FAQ – Arriving and boarding

Browse FAQ

If you've any questions relating to your booking, crossing, or about the Isle of Wight in general, then you've come to the right place.

Choose from the sections below to answer your query.

Arriving and boarding

Let us know. If your vehicle is a different size to the vehicle booked or you just need to change the registration number, you can amend the details online for free. If you call our Contact Centre or visit our Ticket Office we will be happy to amend the booking but there may be an amendment fee.

Remember to check your vehicle size as there may be additional costs. Visit our Vehicle Size Guide for full details.


17 people found this faq useful.

We have four car ferry ports, Portsmouth Gunwharf to Fishbourne (Isle of Wight) and Lymington to Yarmouth (Isle of Wight). Our FastCat service runs from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier Head (Isle of Wight).

You can reach all our terminal by vehicle, foot and public transport. For full details, you can visit our Routes and Destinations page.


7 people found this faq useful.

If you’re travelling by foot you need to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled sailing with a valid ticket. If you have a Disabled or Accessible Travel foot ticket you will need to arrive 30 minutes before your sailing.

If you’re driving, you need to arrive at the terminal between 30 and 60 minutes before your scheduled sailing, even if we are experiencing delays.

If you have a Wightlink Pass of any type or have a discounted ticket you need to make sure you have photo ID available if requested.


26 people found this faq useful.

It’s really easy. When you arrive, our staff will ask for your ticket. Simply show your ticket from either your mobile phone, or a printed ticket and we’ll check you in. If you don’t have these to hand you can quote the booking reference number instead.

Now your journey begins!

If you’re in a vehicle our staff will direct to you to the correct lane to wait to board the ferry. It may take a while before you’re loaded. We always have a mixture of cars, vans, coaches and freight. It’s like fitting a jigsaw together and that’s why it’s important to arrive on time.

If you’re on foot simply wait in the seating area for our staff to check in your ticket, then they’ll advise you when you can board the vessel.


25 people found this faq useful.

If you need assistance getting on board or extra space when parking for wheelchairs for example call us at least 48 hours before you plan to travel and we will do our best to help. We need to assess your needs and make sure we can accommodate them on your chosen sailing or, if necessary, recommend an alternative sailing.

If we are unable to assist you, we may ask that you bring someone with you to help. If this happens your companion can travel for free.

When you arrive at our port let our staff know you have access needs so they can make their colleagues on board aware.


2 people found this faq useful.

If you arrive up to 2 hours after your scheduled sailing we will do our best to get you on the next available sailing, but you may have to wait some time.

If you arrive over 2 hours after your scheduled sailing you can make a revision to your booking, subject to availability and costs, up to 23.59 the same day. If there is no availability and you decide to travel on a subsequent day, you will need to buy a new ticket and we will be unable to refund your previous ticket.

If you are en route and think you might miss your sailing let us know, if it is safe to do so, at least one hour before your scheduled sailing time and we may be able to amend your booking for you.


31 people found this faq useful.

Normally we will notify you using the email address or phone number you gave us when you made your booking, so make sure your details are always up-to-date.

If you don’t have a booking for a specific sailing (e.g. because you have a season ticket or buy tickets on arrival) we recommend you sign-up to our travel update service. We will then send you the notifications for your chosen route by email and text.

Sometimes we can’t let you know in advance about delays at short notice. You can still see the position of our ships and our service updates.

Even if our service is delayed make sure you arrive on time, following the check-in rules on your ticket. Delay information is only a guide based on the best information we have at the time and the length will be different for every sailing as our team work hard to reduce the delay.


2 people found this faq useful.

There are car parks at all our ports excluding Yarmouth and Portsmouth Harbour. They all operate on a Pay & Display basis but you can also buy parking tickets at our Ticket Offices. Parking spaces cannot be reserved. Our Routes & Destinations guide will give you full details.

Remember you must Pay & Display your parking ticket before you board the vessel.


11 people found this faq useful.

Taxis are usually outside our FastCat terminal and all our Ticket Offices have numbers of local taxi firms. Just ask a member of our team.


2 people found this faq useful.

No. Due to security we are unable to offer any storage facilities at our terminal. However, there are independent short and long term storage units on the Island and mainland.


2 people found this faq useful.

Browse FAQ

If you've any questions relating to your booking, crossing, or about the Isle of Wight in general, then you've come to the right place.

Choose from the sections below to answer your query.


Low vehicles (LV)

Up to 5.00m long
Up to 2.24m high
Cars, small vans and any other vehicle up to 5m long
high vehicles isle of wight

High vehicles (HV)

Up to 5.00m long
Over 2.24m to 4.2m high
Cars, small vans and any other vehicle up to 5m long
high vehicles isle of wight

Low passenger vehicles (LP)

5.01m to 15m long
Up to 2.24m high
Longer cars, pick-ups built on a car chassis, passenger vehicles with up to 7 seats and specially adapted disabled vehicles, 5.01m to 15m long.
low passenger vehicles isle of wight

High passenger vehicles (HP)

5.01m to 15m long
Over 2.24m to 4.2m high
Longer cars, pick-ups built on a car chassis, passenger vehicles with up to 7 seats and specially adapted disabled vehicles, 5.01m to 15m long.
high passenger vehicles isle of wight high passenger vehicles isle of wight

Low motorhome (LM)

Recreational vehicle 5.01m to 15m long
Up to 2.24m high.
Recreational vehicles built or adapted for sleeping which include fitted seating and kitchen facilities.
low motorhome vehicles isle of wight

High motorhome (HM)

Recreational vehicle 5.01m to 15m long
Up to 4.2m high.
Recreational vehicles built or adapted for sleeping which include fitted seating and kitchen facilities.
high motorhome vehicles isle of wight

Low commercial vehicles (LF)

Commercial vehicle 5.01m to 7m long
Up to 2.24m high
Vans, pick-ups, trucks and other goods vehicles designed to carry heavy loads 5.1m and longer and have not been specifically constructed or adapted for the carriage of passengers.
high passenger vehicles isle of wight

High commercial vehicles (HF)

Commercial vehicle 5.01m to 7m long
Over 2.24m to 4.2m high
Vans, pick-ups, trucks and other goods vehicles designed to carry heavy loads 5.1m and longer and have not been specifically constructed or adapted for the carriage of passengers.
high passenger vehicles isle of wight

Freight rigid (FR)

Freight vehicle 7.01m to 12m long
Up to 4.2m high.
Single chassis freight vehicles designed to carry heavy loads.
low freight vehicles isle of wight

Freight artic (FA)

Freight vehicle over 12m to 19m long
Up to 4.2m high.
Tractor-trailer freight vehicle up to 44 tonne GVWR with a split chassis or separate unit designed to carry heavy loads.
high freight vehicles isle of wight

Minibus (MINI)

Passenger vehicles 5.01m to 8m long
Over 2.24m to 4.2m high
Passenger vehicles with 8-17 seats.
high passenger vehicles isle of wight

Coaches

Because we need to know additional information for coach bookings such as loaded and empty passenger numbers, please visit our Coach page to make your booking
high passenger vehicles isle of wight

Motorcycle/trike/quad (MC)

Vehicles up to 3.5m long.
Motorcycles, Motorcycles with sidecars, three or four wheeled personal powered tricycle, TWIZY or quad bike up to 3.5m long.
low freight vehicles isle of wight

Bicycles and mobility scooters

Mobility Scooters must be battery powered.
Electric bikes must retain the ability to be pedalled by the rider.
Pushbikes, e-bikes and battery powered Mobility scooters travel free of charge when a customer purchases a foot passenger ticket.
No need to book separately.
high freight vehicles isle of wight