Wightlink Ferries £30m Eco flagship Victoria of Wight arrived in Portsmouth Harbour today amongst a torrential downpour.
The rain didn't deter the revellers who showed up in numbers along the Portsmouth seafront to cheer on the new passenger ship, which has just completed a 3,019 nautical mile voyage from her shipyard in Turkey.
Keith Greenfield, Wightlink Chief Executive, said: “All the years of planning and preparation are almost over and Victoria of Wight will be in home waters very soon.
“Her arrival is the final milestone in our £45million investment in the Portsmouth – Fishbourne route and our customers will soon be sailing on her."
Victoria of Wight can carry up to 178 cars and more than 1,000 passengers. Powered by hybrid energy, from a combination of batteries and conventional engines, Victoria of Wight will be quieter than other similar vessels with fewer emissions.
Wightlink selected Turkey-based company Cemre to build its new flagship following a competitive tendering process based on quality, delivery time, and price. Although there was interest from many shipbuilders around the world, no UK yards submitted a tender which complied with Wightlink’s requirements.
Captain Tom Vincent will be on the bridge for the last part of the journey into Portsmouth Harbour. He has spent two months at the shipyard with other Wightlink colleagues, finalising the construction.
“We can’t wait to bring Victoria of Wight home, train our crews and get her ready to welcome customers.
“She is one of the next generation of ferries and will transform our services between Portsmouth and Fishbourne.”