Tag Archives: Wightlink

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

Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route improves punctuality

Statistics from August 2017 – the busiest month of the year – show Wightlink’s terminal improvements have made a significant difference to punctuality on the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route.

The numbers of sailings arriving on time this August on Wightlink’s busiest service increased by more than a third, compared to August 2016 levels. This is because staff can load and unload its flagship St Clare more quickly using new double deck boarding ramps. Cars and small vans embark and disembark on the upper deck while lorries, coaches and other large vehicles use the lower deck. The new system has reduced the turnaround time to around 15 minutes.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield says: “We thank our customers and neighbours for their patience during our construction work at both Portsmouth and Fishbourne. The temporary disruption to our services has been worth it because punctuality has improved. We are delighted that the majority of our sailings are now running on time, even on some of the busiest days during the holiday season, and will welcome our new ship Victoria of Wight in summer 2018.”

Isle of Wight CounciI Leader Councillor Dave Stewart says: “I have followed with interest the progress of Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth route since it gained planning permission last year. I am pleased the new two-tier boarding ramps at Fishbourne and Portsmouth are now working well and helping to make the service more efficient. We look forward to the new ship arriving next year.

“The investment by Wightlink is an important part of our ambition to regenerate the Island’s economy as we move forward.”

More improvements to the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route lie ahead. Plans have been unveiled for a new terminal entrance at Fishbourne to reduce queuing and Wightlink’s new customer building in Portsmouth is nearing completion.

For more information, contact Karen Woods 07775 694266 karen@karenwoods.biz<mailto:karen@karenwoods.biz>

Karen Woods, Communications, Wightlink, Isle of Wight Ferries, Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, PO1 3PS

M: 07775 694266

E: karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk<mailto:karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk>

 

Wightlink reveals the name of its new flagship

Wightlink’s new £30million environmentally friendly car ferry for the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route will be named Victoria of Wight.

The name was chosen by a panel of staff who considered 186 suggestions from 73 members of staff.

Work is well underway on the new ship at the Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey and Victoria of Wight will be officially handed over to Wightlink early in 2018. It has not yet been decided when she will enter service.

The new ship is part of a £45million investment in the route. New two-tier boarding ramps are already in use at Portsmouth and Fishbourne and have made loading and unloading of the ferry St Clare faster and more efficient.

Victoria of Wight will be a hybrid vessel, powered by batteries as well as low sulphur marine gas oil. Environmentally friendly features will include the recycling of hot water from the engines to heat the passenger areas and low energy LED lighting. There will be a Costa Coffee store on board as well as a shop selling high quality Isle of Wight produce.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield comments: “Victoria was clearly a popular choice among staff. We were very happy to endorse their selection and feel Queen Victoria, as a regular visitor to the Isle of Wight, would have been amused.”

Five staff members submitted the winning suggestion for the naming. They have all won a trip to the Cemre shipyard to watch the launch of Victoria of Wight later in 2017.

The new ship will be launched at the end of 2017 and arrive in the Solent next summer.

For more information, contact Karen Woods 07775 694266 karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk

 

Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route reaches another milestone

The first vehicles have embarked and disembarked Wightlink’s flagship St Clare using the company’s new two-tier upper and lower boarding ramps at Portsmouth and Fishbourne.

From now on, cars and small vans will use the upper ramp and lorries, coaches and other larger vehicles will use the lower ramp.

The two ramps allow staff to load and unload the ship faster and more efficiently, they will also be used on Wightlink’s new vessel when she comes into service in 2018. Wightlink’s other car ferries on the route, St Faith, St Cecilia and Wight Sun will continue to use the lower ramp only.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield was among the first people to drive on board St Clare using the upper ramp and joined customers and staff on board.

“This marks a milestone for Wightlink Ferries as the first stage of our £45million investment in future services. Our new port redevelopment will offer customers better facilities and smoother crossings to and from the Isle of Wight,” says Keith.

The first customers to board the 11:00 sailing in Portsmouth using the upper ramp were Ian and Brigitte Park from West Malling, Kent. They were on their way to Ventnor for the weekend to celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary. “We’re very excited to be making history as part of Wightlink’s new development, it has been an amazing start to our holiday on the Isle of Wight,” says Ian.

