Tag Archives: Red Funnel

JACK UP THE 80s FIRST LINE UP ANNOUNCEMENT CONFIRMED

British pop group T’Pau who had a string of Top 40 hits in the late 1980s including the Number One ‘smash’ China in Your Hand are the first eagerly anticipated name out of the hat for next Summer’s Jack Up The 80s festival.

The band, led by flame haired 80s sensation Carol Decker will be transporting audiences back to their youth by performing tracks such as Heart and Soul, Secret Garden, Valentine and many more.

T’Pau played the Isle of Wight Festival in 2013 and packed out the big top with their energetic set. They can’t wait to make a return visit to the Island for their first ever Jack Up The 80s appearance in August 2018.

Back for a sixth year, this will be the retro pop festival’s second year at Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde. Owing to the success of the event earlier this year which saw sell-out crowds, organisers have advised that 2018 tickets will be strictly limited.

“We’ve listened to who you want back but have also booked a number of superb fresh names. We’re excited to be revealing details of next year’s line-up in the coming weeks and months, all great household names guaranteed to get you up on your feet reliving the good times. Stay tuned for a superb mix of upbeat party bands and feel-good favourites.”

Jack Up The 80s will take place over the weekend of 11th and 12th August. The highly-acclaimed event provides a family weekend of musical entertainment from chart names, food, attractions, kids arts and crafts and stalls.

Mainstream Early Bird tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd January and will be available to purchase from jackupthe80s.co.uk. A limited number will also available at over the counter from outlets on the Isle of Wight.

Remember, the earlier you buy the greater the saving!

The festival will once again be working with partners Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel to arrange travel packages from the mainland.

Copy ends

Notes for Editors

  1. For further information please contact Sarah Moss, Event Manager Email: sarahemmamoss@gmail.com, Telephone: 07876 63145

Major refurbishment for Red Eagle

Red Funnel, the Isle of Wight specialist has confirmed that it is to spend £3m on a major refurbishment of its ro-pax ferry Red Eagle in the New Year.

The work will be similar to the new look given to Red Falcon and Red Osprey in 2014 and 2015 and will be carried out by local marine businesses. The main contract has been awarded to Trimline in Southampton, with aluminium fabrication work contracted to Wight Shipyard Ltd in East Cowes. The refit will be carried out in Southampton.

The refurbishment of Red Eagle, coupled with the order for Red Jet 7, already amounts to an investment of over £10m in Red Funnel’s cross Solent services by the consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds who acquired the business in July 2017. The decisions underpin the new owners’ commitment to growing the cross-Solent market and helping to stimulate the Isle of Wight’s economy.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to make this exciting announcement so soon after ordering Red Jet 7. The refit of Red Eagle will bring the interior right up-to-date with a contemporary new look and a class-leading travel experience for customers which matches the best in the UK ferry industry. Once again we are particularly pleased to award the work to local suppliers, supporting jobs in both Southampton and in East Cowes on the Island.”

Work on Red Eagle will start in January 2018 and will be completed in time for the summer timetable which starts on 29 March. The project will see a significant increase in the number of internal seats for customers and involves a complete refit of B Deck including a state-of-the-art galley and new toilets. On A Deck, there will be a dedicated pet’s lounge and a purpose built Signature Lounge offering a premium club experience for discerning travellers.

Modern seating styles and tables, subtle colours and clever LED lighting will create spaces which are perfect for socialising, working or just relaxing. High-capacity Wi-Fi, USB charging points, air conditioning and digital entertainment are just a few of the features available to everyone on board. Outdoor space to soak up the sun will be available on A and AA Decks.

For more information about the transformation of Red Eagle please visit redfunnel.co.uk/newlook

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Notes to editors

About Red Eagle

Red Eagle was the last of three Raptor Class ro-pax ferries ordered by Red Funnel from Ferguson Shipbuilders at Port Glasgow in the early 90’s. Replacing Netley Castle, Red Eagle entered service in 1996 and travels 45,500 miles every year between Southampton and East Cowes. To accommodate a strong growth in traffic, the ship was lengthened in 2005 by 9.6m and an additional through car deck was added with capacity for 70 cars or small vans. The work was carried out by Remontawa shipyard in Gdansk.

