenities to include a variety of Restaurants, Bars, a panoramic live music Dancing Lounge, Casino, Video Games Room, Card Room, Shops and Boutiques, Conference Rooms and Business Centre, Children’s Playroom, Satellite Television and Internet facilities.
Superfast Ferries recently emerged as front runner for the operation of another international route connecting the UK to the Continent.
Voula, Greece, 17th May, 2002
The Board of Directors
For more information please contact:
Mr. Yannis Criticos,
Attica Enterprises S.A.
Tel.: +30 10 891 9500,
Fax : +30 10 891 9509,