The route from Portsmouth to Cherbourg could be covered in as little as 40 minutes; compared to the current eight-hour overnight journey.
Brittany Ferries said the all-electric craft “foils like a hydrofoil, hovers like a hovercraft and flies like a plane…with the comfort and convenience of a ferry.”
The 50-150 passenger craft could be sailing between France and the UK by 2028, but a smaller electric craft could be ready for passengers by 2025.
“Seagliders combine the convenience of passenger ferries with the comfort of hydrofoils, the aerodynamic efficiency of hovercraft and the speed of aircraft,” said Brittany Ferries. “With the potential to connect existing ferry ports, the craft are expected to fly at speeds of up to 180mph – six times faster than conventional ferries – with a battery powered range of 180 miles.”
Frédéric Pouget, ports and operations director of Brittany Ferries, said: “We hope this may help bring commercial success in the years that follow. Who knows, this could be the birth of ferries that fly across the Channel.”
The concept is being developed by a Boston-based company called Regent.