About Red Funnel

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 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

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 a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, The Red Funnel IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Isle Walk Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2017 Charity of the Year is Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

 

For further Red Funnel press information contact:

Isle of Wight/Hants
Amy Grinstead
Carswell Gould
redfunnel@carswellgould.co.uk
023 8023 8001
National
Sophie or Frances
Four Communications
redfunnel@fourcommunications.com
020 3697 4200

 

www.redfunnel.co.uk/media

 

New Web content to boost Cowes tourism

Visit Isle of Wight and Destination Cowes have collaborated to replace the single “Cowes” page on the official tourist boards top ranking site (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) with a whole new collection of detailed pages designed to showcase Cowes and East Cowes and everything it has to offer.

At the same time, the old Cowes.co.uk site, which was quite out of date, has been removed, and the domain now points to the new pages on the Island’s tourist board site.

David Thornton explains: We wanted to have the best of both worlds: to use the popularity of Visit Isle of Wight’s website, which now attracts over 2.4million visitors a year, but retain the link “Cowes.co.uk” as a trusted source of local information about Cowes, East Cowes and the surrounding area. By combining our resources and content like this, we’ve created a whole new platform for Cowes, with new social media plug ins to complement activities.

The creation of the official tourism site builds on the development of the Destination Cowes brand – a partnership formed by Red Funnel, English Heritage, Cowes Town Council, Visit Isle of Wight, Cowes Harbour Commission, Cowes Yacht Haven and both the Cowes and East Cowes business associations to help market the area.

Cowes.co.uk provides a wide-ranging guide to the town. Visitors will be able to find advice about cultural sites, activities and attractions, what’s on, as well as information about where to stay, eat, drink and shop.

Destination Cowes believes the new website will play a significant role in increasing the appeal of the Cowes and East Cowes to visitors and ultimately lead to more people visiting the towns and the wider Island. The new site includes a range of features including increased social media integration and blog and video content.

Stephen Brooks, the Chairman of Destination Cowes, said: “Our target is to reach 1 million people through the site. This, plus our social media, will show potential visitors what Cowes and East Cowes have to offer. Attracting more visitors will help our local businesses grow, creating jobs, facilities and prosperity for local people.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “As the maritime gateway to the Island with a wealth of places to visit and explore, Cowes offers an exceptional visitor experience.

“The Cowes.co.uk address signifies a new energy and collaboration to really get Cowes on the map and we hope that local businesses will get behind it by supplying great, relevant content from interesting blogs and special offers to fantastic images and video content.”

Visit Isle of Wight confirmed that this pilot project to upgrade individual town and area content online through closer partnership with resorts across the Island is something they would like to do more of in the future.

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 For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors

Attached image taken in Cowes High Street LtoR:  Mark McNeill, Cowes Town Council, Stephen Brooks, Chairman, Destination Cowes, Simon Dabell, Chairman, Visit Isle of Wight, Ryan Stoffell, Red Funnel, Gina Baldwin, Red Funnel and Karl Love, Councillor for East Cowes.

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

 

Visit Isle of Wight launches 2017 Wight in Bloom Competition

Isle of Wight gardeners are invited to celebrate their work and take part in this year’s Wight in Bloom competition launched yesterday (8th May 2017) in the The Chelsea Garden at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Wight in Bloom is an annual community-based competition that celebrates the Island’s diverse range of gardens – from the small space to the large tourist attraction.

Sponsored by Red Funnel and organised by Visit Isle of Wight, the competition encourages gardeners to create colourful floral displays that will make the Island a brighter place to live and visit.

This year there will be 11 categories including:  Best Small Front Garden, Best Large Front Garden, Best Commercial Garden, Best Senior Citizen Complex, Best Young People Initiative, Best Community Floral Project, Best Small Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Large Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Creative Use of a Small Space, Best Edible Garden and New for 2017 Best Water Feature.

Gardens can be entered into the competition from 19th May until the closing date of 30th June.  Judging will take place from 3rd to 30th July when a team of local horticultural experts will visit the gardens to decide the first, second, highly commended and overall winner of The Peggy Jarman Trophy.

