Travelling on foot

How to travel with Wightlink on foot

If you’ve never travelled as a foot passenger on a Wightlink ferry before, you might not know what to expect. So, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about travelling with us, from checking in at the port through to the great facilities you can make use of.

Book foot passenger ticket
Smoking on our ferries

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not allowed anywhere on our ferries or while in your vehicle waiting to depart the ship. At our ports, smoking is only allowed in our dedicated smoking areas.

Your choice of routes

Most foot passengers choose to travel on our dedicated passenger FastCat service, which connects Portsmouth Harbour on the mainland with Ryde on the Isle of Wight. It’s our quickest route, with crossing times of just 22 minutes on one of our high-speed FastCat catamarans.  

You’re welcome to choose one of our vehicle ferry routes, too. Both our Lymington – Yarmouth route and our Portsmouth – Fishbourne route take foot passengers but sailing times are slightly longer.

Checking in

When you purchase a ticket directly with us in advance, you’ll receive a QR code – make sure you have this ready for when you turn up. You can either print the QR code or access it on your smartphone with the Wightlink app. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled sailing time.

If you’re booked onto our Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier Head route, scan your QR code at the ticket gates and take a seat in our waiting area. Staff will be on hand if you have any issues with the entrance gates.

Booked onto one of our vehicle ferries as a foot passenger? There will be a designated area to queue and you’ll be directed onto the ferry and up to the passenger lounges by a member of staff.

Bringing your bike?

You can bring your bicycle along for free when you’re travelling as a foot passenger with us but you do need to let us know in advance as space on board is limited. When you book online, simply select the number of bicycles you’re bringing along.

On our FastCat, you’ll find bike racks at the rear of the ferry to keep your equipment safe. If you’re travelling on a vehicle ferry, you’ll be asked to leave your bike on the main car deck.

Make the most of our facilities

While you wait to board the ferry, you can make use of our excellent facilities. At each of our ports, you’ll find a place to grab a hot drink, toilets and baby changing facilities.  

You’ll find a Costa Coffee at our Portsmouth Harbour and Ryde Pier Head ports. 

Download the Wightlink app now for easy access to your bookings, travel passes and real-time travel information.

  • Get the latest travel notifications

  • Check live timetables

  • Digital tickets and passes

  • Manage your account

If your sailing gets delayed

We work hard to run a reliable service but sometimes we can be delayed by circumstances beyond our controlincluding bad weather or giving way to other ships such as the Royal Navy or cruise liners. 

Unfortunately, mechanical, technical or other factors can occasionally cause disruption, too. We always do our best to minimise the inconvenience to you, but please bear with our staff as they try to resolve things. 

If the service is cancelled or severely delayed, you can apply for compensation. 

Keeping you up to date

Our port staff will do their best to keep you up to date with changes to our service while you are waiting to travel. The best way to keep up to date is to download our app. Alternatively, you can follow our dedicated twitter feed, @wightlinktravel. 

When making your booking, please ensure you give us the right contact details so we can get in touch with you if we need to. 

Our routes

Travel on any of our three convenient routes, each with excellent transport links. 

See our routes

Travelling with pets

Your pet is part of the family, so you can bring them along on a Wightlink ferry for free. See some travel tips for bringing your pet on the ferry. 

Read our pet travel guide

Travelling by car

Not sure what to expect when you take your car on the ferry? Get clued up on the check in process, boarding the ferry and disembarking on the other side.  

Read our vehicle travel guide