New-look website launched to mark 150th anniversary

23-02-2011 Isle of Wight specialist offers more than ever before online 

Red Funnel has re-launched its website to coincide with a true landmark occasion – it’s 150 years since Red Funnel, the original Isle of Wight ferry company first started trading in its current form.

The new website makes greater use of iconic flash based imagery to promote the Isle of Wight and inspire people to visit throughout the year. The ability to ‘Like’ content and post it directly to Facebook as well as Tweet the latest news items ensures better integration with the social networks.

A new ‘Surprising Discoveries’ section details over 100 fascinating facts about the Isle of Wight. Each fact is represented by a pin on a map which can be clicked to reveal the surprising fact. Visitors to the site can also add their own Isle of Wight discovery to the map.

New content has also been added to the Isle of Wight Guide section detailing towns and villages, places to visit, things to do and popular events such as the Isle of Wight Festival, Bestival, Cowes Week and the Garlic Festival. Features also include an Eating Out guide, a guide to local produce and a round-up of the best pubs and inns.

The holiday accommodation section now features over 140 properties including Isle of Wight hotels, B&B’s, self-catering cottages, holiday parks and camping & touring parks. All booking requests can be made online with savings of up to 50% on ferry travel if booked at the same time.

The new ferry travel section includes timetables, fares and travel information as well as details of connecting public transport services. Real-time vessel position information is available using Google mapping and is also broadcast via Twitter. Service updates are also published online and are available FREE to My Red Funnel members via SMS.

RSS and XML feeds covering news, service alerts, and timetables are available to developers wishing to integrate with third party websites.

Red Funnel continues to invest in the online booking channel with the recent launch of its new Travel Card product enabling frequent travellers to set-up and fully manage their accounts online. The ability to retrieve and amend bookings will be added to the site later this year. Tickets to the Isle of Wight’s 18 premier attractions including Blackgang Chine, Osborne House, Carisbrooke Castle and the Isle of Wight Zoo and Tiger Sanctuary can be purchased online when making a ferry booking, many at discounted prices. Tickets to events such as Folkstation, Rhythm Tree Festival and Bestival are also available.

A new business solutions area has also been added for use by the Travel Trade and other B2B customers. The area details the wide range of services available including advertising and charter opportunities.

To mark its 150th anniversary, the Isle of Wight holidays specialist has commissioned a new book called ‘Red Funnel 150’, written by Keith Adams. It is available to purchase online and is part of a revamped section charting Red Funnel’s colourful history from its roots in 1820, to its incorporation in 1861 through to the present day.


Notes to editors:
Launched originally in 1996, continues to evolve and is one of the largest, most comprehensive Isle of Wight visitor websites. It currently receives over 3 million visits per annum and handles 80% of all Red Funnel’s vehicle and accommodation bookings.