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The FastCats are back as Wightlink gears up for summer

April 16, 2021
Michael Lilley Mayor of Ryde with Mayor of Portsmouth in Portsmouth Haarbour celebrating FastCat back in service after first Covid Lockdown 2020

Image: Michael, Mayor of Ryde, and Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Rob Wood, in August 2021 celebrating the return of the FastCat after First Lockdown.

Wightlink will resume its FastCat foot passenger sailings between Portsmouth Harbour and Ryde Pier Head on Thursday 29 April 2021. 

It will be an hourly service with two catamarans operating on school holiday weekends and during the Isle of Wight Festival. 

Wightlink’s car ferry summer timetable will come into effect on Monday 17 May 2021, in line with the next proposed Government easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions. Hotels, restaurants and attractions will open for business on both sides of the Solent from that date.

  • Sailings on the Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry route will be retimed to depart every 40 minutes between 05:00 and 19:40 to even out traffic flow and improve punctuality. 
  • The Lymington-Yarmouth route will step up to hourly seven days a week.

Enthusiasm for summer breaks on the Isle of Wight is already growing. Wightlink says bookings for the school holidays are looking healthy, especially for weekend sailings. 

“With summer on the horizon, we are delighted to step up our sailings and look forward to welcoming more Islanders and mainlanders who want to travel across the Solent,” says Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield.  

“The Isle of Wight will be a popular choice for staycations and we will remain Covid-secure at all times with the highest standards of cleanliness.  Mask wearing is still required.  Our passenger numbers are currently reduced to allow social distancing but our ships and FastCats are spacious and comfortable with plenty of room.  All of our usual cafés at ports and on board ferries are now open to serve refreshments but we ask customers to consume food and drink outdoors.”  

“We know it’s been a long wait for our regular FastCat customers and we thank them for their patience.  We are delighted that we can now reinstate our Portsmouth-Ryde service as demand for leisure travel starts to increase.  Our ticket acceptance agreement with Hovertravel will continue until Friday 30 April, as previously announced.”

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