For guests requiring special assistance...
Crossing the Solent with Red Funnel should be an enjoyable experience for all our guests. From the moment you make your booking, our staff are there to ensure your time spent with us is pleasant and safe. In addition, our facilities, whether at our terminals or on board our vessels, are designed with your needs in mind.
Please read the information below to make your journey is as smooth as possible.
Making a booking
Guests travelling on our Southampton<>East Cowes route who are wheelchair bound or who require special assistance must book at least 48hrs before travelling by calling 02380 019192.
This is to ensure that all of your requirements can be met, and that there are no travel restrictions that may affect you. Please let us know the nature of your disability and any specific requirements that you may have e.g. particular type of seating or accommodation, adapted facilities and any medical equipment you may need to carry. There may be restrictions on carrying certain equipment e.g. medical oxygen, mattresses, electrical equipment so please ask.
After assessing your specific requirements, we may require that you are accompanied by an individual that can assist you during the journey. Any accompanying person can travel free of charge.
Whilst every effort will be made to take your booking, a request to travel at a particular time may be refused on the grounds of safety. This will usually relate to the legal requirement to evacuate all passengers from a ship in 30 minutes, though it may also be where the design of the ship, or port infrastructure, makes it impossible to carry you in a safe or operationally feasible manner. Unfortunately due to new regulations we are currently unable to accept bookings online for disabled travellers and those where special assistance is required - please call us on 02380 019192.
If you are booking an Isle of Wight Holiday, please click here or call us for further information on suitable accommodation to meet your requirements (Tel: 02380 019192).
On arrival at the terminal
If travelling by car, please go to the lane as directed by check-in staff and advise them if you are a wheelchair user and would like to be parked near the lift or if you require any other form of assistance. An orange marker is placed on your car to indicate to the ship's crew that you will require assistance. The terminal areas all incorporate ramps and accessible toilet facilities.
Vehicle passengers unable to use the ships' stairs will be parked as near to the onboard lift as possible. Alternatively, they may board as foot passengers. Please ask terminal staff for help. A wheelchair and personal assistance is available for passengers at either end of their ferry journey.
- The on board facilities (ReFuel café restaurant, Steam Coffee outlet, bar, and disabled toilets) offer good access to wheelchair users; the only exception is access to the outer deck ('A' Deck).
- If you require any assistance during your journey, please contact the On Board Services Officer, located on 'B' Deck or alternatively ask any member of staff.
- If you are hard of hearing and unable to hear the public address announcements clearly, the On-Board Services Officer on 'B' Deck will be happy to assist you.
- An emergency will usually be accompanied by the ringing of the ship's alarm, which is extremely loud! Your fellow passengers will move towards the Muster Stations. If you are travelling alone, you will be assisted by a member of staff so please make yourself known.
- Emergency situations are extremely rare. Our crews exercise very regularly and our safety procedures are routinely tested and audited by the Marine & Coastguard Agency. We are accredited with International Safety Management Code standards for shipboard safety and prevention of pollution.
At the end of your journey
- If you require assistance at the time of disembarkation with a wheelchair or luggage please ask.
- If you need to take extra time to make your way back to the car deck again, please tell us in good time.
- Taxi ranks are available at all our terminals to assist with your onward journey - some taxis are wheelchair accessible. In Southampton, the CityLink buses are all fitted with wheelchair ramps and two dedicated wheelchair bays.
We hope you find this information useful and that it helps to make your journey a pleasant one. Have a Good Voyage!
Safety information for hearing-impaired customers
The ship's public address (PA) system is used to communicate important safety information. In addition, it may also be used during the voyage to promote, facilities, offers, etc. Any message over the PA system is preceded by a "bing-bong".
At the start of your trip, the following pre-recorded message is broadcast:
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard. Please listen very carefully to the following safety announcement. In the unlikely event of an emergency, you will hear a continuous ringing of the ship's alarm bells. Additionally, the Master may make an announcement over this public address system. Remain calm and proceed to the nearest Muster Station. Muster Stations are clearly marked by a green sign depicting a family group. They are located on 'B' deck in the main lounges and on 'A' deck outside. Should it become necessary, the ship's crew will issue life jackets located at the Muster Stations and evacuate the vessel down the stairwells marked by the flashing exit signs. This vessel is equipped with life jackets and buoyant apparatus, which in the event of abandonment, will be boarded from the bottom of the stairwells at car deck level. Lifebuoys are also available. May we remind you that passengers are not permitted onto the car deck during the voyage. Thank you for your attention". The On-Board Services Officer may then make an announcement concerning the location and availability of the on-board shop, bar and café.
At the end of the trip, the following announcement will be made:
"Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please. We will shortly be arriving in Southampton/Cowes. Will all vehicle drivers and passengers please return to their vehicles. In the interests of safety, may I advise passengers when returning to the car deck, to hold the hand rails and take extreme care at all times. I should like to remind passengers that smoking is strictly forbidden on the car deck and drivers are requested not to start their engines until instructed to do so. If stowed on the movable car deck, please ensure that car doors are closed before the deck is lowered. Please refrain from using mobile phones until clear of the terminal. Foot passengers are requested to remain seated until the ship is alongside. I should like to take this opportunity to thank you for travelling with Red Funnel and wish you all a safe onward journey."
If you feel you would be unable to hear these or other announcements clearly, the On-Board Services Officer will be happy to assist you.
You are entitled to certain assistance both in port and on board ship. This includes assistance with boarding and/or leaving the ferry, assistance with baggage and/or any specific medical equipment that you may be carrying, and also assistance in making your way to toilet facilities. Where a guest has notified Red Funnel of the need for assistance, they will be sent a formal confirmation that such assistance has been requested.
Your request to travel cannot be refused solely on the grounds of a disability, or reduced mobility, and you are entitled to travel at no extra cost, under the same conditions that apply to all other passengers.More information