Getting a ferry from the mainland can be very expensive. Especially when bringing your car over.
There are three ferry operators serving the Isle of Wight. Two of them carry cars.
If you plan on coming over without a car I can recommend HoverTravel. The hovercraft from Southsea to Ryde is the ONLY scheduled hovercraft service in Europe and is worth the experience. See the HoverTravel website for the latest offers.
Red Funnel also offer a foot passenger service from Southampton to Cowes via their RedJet service.
If you plan on bringing your car to the Isle of Wight then you have three routes to choose from:
Wightlink provides two routes: Lymington to Yarmouth and Porsmouth to Fishbourne.
Red Funnel operate a route from Southhampton to East Cowes.
Discounted Travel on WightLink
The best discount currently is to use Tesco Clubcard Rewards. Currently, Tesco Clubcard will allow you to convert £0.50 of Clubcard vouchers to £1.50 when booking a WightLink ferry. This is dropping to £1.00 if you book after 14th June 2023.
This means you get the ferry fare for ⅓ of the regular price!
This means an expensive £300 crossing will only cost £100 worth of Clubcard vouchers!
The downside is this discount is only available to Tesco customers and only if you have the required amount of Clubcard vouchers.
Tesco have announced that from 14th June 2023, clubcard vouchers can only be exchanged for 2x their value on the reward partner scheme.
Red Funnel often publish discount codes for travel on their routes. I recommend you ask your holiday host for a discount code if possible. Codes only last a short time so you will not be able to get a code months in advance. Also, the codes have a limited number of uses but it might be worth a try.
Ferry Information for the Isle of Wight
Useful Telephone numbers:
Hovertravel: 08434 87 88 87
Wightlink: 0871 376 1000
Red Funnel: 0844 844 9988
There are three main ferry operators serving the Isle Of Wight. If you intend on bringing a car to the Island then this might be an expensive part of the trip so shop around. These crossings take from 45mins to just over an hour depending on the route you choose. Hovertravel offer a fast ten minute crossing for foot passengers from Southsea near Portsmouth.
If you decide not to visit the Isle of Wight and the reason is the cost of the ferry crossing, then please let the Isle of Wight Tourist Board know via their Facebook page or write to them directly. Isle of Wight Tourist Board on Facebook
Call costs can vary. Check with the operator.
Crossing times from the mainland vary depending on the route:
Hovertravel passenger - Southsea to Ryde: 10 mins
Red Funnel vehicle ferry - Southampton to Cowes: 55 mins
Red Funnel Red Jet passenger ferry - Southampton to Cowes: 25 mins
Wightlink vehicle ferry - Portsmouth to Fishbourne: 45mins
Wightlink passenger fast cat - Portsmouth to Ryde: 25 mins