(18 March 2020) Wightlink is working hard to provide a lifeline connection to the Isle of Wight throughout the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak. We are also doing our best to protect customers while they travel with us and our colleagues onboard our ships and at our ports.
Although our passenger lounges are generally large and spacious with room for everyone who wants to travel, some customers have asked if they can remain in their vehicles during their crossings. This is not usually allowed because of MCA safety regulations.
Wightlink has been working actively with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to find a solution to this issue. From Thursday 19 March, some sailings on the Portsmouth – Fishbourne routes will operate on a ‘remain in vehicle’ basis for all drivers and their passengers. No foot passengers will be carried on these services.
We will use one of our larger ships St Clare for this purpose. She sails on the even hour from Portsmouth (06:00, 08:00 etc) and the odd hour from Fishbourne (07:00, 09:00 etc). All other services (both Portsmouth-Fishbourne and Lymington-Yarmouth) will operate in the usual way with all customers leaving their vehicles after embarkation and spending the crossing in passenger lounges.
Customers wanting to change their bookings can do free of charge online.
- From Thursday 19 March 2020, all drivers and their passengers sailing on St Clare will remain in their vehicles during the crossings. St Clare sails on the even hour from Portsmouth (06:00, 08:00 etc) and the odd hour from Fishbourne (07:00, 09:00 etc). No foot passengers will be carried on these sailings, passenger lounges will be closed and shops and cafés will not be open. There will also be no access to onboard toilets from the vehicle deck so customers should use the facilities provided at Portsmouth and Fishbourne terminals before departure.
- All other services will operate as normal.
Wightlink thanks customers for their patience as we have endeavoured to resolve this issue.