50 years of Solent Hovertravel: Facts to know

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HOVERTRAVEL has captivated millions of onlookers over its time of service and today celebrates 50 years.

Britain’s only and the world’s oldest commercial hovercraft company is celebrating today with a special service rewarding commemorative certificates to those who travel.

Those who have recently shared their experience commuting on the hovercraft were entered into a competition. And winners will be given a 25 minute ride along the Solent this afternoon.

Loretta Lale, communications and marketing manager, at Hovertravel, thanked neighbouring communities for their ongoing support.

She said: ‘This is an exciting chapter for Hovertravel.

‘It’s amazing the amount of support we have had over the years from the communities.’

Our full story on the 50th anniversary can be read here.

Below are some interesting facts which highlight the past history of Hovertravel.

1 - Hovertravel is the world’s longest running commercial hovercraft service and is the only scheduled passenger service in Europe.

2 - The hovercraft is a tourist attraction in its own right and was established in 1965 and more than 29 million passengers have travelled on the service since.

3 - Unlike ferries, no matter what the tide is doing, passengers can embark and disembark in the right place, with no requirement to walk up and down the pier adding time to the journey.

4 - In the 60s, the hovercraft was still a flight of fancy and no-one dreamed that one summer season of carrying customers between the shoreline would become Europe’s only commercial service.

5 - The business used to operate from caravans, but today it has a modern building, offering free wi-fi to commuters.