Red Funnel Update

In News by Bembridge PC

To our valued customers,


In response to the government’s latest advice about homeworking, social distancing and

self-isolation, combined with the growing importance of ensuring the resilience of our crews, we have found it necessary to make a number of changes to our service, and I wanted to reach out and make you aware.

Essential Travel Only

  • I wish to remind all our customers of the critical importance of following the government’s urgent advice and remaining at home and refraining from all travel unless absolutely essential, and only for the reasons outlined by the Prime Minister.
  • As we operate a lifeline service, Red Funnel staff are not in a legal position to question customers’ reasons for travel and therefore we can not query customers for their reasons, and we can not deny travel for any reason.
  • I strongly implore all our customers and the wider public to use good judgement and only travel if absolutely necessary.
  • If these restrictions impact a planned journey with us please visit here to find out about your options and next steps.
  • If you need to contact us please be aware that we are receiving unprecedented levels of enquiries at present. Please bear with us and our team and only contact us if you have an imminent booking within the next 7 days.

Hi-Speed/Red Jet Service

  • Effective tomorrow, 25 March, and until further notice, our Red Jet service will be reduced to an hourly service, instead of its usual half-hourly rotations at peak times. Services will depart at XX:45 from Southampton and XX:15 from West Cowes, 7 days a week.
  • The first Red Jet sailings will depart at 05:45 from Southampton and 06:15 from West Cowes Monday to Saturday, and 06:45 from Southampton and 07:15 from West Cowes on Sundays.
  • The last Red Jet sailings will depart at 20:45 from Southampton and 21:15 from West Cowes daily.
  • Please also note that our ticket office hours will also change from Wednesday, 25 March: West Cowes: 06:00-21:30 (Mon-Sat) & 07:00-21:30 (Sun). Terminal 2, Southampton: 08:00-18:00 (Mon-Sun)

Vehicle Ferry Service

  • For the time being, our vehicle ferry service timetable will remain as-is, and we will NOT change over to our Summer Timetable as originally scheduled for 3 April.
  • We will continue to run our current timetable until further notice, with no planned changes at this time.
  • Please note that all customers with forward bookings impacted by the timetable remaining  as-is, will be contacted with information about their new sailing time (where applicable). Bookings will be moved to the next nearest crossing time.
  • Our team is currently busy making these adjustments and politely request your patience at this time. Please refrain from calling us to check your booking and await an email within the next 7 days.
  • Please also note that our vehicle ferry ticket offices in Southampton (Terminal 1) and East Cowes will also remain closed until further notice.

Remaining in your vehicle/“Vehicle Deck Only” crossings

  • We are working very hard to add more “vehicle deck only” crossings to our schedule and allow you to remain in your vehicle.
  • At present, due to the continued demand for freight services and essential traffic, it’s not always possible for us to run every crossing as “vehicle deck only”. This is due to the amount of traffic on board exceeding the limit whereby we can safely (and legally) enable this option.
  • As and when we are able to offer more of these sailings we will update our schedule accordingly. Please rest assured that this is a top priority for us right now.

Season Ticket Holders

  • We will send an update to all season ticket holders very shortly, so please be on the look out if you hold a season ticket with us. Again, we thank you for your patience and please rest assured that we will have a fair solution for you in light of the current disruption to travel.

Food/Beverage Services

  • In line with the government’s instruction to close cafes and restaurants, and with the health and safety of our customers and staff in mind, we have now ceased all food and beverage services across our business, including on board and at all of our terminals.
  • Vending machines will remain available at all terminals, however supply and selection may be limited.

Card-Only Payments

  • Effective tomorrow, 25 March, and until further notice, we will only accept payment via cards and encourage contactless payment where possible.

These changes, which will remain in effect until further notice, are being put in place to ensure our service remains reliable and resilient in maintaining the lifeline link to and from the Island. Please be aware that we will continue to evaluate our timetables, and should further changes be necessary, we will let you know. We also urge all customers to check our live service status here to verify the next available crossing before travelling.

I wish to sincerely thank you for your continued support and understanding as we work hard to adapt our operations in response to the COVID-19 situation. The safety of our passengers and staff remains our top priority, and we are continuing to liaise with the relevant health, government

and transportation authorities as the situation evolves. You can continue to keep track of our latest updates on COVID-19, here, and as always, if you have any questions you can get in touch with us at

I would like to assure you that our teams are working extremely hard to maintain our service and keep the Island supplied and connected during this extraordinary time. As ever, it remains our duty to keep sailing.

Kind regards,

Fran Collins, CEO