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“Ridiculously expensive”
Review of Red Funnel Ferries

Red Funnel Ferries
Ranked #12 of 90 things to do in Southampton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Red Funnel has a proud history of serving the Isle of Wight since 1820, carrying 3.4 million passengers to the Island each year. We have won awards for safety, innovation & service including Certificates of Excellence from Trip Advisor every year since 2013. Choose between two stunning routes: our Southampton-East Cowes (former home of Queen Victoria) service takes 55 min, operates 365 days/year and carries vehicles & passengers. On board, enjoy free Wi-Fi, hot & cold food, a bar & coffee shops, or upgrade to the Signature Lounge, for a quieter club class experience. Our 2nd route connects Southampton to the world-famous yacht racing town of West Cowes. Our modern ‘Red Jet’ Hi-Speed catamarans take just 23 min to cross the Solent. Our entire fleet is dog friendly. Look to us for expert travel advice, accommodation bookings, attraction & event tickets. The opening times displayed are our contact center hours.
Reviewed 27 December 2017

We wanted to visit our children and first grandchild for Christmas. We booked weeks in advance and paid nearly £100 for a short trip. At that time there were no Christmas Day crossings advertised so we had to go on one of few ferries Xmas Eve and return Boxing Day. The boats were packed and passengers had to stand. The ship was dirty, noisy and uncomfortable and food expensive. A most undesirable, expensive crossing which we made just so that we can see grandchild during her first Christmas.

Thank wewanttoliveinIbiza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RF_CustomerServices, Manager at Red Funnel Ferries, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2017

Dear wewanttoliveinIbiza

Firstly, please accept our sincerest apologies for your recent experience on board. I appreciate you taking the time to leave your review here on Trip Advisor.

Historically, Red Funnel didn’t operate any sailings on Christmas Day. We believed that there wasn’t sufficient demand to warrant this, especially given the fact that Wightlink operated sailings on Christmas Day.

In 2012, Wightlink made the decision to stop operating sailings on Christmas Day due to low volumes and difficulties in staffing their operation. At this point, Red Funnel decided that it was essential for the Island to have a service running on Christmas Day and we therefore introduced two sailings to ensure that customers could travel to see their families and friends. We rely on our colleagues to volunteer to work on Christmas day so cannot advertise these sailings until sufficient staff have volunteered, it was advertised on our website from mid-October.

We do have a cleaner onboard each sailing so it is disappointing to hear your comments regarding your sailing, if you had bought it to the attention of the Onboard Services Officer at the time I am confident this could have been rectified immediately. We work hard to ensure that everything is done to continually improve our service and your feedback helps us to do this. I will forward your comments on to the relevant departments here at head office.

We sincerely hope any disappointment caused on this occasion will not dissuade you from travelling with us again in the future.

My sincerest apologies once again

With best regards

Michele

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Reviewed 27 December 2017

Red Funnel offer an absolutely shocking service. This Christmas saw over crowded ferries with pensioners and disabled travellers sitting on the stairs as there was no room available for them to sit anywhere else! The VIP lounge was empty but RF staff refused to allow them to sit in there without paying a supplement! It is about time the ferries were regulated like the othe means of transport in this country.

Thank Technospark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RF_CustomerServices, Manager at Red Funnel Ferries, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2017

Dear Technospark

Firstly, may I offer an apology for the fact that on this occasion, our service did not reach your expectations.
We are aware that during busy periods seating is at an optimum, particularly if the weather is unpleasant as a large percentage of seating is on the outer decks. During busy sailings our onboard service officers do circulate around the cabin at the start of the crossing, asking guests to move up on seats and remove coats and bags from seating. So for this reason it is disappointing to hear that your situation went unnoticed. Your feedback does not refer to whether you attracted the attention of a crew member, but I would like to think that if you had asked for assistance, this would have been provided. Crew members do tend to have more success at asking guests to move along or give up a seat for a fellow passenger. We also have specific seats near a lift with signage in place stating please give up your seats for the elderly or people with a disability, so we would have checked this location for someone able to give up their seat, as well as other areas.

