Major £2m investment announced for Red Falcon

06-12-2013 Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries has appointed marine design agency SMC Design and Southampton’s marine interior refit specialist Trimline, to deliver a £2 million interior refurbishment of car and passenger ferry Red Falcon in time for Easter 2014.

The investment will see the ship’s interior design and facilities replaced with a bright, modern and stylish new look which will set the standard for cross-Solent travel. The design team were tasked to increase the number of internal seats by 55% and create an interior design that optimises the space to deliver an unrivalled travel experience across the Solent. Some of the new features customers will see include: -

  • New sun deck and promenade walk (with wheelchair/pushchair access)
  • Two new passenger lounges with additional toilet & baby changing facilities
  • New pet friendly lounge, child play space and designated quiet zone
  • Exciting new food and drink options 
  • Air-conditioning in all passenger lounges and improved heating in winter
  • New Information Bureau selling tickets, merchandise & gifts 
  • Flexible space to host live music, entertainment and meetings
  • Improved Wi-Fi solution and more laptop/phone charging points
  • Lower environmental footprint thanks to LED lighting and additional recycling

Murray Carter, Operations Director commented “We have listened very carefully to our customers over the last few years to develop a new travel experience which will meet their needs – significantly more inside seats, more tables for food and drinks, air conditioning, a new pet lounge, better facilities for wheelchair users and an improved food and beverage offer are just some of the highlights”.

The Red Falcon project is due to start in February 2014 and will be completed in time for the busy Easter holidays. The work will be undertaken with the ship alongside in Southampton, thereby securing valuable employment for local trades and businesses.

Paul Winter, acting CEO commented “As a business we are committed to improving the way in which we serve our customers. I am confident that this investment does exactly that, and it comes at an exciting time for the Company, as we aim to become the ‘preferred choice’ for all customers wanting to travel to and from the Island. We therefore believe that it will help deliver a boost to the Isle of Wight and Southampton economies. If the new design and layout proves as popular with customers as we expect, then I am confident that we can make further investments in customer service for Red Eagle and Red Osprey that would further raise our service standards in time for the 2015 summer season”.

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Notes for editors

Red Funnel operates passenger vehicle ferries 365 days a year between the UK Port of Southampton and East Cowes on the Isle of Wight and Red Jet Hi-Speed passenger only services between Southampton and West Cowes. The Company carries over 3m passengers per annum and has 38% vehicle market share. Red Funnel is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the new not for profit destination management organisation, responsible for tourism development on the Isle of Wight.

Red Falcon was built in 1994 by Ferguson Shipbuilders on the Clyde and was refurbished and lengthened in 2004 by Remontawa Shipyard in Gdansk. The ship, along with her two sisters, is the biggest ferry ever to serve the Isle of Wight, accommodating 215 cars on 3 decks and 895 passengers. Red Falcon operates approximately 4,000 sailings per annum, covering a distance of over 45,500 miles.