They say a trip to the Isle of Wight is like going overseas, without leaving the UK. That’s mostly because of the check-in at the Red Funnel and Wightlink car ferry terminal (and the little hooky-thing you get to put over your rear-view mirror) before driving on board for the short crossing to the Island.
But then there’s Hovertravel – the ferries’ younger, slightly racier cousin, which delights in taking visitors directly from the shores of Southsea, to Ryde on the Isle of Wight, in just 10 minutes.
This month marks the 60th anniversary of the hovercraft. And this fully accessible 78-seater passenger ferry service to the Isle of Wight is the world’s only year-round passenger hovercraft service. Offering the fastest route across the Solent, it’s also great fun!
Flying across the water to, and back from, the Isle of Wight is one thing. But what makes it even better are the easy travel connections made available through a special Hoverbus, with numerous pick-up points around Portsmouth, and at bus and train connections across the UK and at Ryde. There are also car parks at both terminals.
The cost for whizzing back and forth to the Isle of Wight in a day is £24.20 for an adult, £11.80 for a child (5 to 15) and £16.50 concessions. There is also an off-peak family travel offer of £30 for up to two adults and three children.
While a full set of “Hover Excursions and Day Trips” can be found here, Hovertravel also offers a full range of “Travel & Attractions Combos” to the Isle of Wight in which a trip over to the Island can be combined with a visit to any number of its top attractions, including Blackgang Chine, Robin Hill Adventure Park and Gardens, Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Isle of Wight Zoo and Osborne.
Another very recent development, Enterprise – part of the world’s largest vehicle rental group – is expanding its Enterprise Car Club operation on the Isle of Wight by adding two new vehicles to an all-new location based at Hovertravel’s terminal in Ryde.
For visitor information for the Isle of Wight, go to https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.