New £30m Wightlink ferry sails into Portsmouth harbour for the first time 

Victoria of Wight Picture: Tony Weaver
Victoria of Wight Picture: Tony Weaver
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Wightlink’s new £30m flagship Victoria of Wight has arrived in Portsmouth Harbour for the first time.

The ferry entered the harbour just before 11.15am today after her 3,010 nautical mile journey from the Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey. She left on Monday, July 16. 

Victoria of Wight passes Spice Island

Victoria of Wight passes Spice Island

She is Wightlink’s new flagship for the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route, and has sailed through the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay, towed by the oceangoing tug Amber II.

Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield said ’Her arrival is the final milestone in our £45m investment in the Portsmouth to 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. Building work started in November 2016.

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 Cemre to build its new flagship following a tendering process based on quality, delivery time and price. Although there was interest from many shipbuilders around the world, Wightlink says no UK yards submitted a tender which complied with its requirements.

Captain Tom Vincent was on the bridge for the last part of the journey into Portsmouth Harbour.

He spent two months at the shipyard with other Wightlink colleagues, finalising the construction.

‘We can’t wait to train our crews and get Victoria of Wight ready to welcome customers,’ he explains. ‘She is one of the next generation of ferries and will transform our services between Portsmouth and Fishbourne.’