Red Funnel’s new look Red Falcon ferry
launches in time for Easter
– Three night packages from £70pp –
(Hi res images available upon request)
(4 April, 2014) – Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries officially unveiled its new look Red Falcon passenger vehicle ferry today after a major £2.2 million investment to the ship’s passenger facilities which the company is confident will set a new standard for cross-Solent travel.
Red Funnel continues to grow its market share and in 2013 carried 3.2 million passengers and nearly 764,000 vehicles. Bookings for 2014 are already encouraging and the new look Red Falcon is expected to prove popular with customers who are advised to book their spring and summer breaks early. Red Funnel’s new payment plan allows holidaymakers to pay a deposit of just £25 to secure a ferry or holiday booking, with the balance payable 30 days before travel in the case of ferry only bookings.
In addition to Red Funnel’s unrivalled reputation on the Solent for customer service, Isle of Wight visitors who travel on Red Falcon will benefit from 55% more inside seats, two additional passenger lounges, a new sun deck and a wheelchair friendly promenade deck which offers amazing views across Southampton Water and the Isle of Wight. Air-conditioning has been installed throughout the ship and pet owners will have use of the new lift-accessible North Lounge.
For most visitors, their Isle of Wight holiday experience starts the moment they step onboard and Red Funnel has incorporated a lot more entertainment on Red Falcon aimed at both adults and children. A large interactive Isle of Wight map forms the centrepiece of the design in the main passenger lounge and two large 65” touch screens boast an extensive image gallery and games for kids.
A new information bureau, manned by staff who know the Isle of Wight inside out, will sell tickets, merchandise, gifts and souvenirs to ensure that holidaymakers have everything they need for a trip to remember.
Over 30 digital screens have been installed to inform and entertain guests during the crossing and cameras on top of the bridge will relay live pictures to the onboard screens and also to Red Funnel’s website. Real-time travel connection information for trains, planes and buses will be shown on the screens together with the latest information from the Highways Agency for drivers.
For business travellers, power points for recharging phones, laptops and tablets have been installed throughout the passenger areas and the first phase of a much improved free Wi-Fi solution will be available at launch. A quiet zone is available for customers who just want to relax or have a snooze.
For food lovers, there is a new hot food menu with signature dishes such as Red Funnel’s famous full English breakfast and delights such as beer battered cod & chips, using Goddard’s beer from the Isle of Wight. There is a wider choice of grab-&-go toasted sandwiches, pizza slices and a new fresh-daily range including deep-filled baguettes, panini and salads. An increasing number of ingredients are locally sourced and items will be competitively priced. For the first time, there will be unlimited free refills of tea, coffee and selected soft-drinks from ReFuel, the café restaurant. The new design also incorporates three fully stocked Steam café bars serving a full range of beers, wines and spirits and bean-to-cup coffee.
Kevin George, CEO Red Funnel, comments: “We’re delighted to be bringing Red Falcon back into service in time for Easter, and know that our regular customers and new visitors to the Isle of Wight will be impressed by what she offers. The investment comes at an exciting time for the company and is part of our ‘first choice’ strategy which will drive our growth momentum. It is therefore great news for our customers and good news for the local economy.”
He continued, “On the basis that the new design and layout proves as popular with customers as we expect, then I am confident that we will make similar investments onboard Red Osprey and Red Eagle.”
There are plenty of great value Easter breaks to the Island still available to book, and Red Funnel has selected some highlights:
Three nights’ B&B at The Royson, from £112 pp
The Royson is situated in the pretty village of Shanklin, on the south east coast of the Isle of Wight. This family friendly guest house is set parallel to the famous cliff path walks, just 15 minutes from the centre of Shanklin, and 20 minutes from the pretty Old Village. Family breaks over the Easter weekend cost from just £112 per person. This price is based on two adults and one child sharing an en suite family room on a B&B basis, and includes return vehicle ferry crossings with Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries.*
Three nights’ B&B at The Harrow Lodge Hotel, from £105 pp
The Harrow Lodge Hotel is a warm and friendly family run hotel, overlooking the sea by Keats Green in Shanklin, and is within walking distance of safe sandy beaches, the town, and the Old Village. Spend three nights at The Harrow Lodge Hotel over the Easter weekend from just £105 per person. This price is based on two adults and two children sharing a family en suite room on a B&B basis and includes return vehicle ferry crossings with Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries.**
Three nights’ B&B at Chad Hill Hotel, from £70 pp
The Chad Hill Hotel is a beautiful Victorian house dating back to the 1850s. Set in a quiet area within walking distance of the town centre, the hotel offers guests a variety of dinner menus and a sun terrace with garden views. A three night break over the Easter weekend starts from £70 per person. This price is based on two adults and three children sharing an en suite family room on a B&B basis, and includes return vehicle ferry crossings with Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries.**
Getting to the Isle of Wight is easy with Red Funnel. Vehicle ferries run regularly around the clock from Southampton, which is within easy reach of the M3, A3 and M27. Return ferry travel for a car and up to seven passengers starts from as little as £39.50 for a day return crossing or £49.50 for a short-break return crossing. For those not taking a vehicle the Red Jet Hi-Speed foot passenger service whisks visitors to the Island in only 25 minutes and starts from just £8.90 per person return, terms and conditions apply
For further information and reservations please call Red Funnel on 0844 844 9988 or visit www.redfunnel.co.uk
Notes to editors:
* Based on a stay 18 – 21 April 2014, with two adults and one child sharing a room, and travelling in one vehicle.
** Based on a stay 18 – 21 April 2014, with two adults and two children sharing a room, and travelling in one vehicle.
*** Based on a stay 18 – 21 April 2014, with two adults and three children sharing a room, and travelling in one vehicle.
Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.1m passengers and over 700,000 vehicles on its route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on the Isle of Wight. In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’, the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes and two food & beverage brands ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’. The Company is also a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Isle of Wight’s not for profit destination management organisation.
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