Sail Safe

Safety is always our TOP priority, and in these times, we know it’s also more important to you than ever. That’s why we’ve implemented a load of extra measures to keep you safe when you sail.


Please note: Face Coverings must be worn at all times whilst travelling on our ferries.

Find out more

Relax, knowing cleaning and hygiene is top of the list

High Frequency Cleaning Schedules

Our vessels have always been cleaned to a high standard, but now we’ve increased the frequency even further, paying extra attention to high-touch areas such as hand rails, door handles, arm rests and table tops.

Hand gel dispensers in all areas

We’re encouraging passengers to follow NHS advice and wash their hands as often as possible for a minimum of 20 seconds. In addition, we’ve added hand gel dispensers to all public and staff areas, which are replenished regularly

Our crew taking care of you

Our staff are wearing PPE, for your protection as well as theirs. As well as keeping up our increased cleaning rotas, they’re there to help you throughout your journey. Please be patient and kind as they do all they can to help you sail safe 

Extra assurance whilst on board our ferries

Daily Stay in Vehicle Sailings

On selected daily sailings we are operating a “Stay in Vehicle” service, where you can remain in your car throughout the journey. These are limited each day, but you can find out the scheduled sailings in advance by visiting our service status page.

"Fresh Air" Air Conditioning

One of the advantages of ferry travel over flying is we can filter in fresh sea air throughout your journey.

All our ferries operate this system, so relax knowing the air on board is fresh and not being recirculated.

Enjoy our sun deck and outdoor spaces

Spend at least part of your journey on our outside passenger decks, and you’ll find additional seating and space, plus you can enjoy the sea air and great views on the way to and from the Isle of Wight. Don’t forget to dress for the weather. 

Social distancing measures

We’ve put social distancing measures in place in our terminals, and on-board our vessels, which we will need your help to make work.

Our capacity has been significantly reduced, to help us meet customer demand and maintain social distancing on board. It won’t always be possible to maintain the optimum 2-metre gap between passengers, due to the sizes and layouts of our terminals and vessels, but with our customer’s help and cooperation we can look to maximise social distancing throughout your journey.

Things to look out for:

Observe all social distancing signage and floor markings, especially where passages are marked as one-way or no entry 

Pay attention to seats marked as “not in use”. Only sit in the ones marked with stickers, and only if you are travelling with the person you are sitting next to 

Observe all signage indicating maximum person limits in spaces such as lifts, toilet facilities and queues, and wait until spaces are available before entering

How you can help:

Keep as much space between yourself and others as possible 

Check all available A-deck and B-deck lounges to seek out the most open spaces 

Sit directly next to those you are travelling with, making use of the seats marked ok for people travelling together 

Spend a portion of your journey on our outer decks, where space is more widely available

Face Coverings

From 15 June it is mandatory for adults and children 11 years and over to wear a face covering on board our ferries.

For more information, and to view the list of exemptions, go to our Face Coverings FAQ page.

Embarking / Disembarking the Red Jet Service

Customers using the Red Jet whilst social distancing measures are in place will need to follow our new embarking and disembarking procedures:

>> When boarding please head to the furthest available seat from the entrance
>> Avoid the seats marked "not in use"
>> On arrival please remain seated until further instructed by the Cabin Attendant

These new procedures are in place for the safety of you and our staff, and we appreciate your cooperation for helping us to implement them.

Additional advice for customers

For your added protection we are also asking our customers to take the following preventative measures when they travel with us:

Travel Off-Peak if possible

For added reassurance on your journeys, we also recommend you consider travelling during off-peak times and days. When planning travel it is worth considering:

  • Mondays and Fridays are usually our busiest days
  • Peak commuter times (07:30-09:00 and 16:30-18:00 during the week) are usually busier
  • Early-mornings and late evenings are usually quieter, and Sunday is typically our quietest day

For more info go to our timetables or check availability on the booking page 

Passenger Assistance

Our staff are fully trained to support passengers who may require additional assistance throughout all stages of travelling with Red Funnel. For passengers with reduced mobility or additional needs, please rest assured that we have not changed our ability to serve you. At this time, we are also:

  • Taking special care to sanitise all mobility aids before and after each use
  • Asking our staff to wear appropriate PPE
  • Maintaining a reserved area for wheelchair users

Your comfort and safety are extremely important to us. If we can provide you with further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us before you sail, or speak to a member of staff when you arrive or board.


Do I have to wear a face mask / covering?

From 15 June it will be mandatory to wear a face covering when using public transport, therefore our passengers will be legally required to wear a face covering whilst travelling in our passenger lounges and moving around the vessel. This also applies to foot passengers embarking and disembarking.

Coverings are optional (but recommended) on our outer passenger decks, and are not required inside vehicles. 

Making a face cover is simple and can likely be made at home with no to little additional cost. Learn how to make your own face cover here. Face Coverings will also be available for purchase, for customers who do not have their own.

There are some exemptions, including passengers with a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering. Children under the age of 11 will also be exempt. A full list of the current exemptions can be found on the UK goverment's website.

By law, Red Funnel must refuse travel to customers who can (but do not) wear coverings. Customers could forfeit the cost of their booking should they refuse to comply.

For more info and answers to frequently asked questions, go to the Face Coverings on our Ferries page

What is your maximum capacity on board?

To help achieve social distancing whist also ensuring we have enough space to meet customer demand for essential travel, we have reduced our capacity by -72%, giving us a maximum capacity of 250 passengers at this time. This is a reduction of 645 passengers against our normal operating limit of 895. This information is accurate as of 3 June 2020.

Are you allowing for 2-metre social distancing?

We’re committed to doing all we can to allow for as much space between individuals as possible. Due to the nature of our business as a public transportation provider, we may encounter instances whereby facilitating the optimum 2-metre gap between individuals is not always possible.

This may be especially likely as demand for travel increases, as well as during boarding and alighting, and during peak times. It is also impossible for us to fully control all individual passenger movements whilst on board our vessels due to the inherent nature of ferry travel. Maximising social distancing requires cooperation from all passengers.

Can vulnerable NHS Patients Stay in their Vehicle?

We empathise with passengers who wish to remain in their vehicles, especially those with health conditions. The matter of remaining within your vehicle is governed by important safety regulations, but 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.

For more information go to our Stay in Vehicle page.

Can I get out of my car on a “Stay in Vehicle” sailing?

We appreciate customers would like to have the option to choose where they spend the duration of their crossing, however stringent MCA safety standards require either all passengers to stay in their vehicles, or all passengers to join us on the passenger decks. This relates to important safety and evacuation procedures in place to protect you in the event of an emergency.

Is the Signature Lounge space open to everyone?

In line with the rest of the vessel, we are currently operating to a reduced capacity inside our Signature Lounge. The Signature Lounge was introduced in response to customer demand for a quieter, more private and adult-oriented crossing. Since its inception, many customers have discovered this space and now expect it as an option. The Lounge also runs on a different service model. Similar to admission-based airport lounges, our Signature Lounge operates in very much the same format, and while at times, it may not always be full, we cannot change our service and business model in this space; this would be unfair to the customers who use it.

What do you do if passengers don't observe social distancing?

As a mass transport operator, we can facilitate social distancing -- but we can’t enforce it; that is a policing function. For this reason, our staff can only suggest passengers maintain social distancing. We have taken big steps to enable social distancing via reducing our capacity and have installed clear, physical signage as visual aids. On top of this, we actively communicate safety and social distancing guidance to our customers both throughout their journey as well as in the wider media. Ultimately, the responsibility for social distancing compliance remains with each individual. We urge everyone to take responsibility for their actions and to continue to heed the most current government’s advice.