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Isle of Wight Travel and Tourism students learn more about cross-Solent ferries 

(25 March 2022) Travel and tourism students from the Isle of Wight College exchanged their classroom for Wightlink’s hybrid ferry Victoria of Wight to find out more about the company’s sustainable and environmental policies.  

Senior Master Captain Sam Mitchell welcomed the group onboard Wightlink’s flagship at Fishbourne, explained how the ship combines battery power with conventional engines and encouraged them to consider careers in maritime. Earlier, Sam spent time at sea as a deck officer on cruise ships and tankers as he studied for his merchant navy qualifications. Highlights included sailing to all six continents, including Antarctica, and enjoying shore leave in Australia.  

Chief Executive Keith Greenfield met the students on arrival at Wightlink’s Gunwharf terminal, spoke about the company’s plans to build an all-electric ferry and answered their questions. He also explained why Wightlink is keen to buy local produce from Isle of Wight suppliers and increase recycling rates.  

“Looking after the Isle of Wight’s beautiful coastline and protecting the environment of the Solent is important to everyone at Wightlink,” explains Keith. “We do all we can to support the Island’s economy by working with local companies and are proud to employ hundreds of Islanders.”  

Tutor Lindsay Davies, Programme Lead for Travel and Tourism at the Isle of Wight College, says: “We really appreciate local companies taking the time to show our students what wonderful things they do for our small Island, especially in relation to sustainability. In addition, taking the time to talk to them about possible employment opportunities and sharing their own career paths is inspirational for young people. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves!” 

Student Sofia adds: “We loved the trip…. I only moved to the Island not so long ago and it was my first time onboard a Wightlink ferry – it was a great experience”.