Wight in Bloom are supporting the Earl Mountbatten Hospice by purchasing EMH sunflower seed packets to give to entrants of this year’s Wight in Bloom competition. It is hoped that these will be grown across the Island during the summer to support the EMH 35th Anniversary and to brighten up gardens and open spaces.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Wight in Bloom is hugely important; it remind us all that a great deal of the Island is on constant show, and we need to look our best all the time. There are many green-fingered experts living on the Isle of Wight, from TV celebrities to groups of eager school children, all of whom help to make the Island look terrific. This annual competition is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our “Garden Isle” heritage for the benefit of tourists and Island residents alike.”

Entry forms with full details of the categories can be found at the Visitor Centre, The Guildhall, Newport, the Red Funnel website www.redfunnel.co.uk/wightinbloom  Visit Isle of Wight website www.visitwight.pro , the IW County Press Shop and all main Island garden centres.

Wight in Bloom Patron Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL will present the Awards at a garden party ceremony in September.

Wight in Bloom has over the past two years worked with schools to encourage participation into the competition. It has recently developed an initiative to deliver a pilot mentor scheme for new School Garden Coordinators.

Working in collaboration with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening project, Wight in Bloom will assist a team of experienced school garden coordinators and local horticultural experts to provide support to enable less experienced schools to set up a garden project. For further information on how to join the scheme please contact the Wight in Bloom Co-coordinator at bloom@visitwight.org.

Claire Matthews, RHS Campaign for School Gardening said “The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. The direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging. Registration to the Campaign is free and you can join by logging on to https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/register”.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the ever popular Wight in Bloom. The annual competition is a great opportunity for first-time and seasoned gardeners to showcase their skills with categories designed to encourage young people and community groups to take part”.

For further information, please contact Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk

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Notes to Editors

The image shows LtoR:   Nigel Hartley, CEO of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Tom Madge, Head of Marketing at Red Funnel, David Thornton CEO of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd and Nicola Bell and Mel, both volunteer gardeners at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

Categories for the competition are:

  1. BEST SMALL FRONT GARDEN (Under 15 metre frontage)
  2. BEST LARGE FRONT GARDEN (Over 15 metre frontage)
  3. BEST COMMERCIAL GARDEN (Public House, Restaurant, Shops, Café, Business, Hotel/Guest Accommodation/Self Catering/ Caravan sites)
  4. BEST SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX (Private and Public Sector, Healing and Meditative gardens)
  5. BEST YOUNG PEOPLE PROJECT (Schools/youth groups)
  6. BEST COMMUNITY FLORAL PROJECT (Community Groups, Parish or town councils, High Streets, Church Grounds)
  7. BEST SMALL TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  8. BEST LARGE TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  9. BEST CREATIVE USE OF A SMALL SPACE (window box, balcony, hanging basket, recycled objects for containers, vertical planting)
  10. BEST WATER FEATURE (Includes area directly surrounding pond/water feature/fountain only) NEW for 2017
  11. BEST EDIBLE GARDEN (mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs, can be a source of food and a decorative display).

+  Overall Winner of the The Peggy Jarman Trophy

About Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

About Red Funnel

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 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

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 a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a wide range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2017 Charity of the Year is Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

For further Red Funnel press information contact:

Isle of Wight/Hants
Amy Grinstead
Carswell Gould
redfunnel@carswellgould.co.uk
023 8023 8001
 

About RHS Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening work with schools has shown that the direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging:

  • Improves physical and mental well-being
  • Builds life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication
  • Enhances literacy, numeracy and oracy skills
  • Enriches the entire curriculum from science, maths and geography, to art, design and languages
  • Encourages a better and healthier lifestyle
  • Teaches about the environment and sustainability
  • Helps young people engage with their surroundings better and develop a sense of responsibility

 

 

National Ferry Fortnight, 6 – 20 May 2017

Britain’s annual National Ferry Fortnight will this year take place from 6 – 20 May 2017. Now in its ninth year, National Ferry Fortnight is run by Discover Ferries, the industry body for the ferry industry as a two week showcase of Britain’s extensive 75-plus ferry routes and the benefits of travel by sea.

