Ferry News

£30m Victoria of Wight begins 3,000-mile journey to the Solent

Wightlink’s new £30m flagship, Victoria of Wight, has set sail on an epic 3,000-mile journey to join the rest of the company’s fleet in the Solent.

The environmentally friendly hybrid energy ferry departed from the Turkish shipyard Cemre yesterday (16 July) to begin the 3,019 nautical mile passage to Portsmouth.

Victoria of Wight is being towed by the specialist tug Amber II through the Sea of Marmara, past Gallipoli through the Dardanelles, then westward through the Mediterranean passing Greece, Sicily and Spain before turning north at Gibraltar to sail along the Portuguese coast, across the Bay of Biscay and into the Channel.

Victoria of Wight
Victoria of Wight is towed from the quayside in Cemre to be connected to the tug Amber II

The trip will take 17 days weather permitting.

The ferry has been specifically designed and built to serve the short Isle of Wight on the Portsmouth – Fishbourne route. It has no cabins cabins onboard, which meansd she has to be be towed back to the Solent by a specialist towage company.

“We are delighted to announce Victoria of Wight is on her way home,” says Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield. “This is the final stage of our £45m investment in the Portsmouth - Fishbourne route and we look forward to introducing her to our staff and customers this summer.

“Victoria of Wight will set new standards for comfort and her environmental credentials are impressive.”

The new ship can carry 178 cars and more than 1,000 passengers. Powered by hybrid energy, Victoria of Wight will be quieter and with fewer emissions than other vessels.

Wightlink selected Cemre to build its new flagship following a competitive tendering process based on quality, delivery time and price. Although there was interest from many shipbuilders around the world, no UK yards submitted a tender which complied with Wightlink’s requirements.

Project Director John Burrows has frequently travelled to and from Turkey to observe progress over the last two years. “We have a wonderful ship for our staff and customers to enjoy. She performed well in sea trials, almost reaching 14 knots in the Sea of Marmara, and will transform our services on the key Portsmouth-Fishbourne route,” he says.

Wightlink expects the ship to enter service this summer.

Posted on 17th July 2018 at 02:47 pm in Ferry Operators | Wightlink | Ferry News |

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