The first customers to board the return 12:00 sailing in Fishbourne were John Stewart, Susan Ford and 15 year old Emily Ford, 15, from Billericay, Essex. The family had been on the Isle of Wight for a six day break staying with friends who had recently moved to the Island. John says: “We had a great time – the Island is a lovely place and we will certainly come back again.” Before driving the first car on the new ramp, John adds: “We knew that the facilities here were new but not quite that new!”

Work began on the new boarding ramps in September 2016 as part of Wightlink’s £45million investment in future services.

For more information please contact Karen Woods 07775 694266 karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk<mailto:karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk

M: 07775 694266

 

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

OLD GAFFERS FESTIVAL TO RETURN IN 2017

Yarmouth and the West Wight are celebrating following the news that the crowd pleasing Old Gaffers Festival is returning in June 2017.

Taking place over the 2nd to 4th of June 2017, the Old Gaffers Festival celebrates colourful gaff-rigged and traditional sailing boats, which race in the Solent over the weekend.

On shore activities include an eclectic mix of street entertainment, music, food and crafts with a great community spirit at its heart.  Old Gaffers is widely recognised as one of the Island’s most fun-filled festivals for all the family.

Following a year off in 2016, Visit Isle of Wight and Wightlink have stepped in to work with the organisers as they believe it has the potential to attract new day trip and overnight visitors from the mainland and nearby European markets.

Old Gaffers Chairperson, Debbie Cotton, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the financial support we have received from Visit Isle of Wight and Wightlink which has without doubt secured the 2017 event. People from around the country visit Old Gaffers. The organising committee are committed to doing all we can to encourage people to visit and stay in the area and explore more of the West Wight when they are here”.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “The organisers of the 2017 Old Gaffers Festival presented us with a compelling and convincing case for supporting the event for the wider West Wight tourism economy. The event attracts thousands of mainland visitors who spend money in our local shops, restaurants, attractions and stay overnight in local accommodation.

It’s going to be an amazing weekend for West Wight as the brand new Isle of Wight Festival of Running is also taking place in Freshwater at the same time, making this a real West Wight showcase for the south of England”.

Wightlink Commercial Director, Clive Tilley, said: “The Old Gaffers Festival is a much-loved event on the Isle of Wight and marks the start of the summer season. We are delighted to link up with our colleagues at Visit IOW to support the organisers and make sure the three-day programme of sailing and entertainment goes ahead next year.”

For more information about Yarmouth Old Gaffers festival, go to http://www.yarmoutholdgaffersfestival.co.uk/

ENDS

Issued by Visit Isle of Wight LTD on behalf of the Old Gaffers Festival Committee.

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

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.

“Have Yourself a Merry Island Christmas”

Sail away to a winter wonderland on the Isle of Wight with Wightlink Isle of Wight Ferries and relish in traditional Christmas festivities. Ho-ho-hopping on board Wightlink Ferries’ fast and convenient car and foot passenger ferry crossings,  travellers don’t have to go too far to enjoy Christmas celebrated just as it should be, and in style, at one of the country’s most loved holiday hotspots.

From visiting Santa’s grotto, to wondering through Christmas markets or enjoying winter wonderlands, there are many traditional festive activities on the Island that ensure all visitors have a very merry time.  Wightlink’s top Christmas picks for 2015 include:

Santa Claus will be residing at Needles Landmark Attraction’s Christmas Grotto on most weekends during December. Along with meeting Santa, visitors can enjoy free entry to children’s rides, Jurassic golf, sweet making demonstrations and even a visit to the elves in their workshop as they get gifts ready in time for Christmas.

Tapnell Farm’s Christmas Open Studioshave an exciting selection of creative and imaginative, locally made Christmas gifts in stock. From unusual stocking fillers, to statement art and special jewellery, a visit to the studios is the perfect option for those in search of special presents for loved ones. The studios are open from 5th – 6th December.

