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7 Reviews

Operates from Southsea, Portsmouth to Ryde, Isle of Wight, UK.

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    7 Reviews
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      04.07.2012 22:41

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      hovercraft over turned in rough weather also ran over a fisherman on ryde pier area smashing boat and hurting person name of fisherman can be supplied if needed ( now deceased)

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      31.01.2012 09:47

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      The solents most unreliable ferry service!

      I have been comuting from the island to the mainland for 5 years. This is the first year I have travelled with hovertrave. I have never known anything like the poor levels of service I have experienced here. The service is always suffering from delays. They come up with the worst excuses. For example; they had a 10 minute delay due to adverse weather conditions when the sun was shining on a beautiful summers day. They have just introduced a new boarding rule. You now have to be checked in at least five minutes befor the scheduled departure time. Even when the gate is open and most passengers haven't left the terminal.

      Now the staff. The vast majority of them are very polite, friendly and approachable. It is such a shame that management keep making pointless policies and procedures. It makes no sense! Next year I will be using wightlink again.

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      01.04.2010 15:04
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      staff being unfriendly, cost and overall review on Hover

      I have been travelling on and off the Isle of Wight for 18 years and I will do my most not to travel with Hovertravel.

      It's not very reliable as they cancel quite a lot due to weather which isn't there fault but I would rather travel with wightlink as I know I have more chance of getting home!! One of my clients travels the hovercraft daily and the amount of times shes late for work or late getting home is high.

      It's a ten minute ride so it's the quickest transport we have to get on and off the Island. This journey can be really bumpy depending on how rough the sea is. I've never felt sick on here as I have many of times on Wightlink cat.
      When the sea is flat and calm you get to see some pretty views however the windows aren't that easy to see out of so when rough you don't see anything!

      The prices are high for the ammount of time you travel glad they don't have an airline!

      *PRICES
      Standard return: Adult £17 (ticket is valid for a year) Child £8
      Tickets bought on Island: Adults £11 Seniors £8.50 and Child is £5.50
      Tickets bought on mainland: Adults £13.50 Seniors £10 and Child is £6.50
      Under five's free!

      They have parking and again its expensive so this would be an expensive way to travel for sure. I know that in Pompey, the car park there is stupidly busy and expensive too!

      Your allowed to take your pets as long as they have a lead and sit on the floor and don't make a nuisance to others aboard.

      *Travel times
      From 6.30am to 8.20pm Mon-Fri (summertime)
      From 8am to 8.20pm Sat-Sun (summertime)
      Winter they just finish earlier. Should always check before travelling with them anyway as the weather can change there times etc.

      Today however they really peed me off. I look after someones holiday home on the Isle of Wight and they had forgotten something on the Island that they needed to take on holiday later today. So they called me late last night and said could I get the parcel on the ten o`clock Hover?

      As I was looking around their huge home for this stuff, time was passing!
      I got there at ten to ten and was waiting in a huge queue.
      This little old lady stopped to ask one of the staff "where does she pay" he rudely pointed and said "there" in a foul way. Admittingly it is big and easy to see but they've changed it all around again, so can't blame her.
      When I was seen they said I need to go around the front of the building for parcels.
      No one was in the office and the doors were locked! I watched the hover go, so I then went back round to speak to reception when I heard a loud miserable voice say from behind "you can't put parcels on the hover two minutes before" it was that grumpy man that spoke to that old lady nasty.

      I replied back saying I was here on time but came to the wrong bit and stood waiting outside for 5 minutes to then watch it go!

      They didn't want to know. When I went to the parcel office again it was open, to then find another grumpy man! I paid £6 for a parcel that weighed 6.5kgs! They had a tiny sign above the door saying "parcels" berring in mind it is on the other side of the building. They need a big sign right outside by reception with an arrow and maybe one inside by reception, then when your waiting you should see.

      However the hover does leave often so they didn't have too wait too long for there parcel the other side :-)

      Hover was designed and made on the Isle of Wight and still are at St Helens.

      I give Hover travel three out of five as theres fair advantages and fair disadvantages overall.

      I hope this has been useful, thank you reading.

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      18.03.2010 12:05
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      As I haven't driven to the Isle of Wight I have always enjoyed the hovercraft trips.

      Hovertravel is the name of the company that offer high-speed hovercraft travel between Southsea (Portsmouth) to Ryde Harbour on the Isle of Wight.

      With "flight" times of just over 10 minutes, the hovercraft is far quicker than it's ferry rivals. However, the biggest disadvantage is that it's for foot passengers only and you can't take your car on it.

      There are modern terminals at both ends with seats, vending machines and tourist information which are good. You can buy your tickets at either a kiosk or through a machine that accepts credit cards.

      The standard adult return fare costs £16.20 but this is valid for an entire year, which is good if you live on the island or are making a long term trip.

      The hovercraft services run regularly, I believe it is four per hour each way, so you never have to wait long and in my experience, they have always been on time.

      Due to the sea spray and the window positions, you can't see a great deal during the trip, but it is nice seeing yourself speed past all the ferries and other boats.

      If you arriving in Portsmouth by train, it is around a 25 minute walk to the hovercraft terminal. This can be avoided by catching the Hoverbus coach which will take you to the terminal for just £1.00 which is handy if you have luggage.

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      14.03.2010 20:32
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      A great way to travel

      Hovertravel.....



      Hovertravel is a Hover Craft operator working from Ryde on the Isle of Wight to Southsea, Portsmouth. It is the fastest way to travel to and from the island from the south coast of England.

      I took the Hovertravel Hover Craft today for the first time in a long time and was very pleased with all aspects of my journey and will now make sure I use this service more often.

