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Red Funnel’s Red Jet 3 sold to Croatian ferry company

Wed, Mar 27 2019

27 Mar 2019 — Following more than 20 years of sailing the Solent, Red Funnel’s hi-speed passenger catamaran ferry, Red Jet 3, will be sailing into sunnier climates and warmer waters, following a recent purchase by a Croatian ferry company.

Red Jet 3, which was built in Cowes on the Isle of Wight by FBM Marine in 1998, will be affiliated with Adriatic Fast Ferries Ltd and sail under the new name Adriatic Express, which is yet to be confirmed.

Within her new service, Red Jet 3 will be operating in the Split region of Croatia, where she will be serving passengers on a brand-new multi-leg route. Running from Split airport, calling at Split’s passenger port and onto its outlying destination islands including Bol on the island of Brač and Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, where thousands of tourists holiday each year.

Alan Klanac, D.Sc. Nav.Arch, director of the buyers, said: “When we heard that Red Funnel was selling Red Jet 3, we jumped at the chance, she’s a super vessel and her capacity and size are perfect for what we had in mind. I first visited Red Funnel in the summer of 2017 and had the opportunity to stay in West Cowes. Red Funnel is a trusted ferry provider and I was very impressed with the warm welcome from its staff and its operations.

“I only recently started the company with Ralph Axelson of Nordic HSCO AB of Sweden, with the aim of developing a dedicated fast ferry service to passengers travelling between airports and summer destinations. Red Jet 3 will be Adriatic Fast Ferries Ltd’s first vessel however, we aim to build on our success and increase the fleet and services in the future.

“Red Jet 3 is going to have a busy summer season, catering for thousands of tourists visiting the Croatian islands off Split. We envision the service being extremely popular as it will offer passengers a quick and convenient way to reach the islands, direct from Split airport. I’m delighted to be taking over Red Jet 3, and I extend a warm welcome to all her faithful passengers over the years to come and say hello to her on the Adriatic.”

Red Funnel CEO, Fran Collins, added: “Red Jet 3 was one of our original Solent Class Hi-Speed catamaran ferries and has transported millions of passengers across the Solent over the last two decades. She has been a great vessel and is a well-loved member of the Red Funnel ferry family - we hope Adriatic Fast Ferries Ltd enjoy many years of sailing.”

Red Jet 3 can accommodate 173 seated passengers and three crew and is powered by two MTU diesel engines, each driving an MJP waterjet to give a service speed of 35 knots. Setting off to her new home, Red Jet 3 was lifted out of the water in Southampton on March 25 and hoisted onto a marine freight forwarder, where she will be transported to Croatia.

Red Funnel will now have three Red Jet Hi-Speed catamarans deployed in the UK on its cross-Solent ferry route, all powered by high-speed MTU diesel engines with waterjet propulsion. The ferries travel from Southampton to West Cowes on the Isle of Wight every 30 to 60 minutes during the day.


For further information regarding Red Funnel, please contact:

Lisa Norman or Kirsti Pawlowski at McKenna Townsend

T: 01425 472330
E: [email protected]

Editor’s note

Red Jet 3: Quick facts

  • Length overall: 32.90m
  • Passengers: 173
  • Crew: 3
  • Engines: 2 x MTU 12V 396 Series
  • Maximum speed: 38 knots

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.

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