Express Ameland-Holwerd ferry 'Fostaborg' now in service

With a nod to the island’s history, the new express ferry “Fostaborg” for the service to the Dutch island of Ameland was officially named by the former King’s Commissioner Joan Leemhuis-Stout. For months, Wagenborg Passenger Services had been eagerly awaiting the new fast vessel, which is to relieve the burden on the troubled Holwerd-Ameland route. 

Open planning procedure

In recent years, the navigable channel to Ameland has become increasingly problematic and Wagenborg has been facing seemingly systematic delays. The island authorities had for years been discussing the problems with Wagenborg Passenger Services and the North Netherlands division of the Department of Public Works and Water Management. As a result, an Open Planning Procedure was initiated at the end of 2015 in order to work towards a permanent solution to the delays on the ferry connection between Holwerd and Ameland. As director Ger van Langen explains: “The introduction of an express service is one of the five solutions that emerged from the Open Planning Procedure.” 

From Leeuwarden to Ameland inside an hour!

The new vessel was conceived and constructed entirely in the Dutch Province of Friesland. The blueprints came from Joure, the hull was built in Harlingen, and the ship was finished at the shipyard of Van Enkhuizen Brothers in Makkum. The result is a 22-metre aluminium vessel that can carry 48 passengers. It will make 12 crossings each day between Ameland and Holwerd. The new express service became operational on 28 March and promises that passengers will soon be able to travel from Leeuwarden (the capital of Friesland) to Ameland inside an hour.  

A familiar name

“Fostaborg” is a familiar name on the island: Fosta was a goddess of fertility who was once revered on Ameland. Before the arrival of Christianity, the island was even called Fostaland, and the name can still be found on the island. There is a holiday home called Fosta and a street in the village of Nes called Fostaland. 


  • Length 22 meters
  • Beam 6,10 meters
  • Draught 1,10 meters
  • Engines 2x Yanmar 555 kW
  • Service spees 40 kph
  • Class Lloyd’s Register of Shipping