This 2017 Discover Ferries’ National Ferry Fortnight campaign theme is Ferry Together – encouraging family and friends to spend more time together.  Research undertaken by Discover Ferries at the beginning of 2017 highlights how little quality time families are spending together due to the hectic nature of modern life. Results showed that the average family spends just three weeks of real quality time together each year, and just 36 minutes on the average week day. In comparison, adults spend almost four times as long – one hour and 55 minutes per day – watching TV or playing on their gadgets. Children are also staring at a screen of some kind for around two hours and 22 minutes a day.

As a result, two thirds of parents say holidays and trips away from home are the only real time they get together. Going out for meals together was found to be the best way of spending quality time together on holiday, followed by doing activities together, the evening entertainment and the journey there. And almost half of those surveyed said the entire holiday counts as quality time.

Bill Gibbons Discover Ferries director said: “Our research has shown just how incredibly important every second of holiday time is in our busy lives. Almost half of the people we surveyed said their whole holiday counts as quality time together.  Our members do their utmost to make the ferry journey the very start of the family holiday experience. Unlike an airplane where you’re strapped in alongside each other in front of computer screens, a ferry journey gives people time to stretch their legs, eat a meal together or watch wildlife together. National Ferry Fortnight will be a celebration of ways to spend that treasured time together.”

The 11 members of Discover Ferries are Brittany Ferries, Caledonian MacBrayne, DFDS Seaways, Irish Ferries, Isle Of Man Steam Packet Company, Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, NorthLink Ferries, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink. During National Ferry Fortnight 2017 Discover Ferries’ members will be publishing holiday ideas and added-value offers on ferry routes to France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Ireland, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly and Scottish islands.

To keep in touch with #ferrytogether #NFF2017 please follow @discoverferries on Twitter, like Discover Ferries on Facebook and sign up to the newsletter on www.discoverferries.com.

 

-ENDS-

 

Discover Ferries press office, Four Travel

Contact: Arthur Duncan / Debbie Hindle/Zoe Poulton

Email: discoverferries@fourcommunications.com  | Tel: 0203 697 4200

NEWLYWEDS WIN ISLE OF WIGHT HOLIDAY

A couple from Northamptonshire have just spent their honeymoon on the Island after winning a holiday, organised by Visit Isle of Wight in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Helen Spencer from Wollaston was awarded the prize package after being chosen at random from the thousands who had entered the competition timed to celebrate the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition at the V&A, which ran from November 28 to February 21 2016.

Helen and David booked their stay at the West Bay Country Club in Yarmouth for the 12th to 15th June after getting married in Northampton on the 11th – and the newlyweds used the prize as their honeymoon.

Last year, Visit Isle of Wight worked with the V&A to promote the bicentenary year of Julia Margaret Cameron, and as a result Dimbola Museum & Galleries – and the wider Island – enjoyed some outstanding press coverage in the Telegraph, the Independent and the Mail on Sunday.

The competition which was hosted on the V&A website under the theme “Follow in the footsteps of Julia Margaret Cameron” was seen by Visit Isle of Wight as an opportunity to further promote the Island.  The V&A website gets around 14 million page views annually. http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/julia-margaret-cameron/

The Beddalls (Helen’s new married name) won a 3-night break for two at The West Bay Country Club in Yarmouth, dinner at The George Hotel in Yarmouth, tea and cake at The Piano Bar in Freshwater Bay, ferry crossings courtesy of Red Funnel IOW Ferries and entrance tickets to Osborne, Shanklin Chine and Dimbola, the home and workplace of the celebrated Victorian photographer.  A copy of the exhibition book Julia Margaret Cameron was also part of the prize package.

Helen Beddall said: “The holiday was fantastic.  We loved it!  The accommodation was lovely, the meal at The George Hotel was delicious – and a real treat.  Dimbola was really interesting and John Evans, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable.

“We are very thankful to Visit Isle of Wight for organising everything and the Victoria and Albert Museum for putting on the competition. It really made our honeymoon wonderful and we can’t wait to come back – maybe to celebrate our first anniversary”.

ENDS

For further information please contact Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd 01983 521555 (ext 29), sue@visitwight.org.

Notes to editors:

2 x “Selfies” of Helen and David at Dimbola Museum & Galleries and Osborne attached.

