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
Red Topped boats to the Island of Dreams (well perhaps not dreams...)
Member Name: JJJJ
Advantages: Reliable Service
Disadvantages: Car Ferry Takes a While
Getting to the Isle of Wight can be a costly journey, and 'The Solent' (which is the short stretch of water between the Island and mainland UK) is often quoted as being the most expensive ferry journey per mile in the world.
I've already reviewed the two other transport companies who offer travel to the Island (Wightlink and Hovertravel), so all that's left for me to do is to review 'Red Funnel'.
Red Funnel, which used to be called 'The Southampton, Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. Limited'... phew!... was formed in 1861. Its name was shortened in 1935 when all the ferries in the fleet were painted with a red funnel.
Today, the company operates two main services from East Cowes on the Island to Southampton on the mainland. The first is the Car Ferry - which for a car and one passenger costs:
£35.50 for the 'saver' service - single.
£48.50 for the 'Flexible' service - single.
£52.50 for the 'Premium' service - single.
The car ferry takes around an hour to cross the Solent, but there is a bar / cafe on board, and the vessel is comfortable. It can hold over 200 cars, and is wheelchair friendly with lifts from the car deck to the lounges.
The second Red Funnel option is the 'Red Jet', which is a passenger ferry only. This is a much quicker choice (23 minutes), and a single journey to Southampton costs £6.
I don't often use Red Funnel - as I live near the Wightlink teminal on the Island, so my main port of call on the mainland is usually Portsmouth. However, when I have used Red Funnel in the past they have run an efficient and trouble free service. The boats run all year round and are comfortable. Highly Recommended.
For more information on timetables and fares, see: http://www2.redfunnel.co.uk/, or alternatively call 0844 844 9988 to book.
Summary: Good Company with a Rich history