Red Kestrel enters service with first freight cargo
24 May 2019 — Following a triumphant naming ceremony last month, Red Funnel’s new freight ferry, Red Kestrel officially entered service today (Friday 24 May) following a successful few weeks of sea trials in the Solent.
Red Kestrel marks Red Funnel’s first dedicated Ro-Ro freight ship since the company’s inception almost 160 years ago and today she set sail on her maiden voyage to the Isle of Wight.
“Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, added: “Today marks a huge milestone in Red Funnel’s history and the Isle of Wight and we are incredibly proud that we can support the Island with its freight requirements. Red Kestrel is unlike any of our ferries and will play a very significant role within the business. It will increase our capacity to transport more private vehicles, enhancing convenience for our customers and giving them more options for when they wish to travel.”
Red Kestrel will operate between Southampton and the Isle of Wight and as a freight vessel, she is limited to 12 passengers and constructed specifically to provide additional year-round freight capacity for Red Funnel’s Southampton to East Cowes route.
At 74m in length, she provides 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity, allowing for 12 HGVs. To minimise the environmental footprint, the hull shape has been designed specifically to reduce wash and a propulsion package has been selected to make her highly fuel efficient. The use of proven azimuth thrusters supplied by Rolls Royce will also make the ship very manoeuvrable. Her dedicated drivers-only lounge offers comforts and features such as access to hot and cold food, reclining leather seats with footrests, free Wi-Fi and ample charging points. Red Kestrel will use the same berths as Red Funnel’s existing Raptor class ro-pax vehicle ferries in Southampton and East Cowes.
For further information regarding Red Funnel, please contact:
Mel Piercy or Kirsti Pawlowski at McKenna Townsend
T: 01425 472330
About Red Funnel
Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service. In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’. The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, The Red Funnel IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Isle Walk Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events. Red Funnel’s 2019 Charity of the Year is Mountbatten Hospice, Isle of Wight.
For more information visit: www.redfunnel.co.uk