Follow in the footsteps of Julia Margaret Cameron 

Holiday prizes supplied by:

  • The West Bay Country Club (3 nights’ accommodation, plus use of their Island Wellness Spa, including a 60-minute spa treatment per person)
  • Red Funnel IOW Ferries (car ferry crossings
  • The Piano Bar, Freshwater Bay (lunch for 2)
  • Dimbola Museum & Galleries (entrance tickets)
  • English Heritage/Osborne (entrance tickets)
  • Shanklin Chine (entrance tickets)
  • The George Hotel in Yarmouth (dinner for 2)
  • The V&A (Julia Margaret Cameron book)

Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A exhibition ‘Julia Margaret Cameron’ has toured internationally, including Ghent Museum of Fine Arts and the Sydney Art Gallery of New South Wales.   After returning to the V&A Museum in London from November 2015, to February 2016, it then went on show at the Madrid Fundacion Mapfre from March 8th to May 8th. The exhibition will open at the Tokyo Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum from June 29th to July 2nd, running until September 25th 2016.

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A’s collections, which span over 5000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform.

 

UK FERRY INDUSTRY “RESILIENT AND ADAPTABLE” WITH 1.3% MORE CARS CARRIED IN 2015 – and overall passenger figures hold up at nearly 39 million –

Britain’s UK ferry operators carried  8.61 million cars in 2015, up 1.3% on the previous year. Overall passenger figures on 75 ferry routes held up at 38.90 million, slipping just 0.6%  from last year and still 800,000 up compared to the 38.1 million passengers of 2013.

2015 Ferrystat* figures released today by industry body Discover Ferries show that despite the much publicised disruption issues on the key Calais-Dover route last summer and the closure from July of MyFerrylink – overall continental ferry passengers were only down by 1%. Domestic routes forged ahead recording their best passenger figures since 2011, with other sectors like the Western Channel and Hollandalso recording strong increases in both car and passenger traffic.

UK domestic ferries best performers in 2015

Ferry routes to domestic destinations such as the Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man, Channel Isles and Scottish Islands were the top performing sector up 2015, with total cars carried up 4.5% to 3.69m, and passengers up nearly 0.4% to 16m  – the best domestic passenger figure since 2011. Within this sector the Isle of Wight ferry routes carried 1.2% more passengers at 8.74m and 3.4% more cars at 1.78m, and Scottish operator Cal Mac recorded a significant increase of 6.9% in car carryings, to 1.17m, offering both lifeline and visitor services to their multiple western isles destinations.

Continental ferry crossings prove resilient

Total passengers carried by P&O Ferries  and DFDS Seaways on the short sea routes to Calais and Dunkirk were still over 13m in 2015 (13.01m), compared with 13.29m in 2014, a drop of 2.2%.Overall, however, continental passengers were down only 1%, from 18.32m in 2014 to 18.13m in 2015, as some passengers chose alternative ferry routes to the continent, resulting in good growth of 3.4% (2.94m passengers) on the Western channel routes to France principally served by Brittany Ferries, with cars carried up by 5.8% to 990,000 in 2015.  North Sea ferry routes run by Stena, DFDS and P&O Ferries increased by 3.9% the number of cars carried to 445,000 in 2015, carrying the same number of passengers  in 2015 as 2014 (2.18M)

Passengers on the three Irish operators of Irish Ferries, Stena Irish Sea and P&O Ferries were marginally down by 1.9% from 4.87m in 2014 to 4.78m in 2015.

“The 2015 figures show the ferry industry is resilient and adaptable” said Discover Ferries’ director Bill Gibbons, “Domestic ferry routes carried nearly 16million passengers -their best year since 2011 and despite the summer issues at Calais last year P&O Ferries’ and DFDS operators adapted their capacity and sailings to great effect, and other continental ferry operators took up any car customers who were able to re-route. In perspective, ferry sailings to the Continent were down 8.5%, but passenger numbers in this sector only fell by 1%.

“Ferries also took other challenges in their stride in 2015, including the Government’s introduction of exit checks and significant investment required by new fuel emissions regulations. With ferry routes to northern Spain; Holland; the western Channel to France*; the Isle Of Wight; and Isles of Scilly all showing healthy passenger gains, it demonstrates the broad reach and appeal of the ferry industry and how operators can work together in challenging times. We expect a further surge in customer interest when the industry comes together again to promote National Ferry Fortnight (March 5-19) with offers to appeal to ferry first timers, and those trying a new ferry route with their car for the first time”

Visit www.discoverferries.com –for up-to-date information and news about travelling by ferry.