      The Hovertravel site is easy to find as it is right on the front in Ryde situated next to the Ice Rink. There is a huge car park at the rear and although this worked out for us to pay £6.50p to park for over 6 hours we didn't mind as a day return on the Hover Craft was a good price.

      We paid £16 for two adults and one child under 5 (who got on for free) for a day return from the island to Southsea. On looking on their website it does appear that if I was travelling from Southsea to the island for the day it would work out a couple of pound per person more. These prices are very good compared to the other ways to get over the water such as catching the catamaran or going by car and Himself and I were both pleasantly surprised as to how cheap the journey was!

      Not only is the price good but the travelling time is the fast available too. Getting across the water only takes a mere 10 minutes which again comparing it to the catamaran which takes 20+ minutes to the car ferry which takes a whopping 50 minutes. Also the getting on and off of the Hover Craft seemed far more stress free that the other two potions available.

      The times of the Hover Crafts are good as they leave both ports at half and hour intervals. We caught the 10.30am one this morning and although booked on the 6.45 back to the island we were luckily enough to arrive back to Southsea early and were just in time to board the 4.45 one straight away.

      There are a limited number of seats on the craft but never have I been refused to board due to there being too many people.

      The boarding gates at both Ryde and Southsea are of a good standard and appear clean and tidy although we have never really waited there for any length of time. They have the usual toilet facilities which are of a standard quality. There are vending machines to get refreshments if needed and all the staff are friendly and are willing to help with push chairs and people in wheelchairs - from what I saw.

      All in all I can't really fault the service that we received today and as I say having not used the Hover Craft for a good number of years it only seems to have gotten better rather than worse. I think the Hovertravel is a good way to travel to and from the Isle of Wight and we will most certainly plan to use it again soon.

      5 out of 5 star rating and an exceptionally high recommendation

      I do hope this has been of some help/interest to you

      Many thanks for taking the time to read.

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        06.11.2008 16:56
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        Great fun!

        Hovertravel is a company that operates a hovercraft passenger service between Southsea on the south coast of England to Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The crossing time is only ten minutes and is the fastest way to travel between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. The hovercraft can carry around 130 passengers.

        The hovercraft service runs every day of the year except for Chrismas Day and Boxing Day. They run from about 6:30 in the morning to approximately 8:30 in the evening. They are not allowed to run too late as they are quite noisy machines and residents near the terminals might get a bit annoyed! On a clear day they can be heard from over a mile away!

        The History
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        The company Hovertravel was created in 1965. The Solent crossing was originally between Ryde and Stokes Bay near Gosport however swithed to Southsea where it runs from today in 1968.

        To my knowledge the only accident with one of Hovertravels hovercraft was in 1972 where one overturned and killed five people near Southsea. Safety has greatly increased since then and they will not operate in bad weather.

        Day Return Cost
        ----------------------
        From Southsea: Adult £12.50, Child £6.25

        From Ryde: Adult £10.20, Child £5.10

        My Experiences
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        Being an 'Islander' myself I guess I take this form of transport for granted. I used to travel to Southsea every day for two years to school and to me getting the hovercraft to school was quite normal! When I speak to people who aren't from the south they are fascinated!

        I have certainly had my fair share of bad weather and when the weather is windy the hovercraft is the first of the ferries to be cancelled. I have had a few 'hairy' crossing though when it has been windy and it does bounce around a bit!

        Even when I use the hovercraft now it is still quite exciting when it 'inflates' and raises up off the ground! It's an amazing bit of engineering! The staff have always been polite and friendly. If you have big bags to carry on they will always assist you and place them in the storage for you.

        How to book
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        Generally you can just turn up and buy a ticket and board on the next available hovercraft. They generally run every half an hour but extra crossings are run at peak commuter times. It is advisable to book if you wish to travel at a peak time and this can be done by phoning them on 01983 811000.

        They have a great website at www.hovertravel.co.uk. Here you will find all the details on fairs and timetables. You will also find details on local attractions and the current operation of the hovercraft ie if it's running or not!

        Summary
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        If you have never been on a hovercraft I would highly recommend it! Although the crossing is short it's a real novelty. The seats are quite cramped but you are only on there for ten minutes so you don't get time to notice and discomfort!

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          03.11.2008 15:53
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          Excellent Service

          Hovertravel is a company which provides a ferry service between Ryde on the Isle of Wight and Southsea. However, the 'ferries' are actually hovercrafts, which adds a bit of novelty to the journey.

          The company began operating its unconventional means of transport in the 1950's, and since that date the hovercrafts have increased in both size and comfort.

          Crossing the Solent on a hovercraft is fairly quick (around 11 minutes) and represents the fastest way to get across (unless you have a private jet..). The journey is at most times comfortable, although in rough seas, you're in for a bumpy ride. The experience is a bit like being in an aeroplane, and seeing as the craft hovers above the water, the journey is referred to as a 'flight'.

          Using Hovertravel is cheaper than rival ferry company 'Wightlink' (which use traditional boats), and a day return trip for an adult costs £10.20 from the Island, and £12.50 from Southsea.

          In conclusion, I recommend Hovertravel as it runs an effective and reliable service. It's great for me, as I live only about 100 metres from the terminal, so it represents an easy trip.

          The downside of the service is that the hovercrafts won't run in rough seas, and during that time, alternative transport must be found. In terms of the cost, all Solent crossings are expensive, but Hovertravel is cheaper than Wighlink, so I 'hover' when I can.

          For more information see www.hovertravel.co.uk, where you can find the latest timetables and fares.

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