Wightlink’s new flagship Victoria of Wight, part of the company’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route, has impressed senior managers, captains and engineers during her first sea trials in the Sea of Marmara.

The ship has completed three days sailing with staff from the Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey, a Lloyds Register surveyor, numerous specialist engineers and Wightlink representatives on board.

They have been testing all essential systems, including the hybrid power drive, and have been completing full speed trials, manoeuvring and turns. One of the ship’s four marine evacuation systems has been successfully deployed and most of the crew on board used the inflatable slide to enter the life rafts as a drill. The drencher system which covers both the lower and upper car decks has been tested and sprayed a huge quantity of water on the decks.

Before Victoria of Wight can start her long journey to Portsmouth, she will be surveyed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) who are based in Southampton. Wightlink Project Director John Burrows will formally take delivery of the vessel at the end of June and she will then be towed to her home port of Portsmouth. Following her arrival in the Solent, her crew will undertake a rigorous period of training before she enters service and joins Wightlink’s fleet towards the end of the summer.

Victoria of Wight, powered by hybrid energy, can carry up to 178 cars and more than a thousand passengers. Project Manager Colin Stanton and Chief Engineer Mark Siddle have been based in Yalova during the construction. Captains Tom Vincent, Mike Smith and Chief Engineer Andy Hutchison were on board Victoria of Wight for the sea trials.

Captain Tom Vincent says: “Mike and I have both handled the ship, getting the chance to try various essential manoeuvres during the sea trials. She handles extremely well with the hybrid system and four Voith Schneider propellers providing ample power. We look forward to her arrival in the UK so we can begin the training of our fellow Masters and crews ready to provide a new era of service for our customers.”

“After many years of planning and hard work, our £45 million investment in Wightlink’s Portsmouth-Fishbourne route is reaching its conclusion,” says Project Director John Burrows. “Our environmentally friendly flagship Victoria of Wight will set new standards for comfort in our fleet.”

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield adds: “This is a very exciting time for everyone at Wightlink and for the Isle of Wight as our new flagship, Victoria of Wight, performs her sea trials.   We look forward to welcoming her to her new home this summer and giving everyone the chance to experience the best in cross Solent ferry travel.”

Pictured: Victoria of Wight on sea trials. Bridge photo shows Captain Tom Vincent (with beard) and Captain Mike Smith

For more information, contact Karen Woods on 07775 694266 or karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk.

Notes to editors

*As Victoria of Wight has specifically been designed to operate to and from the Isle of Wight and no crew are required to sleep onboard she will be towed to Portsmouth instead of making the journey using her own power as the ship has no cabins or facilities to allow crew to live onboard.


Low vehicles (LV)

Up to 5.00m long
Up to 2.24m high
Cars, small vans and any other vehicle up to 5m long
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Freight rigid (FR)

Freight vehicle 7.01m to 12m long
Up to 4.2m high.
Single chassis freight vehicles designed to carry heavy loads.
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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.
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Minibus (MINI)

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