ENDS

Discover Ferries press office, Four bgb

Contact: Arthur Duncan/Lesley Davidson/Steve Gebbett/Debbie Hindle

Email: discoverferries@fourbgb.com  | Tel: 0203 697 4200

*Editor’s note: the western Channel is defined as any sea routes west of Dover from the South Coast of Britain.

ALAN TITCHMARSH TO BECOME A PATRON OF “WIGHT IN BLOOM”

Celebrity gardener and TV presenter, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, VMH (Victoria Medal of Honour RHS) has been revealed as Patron of “Wight in Bloom”, an annual horticultural competition which is open to all Island residents, with the aim to make the Island a brighter, greener place to live and visit.

Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – who have taken over management of the competition alongside Peggy Jarman – and Red Funnel Ferries, Wight in Bloom 2015 is being developed as a curtain-raiser to VIOW’s Garden Isle campaign, which will coincide with Visit England’s Year of the Garden 2106.

Photocall

What:               A “floating” garden cocktail party, provided by Ventnor Botanic Gardens, will take place on board Red Funnel’s Red Eagle car ferry to launch Wight in Bloom 2015.

In attendance:David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, who will announce plans for Wight in Bloom 2015, Jonathan Green, Marketing & Communications Director, Red Funnel Ferries, Peggy Jarman, organiser Wight in Bloom, Mike Fitt OBE, Wight in Bloom Campaign Advisor, along with past winners of the Wight in Bloom competition.

Peggy Jarman who has been running Wight in Bloom for many years is retiring and will be made Honorary President.

(In addition, Simon Goodenough, AHRHS (Associate of Honour awarded by the RHS) has agreed to become a Special Advisor of Wight in Bloom).

Where:            On board the Red Eagle car ferry.

When   :           Tuesday, 26th May

Time:               From 6pm – meet Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight, in the Red Funnel ticket office, Trinity Road, East Cowes. Closest postcode PO32 6RA.

6.30pm –`car ferry departs East Cowes with invited guests

7pm – photocall on board ferry.

8pm – ferry arrives back at East Cowes

Please e-mail michelle@visitwight if you would like to attend this event.

Root out the gardening gloves, go potty with those plants and get growing for the return of Wight in Bloom in 2015.

Residents, schools, businesses, community groups, towns and villages on the Island are invited to don their gardening gloves and take part in Wight in Bloom.

The annual competition is open to all Island residents and organisations to show the rest of the Island what they’ve been doing to brighten up their garden and improve the local environment.

To be in with a chance of winning, keen gardeners can choose to enter one of 8 main categories:

1          Best Small Front Garden

2          Best Large Front Garden

3          Best Public House

4          Best Accommodation Garden

5          Best Senior Citizen Complex/Nursing Home/Care Home

6          Best Young People Initiative

7          Best Community Floral Project

8          Best Tourist Attraction Garden

The 2015 event is organised and sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight and Red Funnel Ferries who are adding their support and financial backing to the event to help create a vibrant and welcoming environment for visitors.

The organisers hope that the appointment of popular celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh as Patron of Wight in Bloom will emphasise the Island’s green credentials and help inspire Islanders to get involved in Wight in Bloom this year.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “We’re honoured that Alan has agreed to be our Patron of Wight in Bloom and now plan a major push to encourage more tourism businesses and retailers on the Island to show a bit of flower power this summer.

“The success of the Wight in Bloom is testament to all the hard work and dedication by the organiser, Peggy Jarman, who over the years has worked with Island communities, businesses and local individuals to help create colourful displays at entrances to villages, around bus shelters, in pub gardens and in residents’ own front gardens.”

Peggy Jarman said:  “I am thrilled and delighted that Visit Isle of Wight and Red Funnel have stepped in to support the competition.

“Whether you are a novice gardener or an expert, everyone is very welcome to enter and make our Island a greener and more colourful place”.

Judging will take place in July and entry is free.  An awards ceremony will be held in August, where prizes for the lucky winners – one for each of the 8 categories and an overall winner – will hopefully be presented by Alan Titchmarsh.