Unfortunately we cannot just open up the Signature lounge on busy days as this devalues the whole concept of the lounge, similar to First class trains or Business lounges. Our Signature lounge not only guarantee's you a seat, but it is also full table service and offers a range of complimentary pastries and beverages. Not to mention the enhanced Wi-Fi, free daily newspapers and a quieter adult-oriented atmosphere. For £10, we think is great value to our passengers who would like a new experience of travelling across the Solent.

From all of us at Red Funnel, we would like to thank you again for leaving your honest feedback. We welcome all good and bad comments as we are always striving to improve our business.

Kind regards

Michele

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Reviewed 27 December 2017 via mobile

What a nightmare - no staff on the hill at the Isle of Wight side to sort out who is on what boat. People make it worse by turning up way too early for the next boat & queue for miles & miles - sadly there seems to be no capacity for them to wait in different lines - it's chaos!

Thank Nics1029
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RF_CustomerServices, Manager at Red Funnel Ferries, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2017

Dear Nics1029

Thank you for taking the time to leave your review regarding your recent experience with Red Funnel. I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused and have passed your comments on to the Head of Operations to review the rota for that day.

We have recently had planning approved to increase our marshalling yard capacity in East Cowes, which will allow us to receive vehicles into our terminal within a speedy manner. We anticipate that these changes will be ready for the 2018 season and will alleviate the traffic congestion into the terminal.

From all of us at Red Funnel, we would like to thank you again for leaving your honest feedback. We welcome all good and bad comments as we are always striving to improve our business.

Kind regards

Michele

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Reviewed 25 December 2017

We took WightLink earlier in the week for a Christmas Break on IOW - but due to an emergency, we had to return to London today (Christmas Day) and managed to get a last minute booking on Christmas Eve.

We arrived at East Cows given a large box of chocolates and all the staff were dressed up - we were also told they were acting as volunteers so the island is not kept separated from the mainland. WightLink do not provide such a service.

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for running a service on Christmas Day - the boat was packed and shows that it is needed is for locals or in our case an urgent need to get back to London.

Happy Christmas to the whole RedFunnel team and will definitely only ever use them in the future.

Thank PaulDLon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RF_CustomerServices, Manager at Red Funnel Ferries, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2017

Dear PaulDLon

Thank you so much! We really appreciate you taking the time to write such a glowing review. We understand that these situations do happen and we try our best to accommodate all passengers therefore it is great to hear that we were able to get you home for Christmas, even on Christmas Day. We work hard every day in order to deliver the very best possible service to and from the Island. We have provided sailings on Christmas Day for the last couple of years (ever since Wightlink stopped) we believe everyone should have the chance to be with their family on Christmas Day. A big thanks goes to all of our colleagues who volunteered to work on Christmas day to make this happen.

On behalf of the team here at Red Funnel, please accept our sincerest thanks once again for taking the time to leave your feedback. We appreciate you travelling with us and look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back on board again in the future.

With very best regards

Michele

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Reviewed 23 December 2017

Traveled to Isle of Wight using the Red Funnel ferry. The overall experience was very good. They are very organized and getting your car on the ferry is very convenient. Have both a covered and air conditioned seating area and an open deck. A different area if you are travelling with pets.
The on-board cafeteria is pretty decent and has good options.

Book in advance to get good deals. Note that the return fares are a lot cheaper and they usually accommodate you on a different slot as long as there is space.

Thank AnuragNidhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RF_CustomerServices, Manager at Red Funnel Ferries, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2017

Dear Anurag Nidhi

Thank you for your wonderful review, we work really hard to deliver the best service possible to all of our customers.

Our food offering on board offers excellent value for money and is a particularly welcome for guests who have had a long journey down.

On behalf of everyone at Red Funnel, thank you again for taking the time to share your experience.

We look forward to welcoming you back on board again very soon.

Kind regards

Michele

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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