The Brighstone Christmas Tree Festivalis an exhibition of over 160 Christmas trees in seven different locations around the pretty village of Brighstone. Festival revellers also have the opportunity to stock up on locally made presents, listen to the carol service, watch the tree lighting ceremony and sustain appetities with a winter BBQ. The festival takes place from 10th – 13th December.

Step back in time with a Victorian Christmas at Osborne House. Visitors can participate in traditional games, take a ride on the carousel, roast chestnuts and watch jovial entertainers. Father Christmas and Queen Victoria may be spotted roaming the house, as visitors tour the festively dressed rooms. Tickets from £14.50 per adult and £8.80 per child (5-15 years old).

This year, the I love Wight Christmas marketwill be taking place at The Garlic Farm. There will be a Santa’s grotto, face painting, Christmas specials in the restaurant and festive music guaranteed to get people in the Christmas spirit. The market will be taking place on 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th December.

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s Havenstreet station will be transforming into a Winter Wonderland this Christmas. There will be live festive music, enetertainment and even Alpacas to meet whilst Rudolph takes a rest. After enjoying all the Christmas celebrations, visitors can hop on board the steam train. Tickets from £14 per adult, £10 per child and £8 per infant.

Wightlink’s convenient ferry services take passengers from Portsmouth and Lymington over to the Isle of Wight in just 40-45 minutes.. Alternatively, foot passengers catching the train into Portsmouth only have to walk a few steps to the ferry terminal, where they board the 22 minute Catamaran service that takes them into Ryde pier and back, the perfect route for bringing all your stocking fillers home.

For more information on the Christmas events taking place on the Isle of Wight, visit:

http://www.wightlink.co.uk/do/events/

ENDS

For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Nadia Fidler                0207 680 7122           nadia.fidler@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

Sophy Norris               01392 248 934            sophy.norris@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

Belinda Hallworth       020 7680 7114           belinda.hallworth@flagshipconsulting.co.uk 

Wightlink – Part of Island Life

Wightlink is the leading cross-Solent ferry operator carrying almost five million holidaymakers and Islanders across the Solent to the Isle of Wight every year. Nine ferries on three routes provide Island-wide coverage and complete 48,000 sailings a year giving Islanders an easy and frequent service to the mainland, and tourists an accessible way to enjoy a taste of Island life.

You can step off the train from London, hop on a Wightlink catamaran and be on the Island in just 22 minutes, the car ferries take around 40 minutes from Portsmouth and Lymington. On board, passengers and drivers alike can relax in the lounges and enjoy some refreshments before arriving on the Island to enjoy the range of attractions, events and experiences that make the Isle of Wight a leading destination for tourists.

The opening of the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey has cut journey times to Portsmouth from Greater London. By contrast, Wightlink’s port at Lymington is reached by an attractive drive through the scenic New Forest.

Prices:

Mainland

Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15.

Island

Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15. 

Book Early, Be Flexible, Save Money

More information can be found at www.wightlink.co.uk

 

Enjoy Island life for the day with Wightlink Ferries – New day trip rates at £45 per family ticket make an Isle of Wight escape a summer must do

Wightlink Ferries has introduced a new foot passenger family rate on its fast Catamaran service from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde, and families can now hop over to the Island for a day trip for just £45.  A family ticket is valid for a family group of up to five people; minimum 1 adult and maximum 2 adults in the group, making a return day trip from just £9 per person*.

The Catamaran journey to Ryde, one of the Island’s most bustling towns, takes just 20 minutes, making a day trip to England’s largest Island a must do for castaways this summer.   Alternatively, foot passengers can travel from Portsmouth to Fishbourne or Lymington to Yarmouth for a slightly longer journey of 40 minutes at only £37.50 for a day trip.

Alongside the new rates, Wightlink has introduced a new section to its website that highlights the range of brilliant things to do in a day– www.wightlink.co.uk/daytrips.  Some can be reached on foot or by bike (foot passengers can take bikes on board the ferries at no additional cost) and others can be reached by the Island’s excellent public transport network.

Five of Wightlink’s favourite family days out this summer are:

Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s famous Royal residence in East Cowes, is transforming its spectacular grounds into an open air Luna Cinema under the stars for three nights during August. Families can indulge in a selection of hot food and drinks served from a range of vintage vehicles prior to enjoying the evening entertainment. Tickets cost £13.50 per adult and £9.00 per child.

