Wightlink flagship coming home 

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WIGHTLINK’S new £30m flagship Victoria of Wight will enter Portsmouth Harbour tomorrow morning - with it currently in the Western Channel.

 Victoria of Wight will be catching the tide to enter Portsmouth Harbour tomorrow morning after her lengthy journey from Turkey. She is already south of the Isle of Wight.

Wightlink’s new flagship for the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route left the Cemre shipyard in Yalova on July 16 for the 3,019 nautical mile voyage. She has sailed through the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay, towed by the oceangoing tug Amber II, and is expected to enter the Harbour at around 11:30.

‘All the years of planning and preparation are almost over and Victoria of Wight will be in home waters very soon,’ said Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield. ‘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. 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 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 met 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,’ he said. ‘She is one of the next generation of ferries and will transform our services between Portsmouth and Fishbourne.’