Solent Shipping

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    • Many RN personnel have been serving on both French and A USA aircraft carriers enabling the crewing of at least one carrier with a practically trained crew possible. But to crew both carriers at the same time with sufficient support ships no way is this going to happen.
      The granting of the contract to build 4 RFA landing and fleet support ships to South Korea was an absolute disgrace. No other EU country would have entertained this idea irrespective of EU trading laws, they would have circumvented them.

  1. Big problems for the new Hovercraft;

    Additional Comments:

    Dear Hovertravel Customers,

    I have over the last few months sent several apologies as to the current situation and continued delays you have experienced, and whilst I would like to continue to sincerely say how sorry I am for the issues you have faced, I wanted to take this opportunity to advise of the plans and actions we are undertaking to resolve the issues we are facing.

    It’s clear to us all the implementation of the two-new craft has had several operational issues, and whilst these are resolvable it’s taking considerably longer than we had planned. In addition, we are managing the continued use of the existing craft. Both issues have been discussed today in a management & staff review, and I would like to advise the following:

    Solent Flyer & Island Flyer: The new craft fleet is approaching a combined total of 2,000 operational hours, and during this time we have identified areas of improvements. This remedial and upgrade work to enhance the performance is planned in the coming weeks. This will be carried out at Ryde & Woolston by the teams at Griffon Hoverwork & Hovertravel. This will mean we will not have the use of these craft on a continuous basis over the coming weeks.
    Freedom 90: This craft continues to be operational, and we have committed (and will continue to do so) to invest into her to ensure she is serviceable until we see the new craft into ‘full’ service.
    Island Express: This craft is currently laid up at Woolston, however the board of directors has confirmed we will be investing in her to ensure she is serviceable in the near future. This will, though, be several weeks while additional parts are purchased.

    These aspects in relation to craft availability have prompted us to review the timetable we can offer you. Our objective is to offer confidence in the services we operate. Therefore, for a temporary period we will be operating a one craft timetable until 28th February, as follows:

    From Tuesday 10th January until Tuesday 28th February, the Winter Timetable will run with the following cancellations:

    Mon – Fri Ex Ryde 0730, 0800, 0830, 1600, 1630, 1700, 1730
    Mon – Fri Ex Southsea 0745, 0815, 0845, 1615, 1645, 1715, 1745

    Any passenger booked on any of the above services are asked to please book on an alternative crossing or be on a priority standby.

    Any passengers not affected by the cancelled services are asked to be mindful and use their booked time.

    NB: If you are booked on a cancelled service as listed above, and are unable or do not wish to transfer to an alternative service. Hovertravel will refund all Wightlink costs from Ryde Pier on production of your receipts – in addition we will offer a complimentary apology voucher for each alternative journey taken. Please approach our cashiers or scan your receipts to (this is for the period and on the services listed above only and to qualify you must have a reservation on a cancelled service).

    We have put the following further procedures in place to ensure the least possible inconvenience to all passengers:

    A priority line will be implemented for all season, travel card and company ticket customers between 0550-0845 & 1620-1745 (Ryde) & 1535-1830 (Southsea) similar to you may have seen at the Festival times.

    The company’s objective is to always offer the 15 minute service that so many of you use. In the event the craft are serviceable and available for use, we will re-instate and operate the cancelled crossings at short notice. This will be advised, where possible via our service status or via email updates, although these may be at short notice.

    During the period of the revised timetable you may be travelling on any of our craft during this time as we carry out this important work across our fleet. In addition to this, you may see other craft at sea on trials.

    I would also add, the company has invested in additional resources with a Project Director joining us from Griffon Hoverwork to work alongside our teams to resolve and implement the new craft for the future of the business. I must stress, Hovertravel is totally committed and all the issues we are facing have solutions.

    Once again, I am personally sorry for the inconvenience these issues have caused your daily travel plans. Rest assured, all the staff at Hovertravel are totally committed to resolving the current situation and ask for your understanding during this time. I will be in touch on 21st February with an update on our progress to revert to the 15 minute timetable with 2 craft.


