New Look Red Osprey re-enters service

26-03-2015 Red Funnel is delighted to unveil the new look Red Osprey which returns to service on 27 March 2015 following a major £2.2m interior refurbishment.

The vessel now mirrors her sister ship Red Falcon which was refitted in March 2014 and subsequently set the standard for cross-Solent travel.

Red Osprey’s refit was awarded to local marine interior specialists Trimline who completed the project in just 8 weeks with the vessel alongside in Southampton and for a brief period in dry-dock in Falmouth.

The ships interior has now been brought right up-to-date with a contemporary new look that now matches the best in the UK ferry industry and fulfils the design brief for 55% more internal seats and the provision of a class-leading travel environment.  

Kevin George, chief executive of Red Funnel, said “We are delighted to have undertaken further significant investment work following very positive feedback from customers who have travelled on Red Falcon. The refurbishment of Red Osprey further underpins our commitment to the Isle of Wight as we work with partners and stakeholders to help grow the Island’s economy.”

Red Osprey will be reintroduced to the public at a special spring-themed open day from 10am-4pm on Thursday 26 March at Red Funnel’s Terminal 1 on Town Quay Road in Southampton. The ship will operate two mini-cruises, giving 1,000 pre-booked guests the chance to see the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt anchored in Stokes Bay. Wave 105 presenter and ferry enthusiast Rick Jackson will be onboard for the morning cruise, with morning show host Mark Collins joining in the fun in the afternoon.

The terminal will play host on the 26 March to visitor attractions and food & craft exhibitors from the Isle of Wight and there will be live music and children’s entertainment from UKSA, Red Funnel’s charity of the year. Visitors will also be able to get afloat on one of several FREE Red Jet dock tours operating during the day.

All those attending will receive exclusive travel vouchers and details of how to enter a spring prize-draw to win one of 101 fantastic prizes including an amazing 4 night holiday.

Red Osprey – the highlights:

Two luxurious new passenger lounges have been added to A deck offering panoramic views across the Solent. Each is fitted with a Steam Café Bar and toilet facilities. The North Lounge is designated as pet friendly whilst the South Lounge is for young families. Both lounges can be hired for meetings and events.

The two main passenger areas on B deck have been completely replaced with a mix of modern seating styles and tables, subtle colours and clever lighting to create spaces which are perfect for socialising, working or just relaxing if it’s the start of a holiday.
Outside, new sun decks have been added to AA deck offering amazing views of Southampton Water and out across the Solent. Teak style seats have been fitted to this deck and along the promenade walk on A deck which for the first time is accessible by lift and therefore suitable for wheelchair users.

Lift access is now available from the main car decks at E and C levels to the passenger areas at B and A levels.  Air-conditioning has been added to keep all the passenger lounges cool in summer and cosy in winter.

Large ‘adventure themed’ mood boards on B deck are used to accentuate the new look with a large Isle of Wight timeline forming the centrepiece of the new lobby area. The timeline was compiled for Red Funnel by Island historian Esme Ballard and charts the history of the Island from the age of the dinosaurs to the legendary festivals in the late 1960’s. QR codes are used to link 52 historical events to individual web pages which detail the story behind each event.

For entertainment, 35 LED screens showing the vessel’s position, local points of interest and real-time travel information for road, rail, air and coach services have been fitted. Live TV will be screened in the bar area on B deck and extended to other areas of the ship when there is a major sporting occasion such as the World Cup or a major news event. There is also a large touch screen in each lounge on A deck with games, an image library and an interactive map of the Island for visitors. Bridge top cameras are used to relay live video footage to the screens for close up views of passing cruise ships and merchant vessels travelling along Southampton Water.

For customers wishing to use their own phones and tablets, a new FREE high capacity Wi-Fi solution has been installed which promises better coverage on board with the caching of popular content to help manage internet access at peak times. It utilises carrier class equipment with multiple carrier 3G/4G seamless failover. Compared to traditional point to multipoint systems, both the operating range and the reliability of the ship to shore link have increased significantly through the use of multiple antenna technology and adaptive multipoint access protocols. The new platform will be rolled out across Red Funnel’s fleet including the Red Jet’s in the next few months.

The new look Red Osprey also features more charging points for phones, tablets and laptops and CCTV has been installed throughout the ship to improve security. LED lighting has also been used extensively to help reduce energy consumption.

Food lovers will really be able to taste the difference when dining aboard Red Osprey. In addition to Red Funnel’s famous Full English Breakfast and delights such as Goddard’s beer battered Cod & Chips, the new spring menu range focuses heavily on local produce sourced from the Isle of Wight. New dishes include a ratatouille tart topped with Island soft cheese, courgette frittatas and, for the first time, delicious crepes with options for vegetarians. A new wine menu is also being introduced, extending both the range and quality.

Red Funnel is committed to sourcing 60% of its produce locally, with a large percentage from Isle of Wight producers. The company has recently been accredited with the Royal Isle of Wight Agricultural Society’s Wight Marque Gold Standard. Wight Marque aims to help customers identify and buy genuine Isle of Wight products, as well as encourage Island businesses to trade together and promote the Island as a quality food destination.

Customers travelling on Red Osprey (or Red Falcon) will be able to amend or make new Red Funnel ferry and accommodation bookings by visiting the ‘Ships Stores’ and also purchase a wide variety of attraction, event and festival tickets. Visitors will also be able to seek tourism advice from our specially trained staff or purchase a wide range of Isle of Wight and Red Funnel branded merchandise.