Alan Titchmarsh said: “The Island is bursting with natural beauty from its wildflower cliff walks, bluebell woods and orchid-rich fields, to its cottage gardens, horticultural shows and wide variety of public and private gardens.

“I’m therefore honoured to be Patron of Wight in Bloom and look forward to seeing who it discovers next.”

Green-fingered Islanders can join in the floral fun by completing the entry form which will be available in the 22nd May edition of the Isle of Wight County Press.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

 

On The Water 2015

The Isle of Wight branch of the British Marine Federation will be hosting its On the Water event at Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday, 29th May.

Alongside display of Island-built boats including Red Funnel’s Red Jet 3, there will be opportunities to get out onto the water on either a high-speed RIB or in one of the UKSA’s ‘Try Sail’ keelboat fleet.

On land there will be a number of displays and an opportunity to find out more about the British Marine Federation. Activity will be between 10am and 4pm and the whole event is completely free of charge.

The BMF is the trade association for the British boating industry. The Federation’s 1,500 members account for a substantial amount of the industry’s turnover and employ around 30,000 people. They are drawn from both the seagoing and inland sectors of the marine industry covering the leisure boat, hire fleet, commercial workboat and superyacht categories and supporting services.

The BMF Mission Statement reads as follows:

‘We will create, develop and maintain high quality services, benefits and commercial activities to promote our industry and its products and work with our members to achieve profitable growth in home and overseas markets.’

For more information about the BMF on the Isle of Wight please visit www.bmfiw.org

Ends

For more information please contact:

Chris Clayton, Chairman BMF IW chris@seawardboat.com

Jon Pridham, Deputy Chairman BMF IW jon@cowesyachthaven.com

Tim Addison, Secretary BMF IW tim@solent.co

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT LAUNCHES NEW EDUCATION MARKETING CAMPAIGN

The Education market is the target of a new campaign to be rolled out by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) in a bid to attract new visitors and raise the profile of the Island.

The campaign activity spanning print and online media, aims to promote the Island as a study destination worldwide, inspiring schools and those involved in all aspects of education to book a visit to the Island for day trips or longer stays.

The campaign will be supported by a new 40-page printed guide, packed with ideas and tour options for schools.    Entitled “We know Education”, the brochure capitalises on the Island’s strengths across all curriculum areas, including the themes for History, Geography, Art and design and Physical Education.  A downloadable app version of the brochure will also be available.

Working with a range of specialist operators, including the UKSA, English Heritage and Education Destination, VIOW will host familiarisation trips for teachers who will be invited to explore the UK’s ‘biggest classroom’ and find out what makes the Island such an outstanding place for their subject and their students.

“This is the first time we have specifically gone out to target the education market,” said David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight.  “We are extremely fortunate to have such a rich variety of exciting learning experiences and we believe this campaign is a great opportunity for the Island to increase its share of this market.”

Jonathan Green, marketing director for Red Funnel Ferries commented “With journey times of just 2½ hours from London and ferry-inclusive, curriculum based itineraries available from just £11pp, the Isle of Wight represents great value for money for school trips.

Jon Carter, Group General Manager, Education Destination, added “Having done extensive research with teachers, we know the key to this market is offering curriculum focussed teaching resources. Education Destination is working with all the leading venues and transport providers to ensure the Isle of Wight offers the best teaching materials of any destination in the world.”

Mark Persad, Head of Marketing for Wightlink Ferries said “With up to 150 sailings per day, a choice of three routes, crossings to the Island in just over 20 minutes and a choice of world class attractions nearby, school trips to the Isle of Wight have never been easier and are available from just £6.40 per child.”

Part of the new marketing campaign will involve creating an education section on the visitisleofwight website with up-to-date information on businesses that provide educational things to do and accommodation for educational parties. By showcasing the many businesses providing learning experiences it will help organisers to plan their trips effectively and efficiently.

Island businesses that provide learning experiences and would like to be included in the campaign should e-mail their details to jill@visitwight.org

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Attached image shows (LtoR): Sarah Dawson, Sales Development Manager, Red Funnel, Jon Carter, Group General Manager, Education Destination and David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight at the launch of VIOW’s new “We know Education” brochure.   The launch took place at the Education Show held on 19/20 March at the NEC Birmingham. http://www.education-show.com/

 

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