How the new-look Falcon aims to rule the waves

By Richard Wright

Saturday, April 5, 2014


How the new-look Falcon aims to rule the waves

The refitted Isle of Wight ferry, Red Falcon, which has been refurbished by cross-Solent travel company Red Funnel.

THE result of Red Funnel’s £2 million refurbishment of its Red Falcon ferry was unveiled to passengers this week.

The cross-Solent travel company said, as a response to increased demand, Falcon now had a 55 per cent increase in inside passenger seats, two additional passenger lounges, a new sun deck and a promenade walk.

Red Funnel chief executive Kevin George said: "We have listened very carefully to our customers to develop a new travel experience, which will meet their needs.

"There are significantly more inside seats, more tables for food and drinks, air conditioning, a new pet lounge, better facilities for wheelchair users and an improved food and beverage offer.

"The investment comes at an exciting time for the company and is part of our 'first choice’ strategy, which will drive our growth momentum.

"It is therefore great news for our customers and good news for the wider Isle of Wight economy."

He said for business travellers there were power points for recharging phones, laptops and tablets and the first phase of a much improved free Wi-Fi solution was available.

There was also a 'quiet zone’ for customers.

More than 30 digital screens were installed to inform and entertain travellers, while cameras on top of the bridge relay live pictures to the on-board screens and Red Funnel’s website.

Red Funnel said if the new design and layout was popular with customers, similar investments would follow on sister ferries Red Osprey and Red Eagle.



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Displaying the last 10 of 17 comments - Show All Comments

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by James McAdder

7th April 2014, at 11:41:59

By SeaCat I mean something like the InCat:-

These are fast, car carrying ferries. But are not practical on short routes because they have to be berthed stern first and cars have to enter and exit from the same ramp. The time it would take to load such a ferry would exceed and speed advantage. There is no point getting from Cowes to Southampton in 30 minutes if it takes 45 minutes to load the ferry.

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by dean windle

7th April 2014, at 10:37:01

to Gaspard Postlethwaite, yes you are right who want to go to Leicester,thats why i vist your lovely island as often as i can,if i could move i would do ,but not many jobs on the island.

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by dean windle

7th April 2014, at 10:29:36

to James Mcadder,so u swallowed the red funnel manual,faster ferries as u say ,sea cat,they are called fast cat ,they would not be called that if they were comparison is not wrong im talking distance and time.

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by James McAdder

7th April 2014, at 09:29:58

Car ferries, dean windle, are limited by the factors of the medium they travel in and their mode of use. They are required to be highly manoeuvrable, and able to dock, unload, load and undock as quickly as possible.

The best form factor for this is the "double ender" used by Red Funnel. These ferries use Voith Schneider impellers rather than traditional propellers. These give the craft incredible manoeuvrability, including the ability to travel in either direction, but limit their speed to the 12Kts or so top speed we see in all of the IW car ferries.

True, they could introduce fast car ferries (e.g. SeaCat ), but this craft would have to moor stern-on and would probably have to go astern all the way from the entrance to Cowes harbour to its berth.

The bottom line it that your comparison is false. A car ferry is, quite obviously, not a train.

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by kevin froment

6th April 2014, at 21:45:14

whats wrong with east cowes, weve got several car parks, a rubbish main road and some trees, what more do you people want

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by Gaspard Postlethwaite

6th April 2014, at 19:16:19

To Dean.........who on earth wants to go to Leicester !
To clearly should not be living on an island.

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by dean windle

6th April 2014, at 11:48:20

yes its nice to have a few more mod cons but surely red funnel can make cheaper crossings,like other comments the ferrys are sometimes not even half full,any amount of money is surely better than none at all. £2 million is a lot for some tables and a wifi connection ,the journey is a lovely one but could be made quicker now days ,i can get from Leicester to London in 1 hr and thats by train and 100 miles ,not 20 odd ,and a lot cheaper .

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by neil jacks

6th April 2014, at 11:26:23

Colin, steve smith is just someone asking a simple question and as always will never get a answer from those who claim to have all the answers.

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by Colin Barton

6th April 2014, at 11:08:13

gary everything is disappointing when you disembark in e cowes!

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by Steve Smith

6th April 2014, at 09:17:43

@Robert Smith, if it is "NO BRAINER", please tell us..
WHERE it will be built;
WHAT it will cost to build,
WHO will pay to build it,
and finally WHY?
As it is such a "NO BRAINER" you will have these answers..

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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