Foot passengers disembarking the Catamaran at Ryde Pier can catch Southern Vectis bus route 4 towards East Cowes and arrive at Osborne House in just 30 minutes.

Throughout the summer, Robin Hill Adventure Park will play host to a number of stunning summer evenings, with lots of carnival style entertainment, live music and performances. Standard tickets cost from £13.50 each.

Families bringing their bikes along for the day can peddle to Robin Hill from Ryde Pier in just 45 minutes.

The Garlic Festival, 15-16 August, has become one of the Island’s most iconic events and is a superb family day out. Alongside the celebration of garlic (including in ice cream and beer form) there is live entertainment and music.  Rachel Koo will be this year’s guest chef. Tickets cost £9.50 per adult.

For families looking to combine some exercise into their visit, the 5.7 mile walk from Ryde Pier to the Garlic Festival is the perfect option.

Blackgang Chine has been attracting visitors for more than 170 years and is the perfect spot to keep the kids entertained. From spending the day as a princess, to drawing guns at noon or enjoying a dinosaur ride, there is plenty of fun to be had. Standard tickets cost from £16 per person.

Southern Vectis bus Route 7 runs from Yarmouth Bus Station, close to the Terminal. Route 7 connects to the Island bus interchange at Newport. From here Route 6 runs regular services to Blackgang Chine.

Located on the Isle of Wight’s beautiful heritage coastline, The Needles Landmark Attraction offers an exciting family day out. For spectacular views of Alum Bay Beach and Needles Rocks, take a ride on the chair lift.

This is the ideal attraction for foot passengers arriving into Yarmouth, as families can get on board the frequent number 7 bus route and arrive at The Needles in just 25 minutes.

Providing the perfect opportunity to unwind, relax and enjoy family time together, there is no better place to visit than the Isle of Wight for a special summer escape, even if just for a day**.

For more information on the exciting events and activities taking place on the Isle of Wight during summer, download Wightlink’s Wightlife brochure, which is available as an app, via http://www.wightlink.co.uk/wightlife.  Also, check out the Wightlife blog at http://wightlife.com.

*Adults includes any person aged 16 and over

**Longer stays are also encouraged. Explore a range of accommodation options and offers at www.wightlink.co.uk/stay

ENDS

For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Sophy Norris               01392 248 934            sophy.norris@flagshipconsulting.co.uk
Belinda Hallworth        0207 680 7114            belinda.hallworth@flagshipconsulting.co.uk
Nadia Fidler                0207 680 7122           nadia.fidler@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

 

Wightlink – Part of Island Life

 

Wightlink is the leading cross-Solent ferry operator carrying almost five million holidaymakers and Islanders across the Solent to the Isle of Wight every year. Nine ferries on three routes provide Island-wide coverage and complete 48,000 sailings a year giving Islanders an easy and frequent service to the mainland, and tourists an accessible way to enjoy a taste of Island life.

You can step off the train from London, hop on a Wightlink catamaran and be on the Island in just 22 minutes, the car ferries take around 40 minutes from Portsmouth and Lymington. On board, passengers and drivers alike can relax in the lounges and enjoy some refreshments before arriving on the Island to enjoy the range of attractions, events and experiences that make the Isle of Wight a leading destination for tourists.

The opening of the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey has cut journey times to Portsmouth from Greater London. By contrast, Wightlink’s port at Lymington is reached by an attractive drive through the scenic New Forest.

Prices:

Mainland

Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15.

Island

Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15. 

Book Early, Be Flexible, Save Money

More information can be found at www.wightlink.co.uk

SHIPWRECK ISLE IS A SAIL AWAY SUCCESS

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has hailed this weekend’s Shipwreck Isle a sail away success as thousands of people flocked to Ryde seafront to celebrate the pirate-themed event.

Shipwreck Isle – part of the DMO’s annual Festival of the Sea held to promote the Island’s seafaring history and attract early summer visitors – took place at Appley beach in Ryde on Sunday 28th June.

