Bangor 2.0. The Bangor we’ve long been waiting for. With a bustling Queen’s Parade, the foodie paradise at the Flagship Centre, crowds shuttling in from Belfast on the ‘flying ferry’… We did gain city status so I guess these things are possible despite what we’ve learned in the past. And so far so good as the new Zero emission 100% electric “flying” ferry is penned to pilot in July 2024 between Belfast and Bangor. A 150-seat, high-speed, electric, passenger ferry named “Zero” shuttling travellers between what I’m guessing will be the Belfast Titanic Quarter and Bangor and the Marina of Bangor-by-the-Sea.
The Belfast to Bangor Ferry
This is all about the proposed Belfast to Bangor ferry, which, unlike most proposed projects in Bangor, is near sure to become a reality. It will also be an attraction in itself and might even drive tourists and visitors to Bangor with the seaside scenery of the North Down Gold Coast. It’s all quite exciting. It’s also similar to a (failed) maritime project that was previously passed by the NDBC council years ago, only this time it is significantly higher in tech and brings much less environmental impact. You can check out a demonstration of the EM-24 Passenger Ferry below:
Belfast to Bangor Ferry Route
We followed a similar route from Bangor Marina to the Belfast Harbour Marina at the Titanic Quarter. And I suspect it will be the same ferry terminals for the new Belfast to Bangor ferry. At the time I remember even saying it would be a great pleasure cruise option as it was a more leisurely journey at the time. It did take around 1 hour 45mins (going by time stamps) and it no doubt makes a much more scenic commute than the motorway and an alternative to the otherwise rather scenic Gold Coast train line between Bangor and Belfast.
How Long will the Belfast to Bangor Ferry Take?
Otherwise “Zero” and the proposed Belfast to Bangor ferry have a top speed of 38 knots (70km/h 43mph) and the distance between terminals is roughly 13-miles so at top speed the journey could take roughly 18 minutes (confirmed by Artemis). But this is at top speed and the journey will likely depend on speed limits, restrictions, weather conditions etc. And I remember similar issues came when the waves from the Stena ships cleaning out fishermen along the coastline. At least waves won’t be an issue this time with the fancy foil tech of the Artemis-mobile. So I’m guessing it will be closer to 30-minutes. 45 maybe… I’ll update when I can.
The Zero Emission 100% Electric “Flying” Ferry
This is also part of a government-funded project to help fund low-carbon maritime transport where 10% of funding (£6mil) was allocated to Artemis Technologies in Belfast. And here for a summary from Artemis about the ARTEMIS EF-24 PASSENGER ferry; The 24m vessel will “fly above the water” using hydrofoils that “lift the boats out of the water” and reduce drag. This technology will mitigate the effects of seasickness and produces “minimal wake at high speed, significantly reducing the impact on shorelines”. Sounds good 👍 otherwise you can find more info on the Artemis Technologies website.
Artemis Technologies & Condor Ferries
I managed to catch Artemis Technologies at Sea Bangor (5th June 2023) where they were promoting their fancy Zero emission tech with demonstrations of their smaller ‘Artemis EM-12 eFoiler’ next to Bangor Marina. So I had hoped to find out more about the project only they were more there to promote/sell similar boats in case you’re interested in buying a 150-seater flying ferry (or some of their more reasonably sized aquatic inventions).
So Artemis only really build/sell the boats but they did at least have a wee model ferry to share, and I did get some more general information relating to the Bangor to Belfast ferry. I.e. the distance could be covered in 18-minutes and the proposed date for piloting is July 2024 fingers crossed. Otherwise it is Condor Ferries, a Guernsey-based company, who will be managing the Belfast to Bangor ferry operations.