A direct Scotland-Europe ferry connection will reopen next year. Travelers between Scotland and Europe must currently rely on flights or a multi-leg train journey. However, passengers may soon have another, more environmentally friendly option.
A ferry will run between Rosyth, a small port 40 minutes from Edinburgh, and Zeebrugge, on Belgium’s northern coast, beginning in April 2023.
The route Scotland-Europe ferry carried passengers until 2010, and freight until 2018, before being shut down due to a fire on one of the ships.
The journey will take approximately 20 hours, with boats traveling at speeds ranging from 21 to 22 knots (40 km/h).
The route will initially be used only for cargo. However, Bruges Mayor Dirk De Fauw has stated that passengers will be welcomed in the future.
“I’m delighted to see an alternative to the old Zeebrugge-Hull link to the United Kingdom,” mayor De Fauw told local reporters.
“Rosyth is not far from Edinburgh or Glasgow.” These cities have populations of 650,000 and 2 million people, respectively.
“[The new link] would be extremely beneficial to tourism in Bruges and, by extension, in West Flanders.”
The route’s operators, DFDS and Ptarmigan Shipping, have also hinted at this possibility.
“An additional study is being conducted regarding the passenger business,” they stated in a statement.
The revival of the Scotland-Europe ferry could be beneficial to the environment.
Ferries aren’t perfect for the environment because they frequently run on diesel and emit hazardous particulates into the atmosphere. Nonetheless, they produce far less greenhouse gas than flying.
A single passenger on a ferry produces only 19g of CO2e per kilometer, according to the UK’s Department of Energy, Food and Rural Affairs. The average passenger on a short-distance flight emits 154g per kilometer.