Coronavirus updates

What to expect when travelling with us

Updated 26 November at 17:00

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.

The Government announced new restrictions for England from Thursday, 5 November until Wednesday, 2 December 2020 and we are asking you to adhere to the new guidelines around travel.

We have been crossing the Solent all the way through this crisis; so you can rest assured that we are well versed in the latest safety measures recommended by the Government and we’ve put in lots of new steps to keep essential travellers safe in our ports and at sea.

What services are we offering?

We are currently offering an hourly ferry service on our Portsmouth-Fishbourne route, providing a lifeline service for essential travellers and freight.

We have reduced our Lymington-Yarmouth car ferry sailings to a weekday-only service.

We have also suspended our Portsmouth Harbour-Ryde Pier Head FastCat route until further notice.

This is because of the Government’s restrictions on non-essential travel to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Many customers have already cancelled their bookings and we expect very few people to travel with us for the rest of this month.

We will continue to  monitor demand for our services with a view to restoring them as soon as they become sustainable again and we are continuing to work closely with the Isle of Wight Council to ensure that the Island has the cross Solent services it needs during the crisis.

Live timetables

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 now 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 (including our takeaway cafes), inside our passenger lounges on board and when moving about the interior of the ship, on our car decks and outdoors on our sundecks. Customers can take off their face coverings to eat and drink.

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

Read our face covering FAQ


A takeaway café service will be available on most of our vehicle sailings and you can take off your face covering to eat and drink.

Please adhere to the social distancing markers on the floor when queuing and being served.

At all of our retail outlets, payment will only be accepted by card or contactless devices for the time being.

Read our cafes FAQ
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.

Frequently Asked Questions