CORONAVIRUS LATEST: ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. Reduced timetable with fewer sailings

CORONAVIRUS LATEST: ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. Reduced timetable with fewer sailings

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Wightlink Coronavirus update

Bookings should be made for essential travel only, in line with HM Government guidelines.

You can find the latest information from Wightlink below.

We would like to remind our customers of the Government’s advice to stay alert. This includes:

staying at home as much as possible, working from home if you can, limiting contact with other people, keeping your distance if you go out (2m apart where possible) and washing your hands regularly).

Please do all you can to keep the Isle of Wight protected and don’t travel on our ferries unless it’s critical for keeping the Island supplied, or to carry out essential work. Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

Latest update 1 June 2020 at 11:00

The coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on the numbers of people who can travel to and from the Isle of Wight.

Fewer people have been travelling and numbers have fallen heavily. This has affected all cross-Solent ferry companies and is likely to last for many weeks.

We are currently running a reduced timetable with fewer sailings during this emergency. Freight and essential services for the Island are being prioritised.

Travel to and from the Isle of Wight at this time should be for essential purposes only and that all essential travellers must respect the official advice on social distancing by staying 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times.

Under the leadership of Isle of Wight Council during this crisis, all cross-Solent operators are working together to keep the Island connected.  Pre-purchased Wightlink foot passenger tickets will be accepted on Red Funnel and Hovertravel.  This includes rail tickets and season tickets.

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 team to get back to enquiries or refund requests. Please check the detailed Q&As below before getting in touch.

Changes to our service

We regret that we have suspended our Lymington-Yarmouth car ferry route and our Portsmouth Harbour-Ryde Pier Head FastCat foot passenger service until normal services can be restored.

Our Portsmouth-Fishbourne route is operating a two-hourly service on one of our larger ships.

The suspension of these services has been to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading to Wightlink colleagues and further into the community.

It also allows us to to concentrate vital resources onto our Portsmouth-Fishbourne service by using the skills and experience of colleagues from other routes.

We hope all our customers understand that bringing essential supplies to the Isle of Wight has priority at present along with supporting the Island’s NHS and the emergency services.

Information for essential travellers

Some people have asked if they can stay in their car or van on our vehicle decks during the crossing, rather than going up to the passenger lounges. We are able to permit this on some sailings our Portsmouth-Fishbourne route, following detailed discussions and agreement with our regulator, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. More detail can be found in our FAQs below.

Following Government advice, we have closed our Costa and Wight Taste outlets on board and at our ports, to reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus to members of staff and the wider community.

We have also closed our ticket offices. Essential travellers who need to purchase tickets during this time can easily do so here on our website and ticket vending machines are available at all our ports for foot passengers. If you have a discount code, we strongly recommend booking online or via our Contact Centre, as our ticket machines cannot offer access to all of these.

We have also temporarily changed our booking and check-in times to allow essential travellers to spend as little time in our ports as possible. This is also to limit contact with our colleagues and other essential travellers. Bookings and amends can now be made up to 15 minutes before the scheduled sailing time. You can now also check in up to 15 minutes before your scheduled departure time.

We ask that all essential travellers please respect the official advice on social distancing and hand washing.  On arrival to the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Wight Council is asking all essential travellers to isolate themselves on arrival and to minimise social contact.

Keeping up to date

Unfortunately, there may be further changes to our services, in line with Government advice and traffic volumes. Please keep an eye on this page for regular updates.

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

If you have any questions, please email feedback@wightlink.co.uk

Frequently asked questions

At the start of this outbreak of coronavirus, we reviewed our systems and procedures to make sure we were following all official guidance from Public Health England and our regulators, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

We installed more hand sanitisers at our ports and on our ships and emphasised the importance of good hygiene to everyone. This includes frequent hand washing, using tissues to catch coughs and sneezes and keeping your distance from others as per the Government guidelines.

Crew members are continually cleaning our vessels and passenger terminals. All our ships are well-ventilated with fresh air, not recycled air, and you can choose to travel on the outside decks of our car ferries (subject to weather conditions) if you prefer.

We have suspended our Lymington-Yarmouth car ferry service and our Portsmouth Harbour-Ryde Pier Head FastCat foot passenger service because of extremely low volumes of traffic following the outbreak of coronavirus and the Government direction requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes. These changes will reduce the risk of the disease spreading to Wightlink colleagues and further into the community.

Wightlink continues to work closely with the relevant authorities including local councils and the NHS through membership of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum.

Safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority and we are following all the advice and guidance issued by HM Government.

The official advice highlights that the most effective way to avoid contracting the virus is to wash your hands with soap and hot water and practice social distancing. Wightlink is therefore reminding essential travellers and staff of the importance of hygiene such as frequent hand washing through notices in bathrooms. We have increased the number of hand sanitisers around ships and ports.

We have suspended our Lymington-Yarmouth car ferry service and our Portsmouth Harbour-Ryde Pier Head FastCat foot passenger service because of extremely low volumes of traffic following the outbreak of coronavirus and the Government direction requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.

These changes will reduce the risk of the disease spreading to Wightlink colleagues and further into the community. The suspension will also allow us to concentrate vital resources onto Fishbourne-Portsmouth the main freight route.

These are temporary suspensions. We expect all routes to be back to normal once the crisis is over.

Can I move my vehicle booking from the Lymington-Yarmouth route to Portsmouth-Fishbourne?

Yes. You can amend your booking to any available sailing on our Portsmouth-Fishbourne route free of charge online. Please remember all travel to and from the Isle of Wight at this time should be for essential purposes only and that all essential travellers must respect the official advice on social distancing by staying 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times.

Can I swap my Lymington-Yarmouth vehicle ticket for a foot passenger ticket on the Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry?

Yes. You can amend your vehicle ticket to a foot ticket for travel on selected sailings on our Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry service. Please remember all travel to and from the Isle of Wight at this time should be for essential purposes only and that all essential travellers must respect the official advice on social distancing by staying 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times.

Can I get a refund if I have a Standard ticket?

Yes. You can easily cancel your Standard ticket online for a full refund. Standard tickets can also be amended to a new date free of charge online or on the Wightlink app.

It’s recommend that you cancel or amend your booking yourself by using our website. We are receiving a high volume of calls and enquiries during this unprecedented time, and it may take up to 28 days for our Contact Centre team to get back to enquiries or refund requests.

Can I get a refund if I have an Economy ticket?

You can cancel your Economy ticket on the Lymington-Yarmouth route for a full refund, if your booking is departing before 30 June 2020. After that time, refunds are in accordance with the terms and conditions of your ticket type.

Simply visit www.wightlink.co.uk/contactus to fill out the refund request. 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 team to get back to enquiries or refund requests.

Alternatively, economy tickets can be amended to a new date free of charge online or on the Wightlink app.

Will I get a refund if I have a season ticket?

We will refund any unused months of your Season ticket on the Lymington-Yarmouth route. 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 team to get back to enquiries or refund requests.

Can I move my booking for a future date instead?

You can amend your Standard and Economy ticket booking to travel on a future date free online. However, different sailing times and dates may change the ticket price.

I am an essential traveller booked on the Lymington-Yarmouth route; will I have to travel Portsmouth-Fishbourne?

Our Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry is available for essential travel.
During the coronavirus crisis, Red Funnel and Hovertravel will also accept pre-purchased Wightlink foot, rail and season tickets.

Can I still use my Season ticket to travel on Hovertravel?

Yes. All cross Solent operators are working together to make sure all essential travel to and from the Island continues. The Hovertravel team will scan your pass and you can then join the queue to board the Hovercraft.

Can I still use my Multilink foot pass to travel on Hovertravel?

Yes. All cross Solent operators are working together to make sure all essential travel to and from the Island continues. The Hovertravel team will scan your pass and you can then join the queue to board the Hovercraft.

Can I still use my Business pass to travel on Hovertravel?

Yes. All cross Solent operators are working together to make sure all essential travel to and from the Island continues. The Hovertravel team will scan your pass and you can then join the queue to board the Hovercraft.

Can I use my FastCat ticket to travel on Hovertravel?

Yes. All cross Solent operators are working together to make sure all essential travel to and from the Island continues. The Hovertravel team will scan your ticket and you can then join the queue to board the Hovercraft.

Can I take my bicycle on the Hovercraft?

Yes, bikes can be taken on board the Hovercraft. The team at Hovertravel will take your bike on onboard and you can then board as normal.

Can I use my 30 day parking pass to park at Hovertravel?

Yes, there is parking available next to the Hovertravel terminal in the Quay Road car park on Ryde Esplanade and IW Council has waived parking charges, more details can be found here. Car parking is available opposite the Hovertravel terminal in Southsea with terminal in Southsea with parking charges waived by Portsmouth City Council, more details can be found here.

