Coronavirus updates

What to expect when travelling with us

Updated 18 January at 10:15

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the Isle of Wight and the ferries that connect this beautiful island with the mainland. Together as an island, we’re doing all that we can to protect the health of our local community and those visiting – and we ask that you do the same.

The Government recently announced a ‘stay at home’ lockdown, so you should not travel for anything other than essential reasons. We urge you all to follow government advice and obey the law.

Find out more about what this may mean for you in our FAQs below.

Please help our communities continue to contain the virus. If you had planned to make a non-essential journey, you can rebook your crossing on another date without charge. We will see you again when the time is right.

Our ferries will continue to serve the Isle of Wight, carrying freight and customers who need to travel for essential reasons. Customers must follow the Hands, Face, Space guidance, respecting social distancing and wearing a face covering onboard.

What services are we offering?

Our Portsmouth – Fishbourne and Lymington – Yarmouth routes are currently operating on a revised timetable while our Portsmouth Harbour – Ryde Pier Head FastCat service is suspended until further notice.

Our Portsmouth – Fishbourne route is running a two-hourly service carrying freight and key workers. Our Lymington – Yarmouth route is running a two-hourly service connecting the Island and the New Forest for essential travellers, on weekdays only.

Live timetables
Wightlink's ferry at the port in Lymington

Information for essential travellers

Your experience on a Wightlink ferry is likely to be a little different to normal, as we strive to help control coronavirus. Take a look at our video, below, to find out how to travel safely, to help protect yourselves and our colleagues.

You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

Face coverings

It is a legal requirement to wear a face covering when using public transport in England.

If you’re travelling on one of our ferries, you will need to wear a face covering. This includes inside our customer buildings, inside our passenger lounges on board and when moving about the interior of the ship, on our car decks and outdoors on our sundecks.

There are some exemptions; please read our FAQs below to learn more.

Read our face covering FAQ


Our takeaway cafés are closed and you are not allowed to bring your own refreshments to eat and drink on board or at our ports. Vending machines in our ports are turned off.

You must wear a face covering throughout your crossing (unless medically exempt) to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

How to book your Wightlink travel on our website - a picture of a laptop with the Wightlink website on the screen

How to book

If you need to purchase a ferry ticket during this time – whether you’re travelling on foot or with a vehicle –  you can use this website or the Wightlink app to do so. Ticket vending machines at our ports can also book foot tickets for specific sailings, depending on availability. Our ticket offices are currently closed.

If you’re a foot passenger on our Portsmouth-Fishbourne or Lymington-Yarmouth route, you must book in advance if you want to be sure of travelling on your preferred sailing.

If you have a discount code, we strongly recommend you book online or via our Contact Centre or Sales Team, as our ticket machines cannot offer access to all of these.

Read our Ticket Office FAQ

Keeping up to date

There may be further changes to our services, in line with Government advice and traffic volumes. Please come back to this page for regular updates.

We are sorry that the spread of coronavirus has forced us to make changes to our sailings and look forward to carrying larger numbers of Islanders and holidaymakers across the Solent again when the danger has passed.

We are receiving a high volume of calls and enquiries during this unprecedented time, therefore it may take up to 28 days for our Contact Centre or Sales Team to get back to enquiries or refund requests.

Please check the detailed FAQs below first before getting in touch, as you may find your question is already answered here.

Hands. Face. Space.

Together as an island, we’re doing all that we can to protect the health of our local community and those visiting. With that in mind, we’d like to remind you to follow the Government’s advice and stay alert to help control coronavirus.

There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:

  • Wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly

  • Cover face - wear a face covering in enclosed spaces

  • Make space - stay at least two metres apart - or one metre with a face covering or other precautions

And please do not travel if you have coronavirus symptoms – we will see you again when the time is right.

Frequently Asked Questions