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Red Funnel announces essential maintenance to East Cowes mooring with minimal impact to services on 3 & 4 September

Thu, Nov 3 2022

As part of Red Funnel’s ongoing investment into maintaining and improving the resilience of its service, the cross-Solent ferry operator has announced urgent maintenance due to take place at its East Cowes ferry terminal.

The repair works are scheduled for Saturday 3rd September, between the hours of 20:30 – 06:00 and Sunday 4th September, between the hours of 20:30 – 05:00, during which time its vehicle ferries will be unable to depart and arrive into East Cowes.

Supporting the work will require the cancellation of four sailings in each direction: 20:15, 22:00, 23:59 and 03:00 from Southampton and 21:45, 23:30; 01:30 and 04:30 from East Cowes. To counterbalance and support essential freight, Red Funnel has added two additional crossings in the early hours of Monday, 5th Sept, with the addition of a 04:00 departure from Southampton and a 05:30 departure from East Cowes.

The operator wishes to highlight the last opportunity to depart using its vehicle ferry service on the impacted days.

Vehicle Ferry Service from Southampton:

Sat, 3 Sept: Last departure at 19:00 / Next departure at 05:00 (morning of Sun, 4 Sept)

Sun, 4 Sept: Last departure at 19:00 / Next departure at 04:00 (morning of Mon, 5 Sept)

Vehicle Ferry Service from East Cowes:

Sat, 3 Sept: Last departure at 20:30 / Next departure at 06:30 (morning of Sun, 4 Sept)

Sun, 4 Sept: Last departure at 20:30 / Next departure at 05:30 (morning of Mon, 5 Sept)

Red Funnel has already begun contacting impacted/booked customers, who will be offered alternate sailing times and additional assistance. Due to the timing of the works, the operator cites that a relatively low number of bookings are impacted.

The repair work relates to one of the East Cowes mooring dolphins, known as ‘Dolphin 3’. The dolphin is essential to enabling Red Funnel’s vehicle ferries to moor alongside in East Cowes. A routine inspection uncovered that Dolphin 3’s fendering system - a buffer device used to slow its ships down when docking, requires urgent maintenance.

Leanna Lakes, Operations Director at Red Funnel, said: “We heavily invest in regular maintenance and improvements across all vessels and fendering structures. While we generally get more lead time to schedule larger maintenance projects; sometimes, our inspections uncover essential work that can’t wait and needs to be addressed more urgently, and this is one of those occasions. We have done our best to limit the impact to our customers by carrying out the required work overnight.

“Nonetheless, we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause for those who planned to travel with us during this time. We’ll be signposting this information across all our communications channels from today so that anyone wanting to travel during the impacted time can make alternate arrangements.”

The company’s Red Jet timetable and service between Southampton and West Cowes will remain unaffected.

Any customers booked on cancelled crossings should expect to be contacted within the next 48 hours.

For further assistance, customers should contact [email protected]


For further information, please contact [email protected] / 02380 382 970

For more information or to book ferry travel with Red Funnel, visit  


Notes to editors

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 its on board café, ‘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, Rhythm Tree, The Great Wonderfest, Wight Proms, Cowes Classics, and Walk the Wight as well as a range of community and niche interest events. Red Funnel’s Charity of the Year, 2021 is Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats.

For more information, visit