Can I use the Hoverbus to get to and from the train and bus stations?

Yes. The Hoverbus will be available to Wightlink ticket and pass holders.

Will Hovertravel passengers be prioritised over Wightlink travellers?

As HM Government guidelines recommend only travelling when essential we do not anticipate any restrictions when travelling with Hovertravel.

What happens if Hovertravel cancel a service due to bad weather; can I travel on the car ferry instead?

Wightlink and Hovertravel foot passengers will be able to travel on the Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry service if travel is essential. In the event of Hovertravel cancellations the No. 9 Southern Vectis bus will divert to the Wightlink Fishbourne port. See here for bus timetables.

Can I choose to travel on the Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry instead?

We have a 2 hourly service operating between Portsmouth and Fishbourne with limited capacity and would recommend using Hovertravel where possible.

What is the Hovertravel timetable?

You can view the full Hovertravel timetable by clicking here.

Can I use my Season ticket, Multilink foot pass or Business pass on Red Funnel services?

Yes. All cross Solent operators are working together to make sure all essential travel to and from the Island continues and Red Funnel will accept Wightlink passes.

Can I use my 30 day parking pass to park at Red Funnel?

There are public car parks available at West Cowes which IW Council has waived parking charges for, more details can be found here. From Southampton, you can use the Triangle car park, but charges must be paid via Ringo, full details of how to pay can be found in the car park.

Can I get a refund on my Season ticket, Multilink foot pass or Business pass?

You can choose to have a refund on your Multilink foot pass or Season ticket if you prefer, just email feedback@wightlink.co.uk with your details. If you would prefer a refund on your Business pass, please email sales@wightlink.co.uk.
Please allow up to 28 days for a response as our teams are very busy at the moment.

Can I get a refund on my 30 day parking pass?

You can choose to have a refund on your 28 day parking pass, just email feedback@wightlink.co.uk with your details. Please allow up to 28 days for a response as our teams are very busy at the moment.

I am an essential traveller booked on the Portsmouth-Ryde route; will I have to travel Portsmouth-Fishbourne?

Our Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry is available for essential travel.
During the coronavirus crisis, Red Funnel and Hovertravel will also accept pre-purchased Wightlink foot, rail and season tickets.

Our Multilink Foot and Vehicle Pass holders can apply for a full refund of any unused journeys. Season Ticket holders and Business Pass holders can apply for a refund of all part and full unused weeks or months. All administration fees have been waived.

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 team to get back to enquiries or refund requests.

Can I use my Season Ticket, Multilink Foot Pass or Business Pass to travel with Red Funnel?

Yes. All cross Solent operators are working together to make sure all essential travel to and from the Island continues and Red Funnel will accept Wightlink passes.

Can I use my Season Ticket, Multilink Foot Pass or Business Pass to travel with Hovertravel?

Yes. All cross Solent operators are working together to make sure all essential travel to and from the Island continues. The Hovertravel team will scan your pass and you can then join the queue to board the Hovercraft.

We are able to permit this on some sailings our Portsmouth-Fishbourne route, following detailed discussions and agreement with our regulator, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Our car ferries frequently carry freight which is transporting essential supplies such as bottled gas, medical oxygen, etc.

If these things are on board, by law, other drivers and their passengers cannot stay on the vehicle deck during the crossing.

We must carry these vehicles as they are essential supplies and sometimes we will not receive much notice when they will be arriving at the port. While we’ll endeavor to make most sailings ‘stay-in-car’ others will have to be ‘go-to-lounge’, if this freight is on board. Wightlink colleagues at our ports will be able to explain what is happening offer essential travellers an alternative sailing if they request one.

We are sorry if some essential travellers are inconvenienced by this but the numbers of people who need to travel right now are very low and we must transport these goods.

We have decided to allow essential travellers to travel on Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferries as foot passengers during the emergency after discussions with key workers, including NHS staff. Very few people are doing this but it is an option.

There may be further changes to Wightlink services, in line with Government advice and traffic volumes.

To download information about remaining in your vehicle during your crossing, please click here.

Why can’t we allow essential travellers remaining in their vehicles to use the lounges, or toilets

Safety is our top priority. In the event of an evacuation, passengers must all be in one place so that crew can quickly direct and assist them.

Will we be allowed to keep our engines on during the crossing?

All engines will be turned off for the duration of the crossing.
Because of this, we recommend that essential travellers bring an extra layer of clothing or blankets in the car – particularly if they are travelling with elderly passengers.