    Neil Chapman

    Managing Director

  2. L’ Astrolabe passing Ryde under tow with tugs Ems Pull and Wyestorm. The new polar logistics vessel can carry 1,200 tons of cargo and has accommodation for up to 60 personnel, which includes the crew of the vessel. She can also accommodate a helicopter belowdeck. Her ice class, Icebreaker 5, means that she is allowed to operate independently in medium first-year-ice up to 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) thick during the summer and autumn and up to 1 metre (3.3 ft) thick during the winter and spring. She is also allowed to ram ice at a speed of 5.5 knots, but the ramming shall not be repeated if the ice does not fail at the first attempt.

      • Yes I was rather amazed to see this on the ETA list today. It was not there early this morning and suddenly appeared when I was on a trip to the Island. I decided to wait until the 1500 ferry back thinking I would pass it off Dock Head as it’s eta was 1500 but by 1530 it was still not passed Calshot doing just over 4 knots so my shot was also very distant. I think it let the NYK Orpheus go first The tug Ems Pull is also of interest being built in 1970 for the Germans as Badenfleth and now Portuguese.

  3. The Cruising Monthly Magazine which focuses on ferries and small excursion ships etc says that the Ashleigh R is to become Plymouth Voyager of Plymouth Boat Trips. Below is an old picture I have of the Ashleigh R.
    Meanwhile the old Jurrasic Scene, which used to be at Poole, is now named Sailor. It was suppossed to be renamed Gullfoss but Eimskip claimed they had the rights to that name.

    • Interesting vessel. Launched on 14 June 1991 as SR-253, Bereza class degaussing vessel for USSR, but order cancelled and not delivered. Lay around Gdansk for a number of years before being rebuilt at Stocznia Północna [Northern Shipyard], 2000-2001 as logistics support ship for Polish Navy commissioned 1 September 2001.


    • Good job it hasn’t been sold yet.
      The situation at Hovertravel doesn’t appear to be good and one wonders how much all these cancellations are costing the Company. Quite rightly passenger confidence is quite low.
      As an aside, Wightlink have now got a banner advertising their services on the railings at the entrance to Quay Road Ryde opposite the Pavilion – a good bit of marketing on their part! Let’s hope they can provide their services properly.

      • Ahhhhh. That didn’t last long. Email received at 1553 telling us that they are back on to a one vessel shuttle service. Just in time for the schools out and the start of the rush hour!!

          • On Monday night (2115) we had the Hovertravel email telling us that a 2-craft service would be back in operation from Tuesday morning.
            But on Tuesday morning @ 0720 the usual “only operating a shuttle service” email hit the desk! This is getting worse than Southern Rail and that is BAD.
            Perhaps Hovertravel could actually tell their passengers exactly what is going on?
            These days we never know whether we have to walk the pier or walk through from Southsea.
            Hovertravel – this is not good enough.

  4. Hello, apologies if this has been raised before but there seems to be a problem with the live stream radio feed. I can not connect to any stream using my laptop (mac) using Chrome or Safari or Android smartphone using chrome. However Safari on the iPad works totally fine. Thanks and I really appreciate all the work it takes to keep the feed active.

  5. Hovertravel: Well, a New Year and working week…… and nothing changes.
    What is going on with this company? Do they still have 3, if not 4, craft at their disposal?
    The fares are high and will no doubt be going up again soon.

    “03 Jan 17
    Due to a technical issue, we are currently operating a shuttle service with arrivals and departures occuring as frequently as possible but not to our standard timetable”.

    • I did manage to get Solent Flyer on my recent visit, i did hear on my scanner that they where having trouble with the satellite compass being stuck and it hadn’t reset after the extra leap year second that was added to GMT.

  6. DP Legacy nothing to do with DP World. Owned by Contship Legacy within OPDR (Oldenburg-Portugiesische Dampfschiffs-Rhederei ) which is part of CMA-CGM. DP Legacy on the following set citrus revised route (AGAX SERVICE) Tangier Med – Casablanca – Agadir – Portsmouth – Dunkirk – Rotterdam – Antwerp –Le Havre – Casablanca (end of DUNK loop) – Casablanca – Agadir – Rotterdam –
    Saint Petersburg – Hamburg – Rotterdam – Rouen – Tangier Med. This specific route @

  7. happy new year all. DP world into container shipping now.?
    I see DP LEGACY due on the 4th from cadiz and due to depart to Dunkirk. its under john cook agency. its not showing on the ship list for DP world.wonder if this will be regular or a one off.

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