Famed for its golden sands, Gothic-style tower and long promenade, Appley was invaded by pirates who came ashore and entertained the crowds with cannon demonstrations, sword fighting and set up the Pirates of the Caribbean village.   One of Europe’s top Jack Sparrow lookalikes, Simon Newton, who doubled for Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, was at the festival for photographs and stunt-action sword fights.

Younger visitors were invited to dress up in their swashbuckling outfits for pirate storytelling, tug-of-war and treasure hunts.

Funded and co-ordinated by the DMO, Visit Isle of Wight believes the event has the potential to attract huge numbers of visitors from all over the world – especially those who like dressing up in flamboyant pirate costumes and enjoy great entertainment!

David Thornton, CEO, and Visit Isle of Wight, said: “I am delighted that VIOW was able to secure Shipwreck Isle for the Island and we are excited about the obvious potential that the crowds yesterday indicated, and hope to be in a position to confirm next year’s dates by the end of July.

“VIOW and our partners Wightlink, have done an excellent job in making sure this event has been marketed and promoted to off-island visitors in Portsmouth and Southsea.  Wightlink also contributed hugely in the pre-event planning by making sure that all the ‘Pirates’ were able to travel over with their various gear”.

Mark Persad, Head of Marketing at Wightlink, said: “It’s great that so many people came to support the event and enjoy a free day of fantastic swashbuckling fun. This was a brilliant start and we very much hope the pirates will return for a second year. Once again, it’s proven that the Isle of Wight is the place to be for great days out”.

The event was organised by Roger Crouch, who ran the Hastings Pirate Festival for five years, which became a huge draw for local people and visitors alike.  Roger said: “We created a true family day, which I am sure will grow to be an annual event for the Isle of Wight.

“My thanks to all that took part, the majority of which gave their time freely to participate, such as the Pirates of the Caribbeanand the Living History groups. Huge thanks also to Visit Isle of Wight, Wightlink and John Hawkins and his team of Beach Events & Solutions, who co-promoted and helped event manage the day.

John Hawkins said: “We are proud and delighted to work with so many amazing people to help launch what we believe will become a stand-out event in the Isle of Wight.

“Appley beach is one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever encountered and the whole town and local businesses have been hugely supportive, which has made this event a pleasure to work on.  With the wind in our sails, I have no doubt that Shipwreck Isle has many more treasures to uncover over the coming years”.

Katie Jones, Events Manager for Visit Isle of Wight, added: “Shipwreck Isle was a great success and we are looking forwards to working closely with John and Roger in the future and planning an even more fun-filled event next year.

“Thank you to everyone who attended and made the extra effort with their spectacular costumes; you all looked great”.

With around 100 activities from musical events, food shows, cookery displays and food-tasting, opportunities to charter boats, open days, tours and talks, all with a seaside theme, there are still plenty of opportunities for salty seadogs and landlubbers to drop anchor and enjoy the event.  http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea

From July 2nd to 5th, Hovertravel will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a 1980s themed weekend. Travellers will be greeted with music, fancy dress and giveaways at the terminals http://www.hovertravel.co.uk/.

The finale on July 4th and 5th will be the ‘All at Sea’ beach festival at Hope Beach in Shanklin, with children’s entertainment, the Cardboard Box Boat Race and the Isle of Wight Birdman Rally – where competitors attempt to glide gracefully into the sea in homemade contraption http://www.beach-events.co.uk/.

You can pick up a copy of the Festival of the Sea guide, including times and locations of all the events at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/festival-of-the-sea

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

ENDS

Notes to editors

The Festival of The Sea, which was created by the Island’s Destination Marketing Organisation, Visit Isle of Wight, will involve 100 events on land and at sea. The Festival is now in its third year and will take place from June 22nd to July 5th.  Visit Isle of Wight is supporting the Festival of the Sea 2015 with a £20,000 advertising campaign in newspapers and on radio stations across the South Coast and in London.

The headline event is the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, on June 27th, which is organised by the Island Sailing Club and typically attracts 1700 yachts and 16,000 sailors. Competitors from around the world will attempt to circumnavigate the Island’s 50 nautical mile course, with crowds enjoying a coastline view.

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.