Will I be allowed to get out of my vehicle and walk around the car decks?

For safety reasons all essential travellers will have to remain inside their vehicles for the duration of the crossing.

Will there be any staff around if I need help?

Our ship’s crew will be patrolling the car desk regularly and will be available if needed.

How will I know about the safety and evacuation procedures?

A leaflet will be handed to all booked essential travellers on St Clare or Victoria of Wight at check in. We also ask that all essential travellers please respect the official advice on social distancing.

If I want to change my booking, will I be charged?

There is no fee to change your booking online, or by calling our contact centre, to move to a ‘remain in vehicle’ sailing. However, different sailing times and dates may change the ticket price. We would advise essential travellers to try and amend bookings themselves online, as our Contact Centre is particularly busy at this time.

What’s the timetable for Wightlink’s ships during this time?

Please see our Live Service Status for details of our current timetables.

Following Government advice, we have closed our Costa and Wight Taste outlets, to minimise the spread of Coronavirus, until further notice. This includes our Camber Café and Camber Express at the Portsmouth car ferry port, the Creek Café at Fishbourne, the Castle Café at Yarmouth and other facilities at ports and on board Wightlink ships.

We have also closed our ticket offices to reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus to members of staff and the wider community.

Essential travellers who want to book during this time can easily do so here on our website and ticket vending machines are available at all our ports for foot passengers. Our Contact Centre is currently open 0900-1800 Monday to Friday and 0900-1700 Saturday and Sunday.

Please remember all travel to and from the Isle of Wight at this time should be for essential purposes only and that all essential travellers must respect the official advice on social distancing by staying 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times.

The Government is not advising transport companies to screen essential travellers as it is not an accurate way of detecting people with the illness.

All travel to and from the Isle of Wight at this time should be for essential purposes only and that all essential travellers must respect the official advice on social distancing by staying 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times.

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Travel to and from the Isle of Wight at this time should be for essential purposes only and that all essential travellers must respect the official advice on social distancing by staying 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times.

See the NHS website for more information about Coronavirus and advice for travellers https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
You can also email feedback@wightlink.co.uk to ask us any questions related to ferry travel.

If your booking was made through a third party ticketing service, comparison site, holiday company, tour operator or travel agent, please contact that company direct to make changes or request a refund. You will be able to find their details on your booking confirmation.

You can book with confidence because you can always transfer your ticket to another date if circumstances change. During the current restrictions, there are no amendment fees on Standard or Economy tickets.


Find out the size of your vehicle by entering your registration number

At this time, this feature is only available for cars and vans

Registration number

E.g CU57ABC
Without any roofboxes, towbars, bicycle racks or trailers your vehicle should be:
Vehicle length

Vehicle height

Please note: vehicle size data is taken from a third party database and is provided here as a guide. As some vehicles may vary from the designed specifications, please ensure that the measurements are correct before booking.

Wrong details? Please click here to enter your vehicle sizes manually

Your vehicle registration number could not be found

Choose your vehicle size manually here, you can find your vehicle height and width at Parkers.

Without any roofboxes, towbars, bicycle racks or trailers your vehicle should be:
Vehicle length

Vehicle height

Please note: vehicle size data is taken from a third party database and is provided here as a guide. As some vehicles may vary from the designed specifications, please ensure that the measurements are correct before booking.

Wrong details? Please click here to enter your vehicle sizes manually

Is there anything on your vehicle which makes it longer or higher than the dimensions shown here, such as a bike rack, towbar or roof box, but excluding a trailer or caravan?

Does your vehicle have a trailer or caravan?

Please select which type of vehicle you have

Below you will find all other vehicle types with some information around their size.
We recommend that you measure your vehicle before booking

Dangerous goods (including compressed gas etc. used for medical purposes) must be declared at least 24 hours before travel.

Camping gas canisters must be declared when you arrive at the port.

Please measure your motorcycle from your front wheel to the rear of your bike, including any extras which make the vehicle longer or taller such as a bike rack, towbar or roof box, but excluding a trailer or caravan.
Please measure your vehicle from your front bumper to the rear of your car, and from the bottom of your tyres to the roof of your car, including any extras which make the vehicle longer or taller such as a bike rack, towbar or roof box, but excluding a trailer or caravan.

What is the length and height of the vehicle?

Does your vehicle have a trailer or caravan?

This information will be added to your booking