Investing for the future

Wightlink’s hybrid energy flagship revolutionises cross-Solent travel

Victoria of Wight has joined Wightlink’s fleet. The new ship powered by hybrid energy from conventional engines and state-of-the-art batteries is now in service between Portsmouth and Fishbourne, impressing Islanders and holidaymakers alike with her stylish good looks and environmentally friendly features.

Her arrival in the Solent in August 2018 marks the culmination of Wightlink’s £45million investment in the route.

Wightlink’s flagship is the greenest in the Solent. Sophisticated controls combine power from batteries and generators to speed her across the Solent at up to 13 knots using fuel in the most efficient way.

Our major investment in future services offers customers the opportunity to cross the Solent in luxury, enjoying panoramic views from a range of comfortable seating areas. There is a choice of refreshments from Wight Taste featuring Isle of Wight-sourced produce and Costa Coffee, a children’s play area, gaming area and pet-friendly zones.



Ten fascinating facts about Victoria of Wight
  • Victoria of Wight is 89.7 metres long and 19.4 metres wide. She can carry 178 cars and more than a thousand passengers
  • She was designed by the Portsmouth naval architects Houlder
  • It took two years to build Wightlink’s new flagship at the Cemre shipyard near Istanbul in Turkey.
  • Cemre was chosen following a competitive tendering process based on quality, delivery time and price. Although there was interest from many shipbuilders around the world, no UK yards submitted a tender which complied with Wightlink’s requirements
  • Victoria of Wight is the first ferry to feature hybrid energy from the technology company Wärtsilä – a combination of conventional engines and batteries to improve efficiency, reduce noise and cut emissions
  • Other innovative green features include LED lights with movement sensors to save energy and using surplus heat from the engines to warm passenger areas
  • Victoria of Wight has more than 146 km of cable on board – weighing 76 tonnes
  • More than 30,000 litres of paint were used to paint her
  • We held a staff competition to decide on the name of the new ferry. Five suggested ‘Victoria’ in honour of Queen Victoria, who loved the Isle of Wight. As that name was already in use on another ship, the variant Victoria of Wight was chosen instead
  • HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex, performed the naming ceremony at Fishbourne on 20 September 2018

Reduced turnaround times

The investment will help keep ferries running on time. Victoria of Wight, together with her sister ferry St Clare, can now swiftly load and unload vehicles on two levels at the same time. Double deck boarding ramps have been built at both Portsmouth and Fishbourne car ferry terminals to guide cars and small ramps to park on the upper deck while freight, coaches and other larger vehicles use the lower one.

Together with the use of the innovative vacuum MoorMaster system at both ports to hold the ships securely in the berth, turnaround times have been reduced to around 15 minutes, essential to keep the service running on time.

Wightlink is also introducing Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) software at check in to further improve efficiency and reduce queuing and congestion on approach roads in Portsmouth and on the Isle of Wight.

New customer building

Other new features include a new customer building at Portsmouth containing the ticket office, toilet facilities, lifts and the Camber Café and Camber Express both selling a selection of hot and cold food and drinks, right next to the boarding ramp at Portsmouth.

The second floor Camber Café also has an open air terrace with extensive views over the busy fishing port and yachtsman Sir Ben Ainslie’s Ineos BAR headquarters.

Customers waiting for their ferry from Portsmouth can enjoy the best Isle of Wight produce including Island Roasted coffee, Wight Crystal water and soft drinks, cakes from Calbourne Classics, ice cream, and much more. Everything on sale is produced on the Isle of Wight or supplied by Island companies.

 

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