Newest Review: ... end of October a few years ago that felt like it was going to tip over; in fact it was so scary, Red Funnel probably should never have r... more
Sail away to the Wight Isle!
Member Name: charlie1979
Advantages: Good service and onboard facilities
Disadvantages: High prices in peak season
Red Funnel prides itself in being the "original Isle of Wight ferry company" and have been operating since the early 1800's! Their ferries operate every day of the year apart from Christmas day.
Red Funnel operates two ferry services:
1. Car ferry from Southampton to East Cowes, Isle of Wight
2. Passenger ferry from Southampton to West Cowes, Isle of Wight (the Redjet)
Both terminals are easy to access in Southampton and there is plenty of parking for the passenger ferry. The car ferry can get extremely busy at peak times such as bank holidays and as a consequence tends to cause problems on the main roads to the terminal.
Parking in Cowes is restricted for the passenger ferry but there is a park and ride scheme in place a couple of miles up the road. Again in East Cowes for the car ferry traffic can be very busy at peak times.
The Redjet is the passenger catamaran ferry that takes approximately 23 minutes. I show my age when I recall the flimsy old hydrofoils that preceeded these super modern boats! An adult day return from Southampton will cost you £17.60 and a child £8.80. Island residents do get cheaper tickets and the adult day return costing £12.00 and the child £6.00.
The car ferry is very spacious and has onboard facilities for hot meals and drinks. the crossing time is approximately 60 minutes. Prices vary greatly according to the time of year. At this time of year (October) you can get a day return from Southampton for about £32 but expect pay at least half this amount again in the sumer holidays.
Booking is easy, you can either call the ticket office on 0844 844 9988 or book online at their website www.redfunnel.co.uk.
I can highly recommend the website for booking. It is easy to use and you can alter your travel times to get a cheaper fare. There is also lots of information about places to stay on the Isle of Wight and attractions to visit.
The only time I have ever had problems with Redfunnel is at peak times and feries can be delayed for up to an hour. Despite this I have always found the staff polite and helpful. Delays can also be expected in bad weather conditions however this cannot be helped. I am happy to add a further fifteen minutes to my journey if it means I get there safely!
It is worth my mentioning though that if you are planning a trip to the Isle of Wight check out Redfunnels competitor Wightlink (www.wightlink.co.uk) as they are not always (but mostly!) the cheapest!
Summary: Use their website to get the best deals
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