Stay in Vehicle Crossings

On selected daily sailings we are operating a “Stay in Vehicle” service where customers are permitted to remain in their vehicles for the duration of the crossing. These sailings are available for all customers to take advantage of, but in particular those who need, or would prefer, to avoid travelling in the main passenger lounges.

The following daily vehicle ferry crossings are usually scheduled to run as “Stay in Vehicle”:

  • Departing Southampton: 15:00 & 21:00
  • Departing East Cowes: 16:30 & 22:30

To view the confirmed times for the next 24 hours, go to our service status page.

Space on these crossings is limited, and we therefore advise customers seek to book in advance wherever possible. 

Foot Passenger Travel

You can still travel on these sailings as a foot passenger, however there is a maximum capacity of 40 – we therefore recommend travelling on an alternative sailing if possible. Foot passengers will be directed to a designated area in the passenger lounges.

Limitations on Sailings

All these crossings are subject to strict limitations from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), who set the safety regulations, and as such vehicle space on board is limited to allow enough space between vehicles for passengers to evacuate in case of an emergency. Vehicle decks are classified as cargo spaces under International and National Maritime Law. For this reason, we are not normally permitted to transport large volumes of passengers within these spaces. However, the MCA has recently agreed a set of exceptional and mitigating actions, permitting us to run some crossings on which all passengers can remain in their vehicles. Due to the volume of vehicles and freight we carry throughout the day it is not possible for us to operate all sailings in this capacity.

Additional Help for Vulnerable NHS Patients

In some circumstances, we may be able to allow an exception and permit ONE vehicle per normal crossing type to remain occupied on the vehicle deck. This exception is in place to support extremely vulnerable passengers travelling to an NHS appointment. Customers in this position should contact customerservices@redfunnel.co.uk with their travel details and a copy of their appointment letter at least 3 full business days (Mon-Fri) before their sailing date. For example, customers requesting a travel exception on a Tuesday must contact us no later than the previous Wednesday. A member of our team will be in touch to make arrangements from there. Please note that due to the nature of ferry operations, we can never guarantee the ability to allow a passenger to remain in their vehicle.