Ferry News

Countess of Wessex christens Wightlink’s new £30m flagship

Wightlink’s £30m environmentally friendly flagship, Victoria of Wight, has been officially named by Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

The new ferry received a blessing at Wightlink’s port of Fishbourne before the Countess of Wessex broke a bottle of champagne over the ship’s bow, in the long-established maritime tradition.

Countess of Wessex christens Victoria of Wight
The Countess of Wessex unveils the plaque at the naming ceremony

Wightlink was keen to make sure the Island’s community was at the heart of the ceremony, with local school children and Island-based suppliers at the ceremony.

During her visit, the Countess of Wessex was presented with a posy by seven-year-old Scarlett Marshall from Wootton Primary School and ten-year old Beau Bowden from Binstead Primary School before being given a tour of the new ship by Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield.

The Countess viewed the ship’s bridge and learned about the new ferry’s environmental credentials from Captain Tom Vincent and Fleet Commodore Peter Hayes.

Powered by hybrid energy, Victoria of Wight uses a combination of battery power and conventional engines to minimise emissions.

After the ceremony, the Countess spent time with the ferry designers, as well as the crew members who will be on board as she is gradually phased into service this Autumn.

Countess of Wessex christens Victoria of Wight
The Countess visited the ship’s bridge during her tour of Victoria of Wight

Greenfield said: “I was proud to see our brand new ship being named by Her Royal Highness and very fitting that a member of the Royal Family should name Victoria of Wight, just a few miles from Osborne House, a place so loved by Queen Victoria.

“The arrival of Victoria of Wight heralds the completion of our £45m investment to improve the speed and efficiency of the route between Fishbourne and Portsmouth. Her hybrid energy system and host of environmental features will provide a cleaner and greener journey across the Solent for our customers.”

Victoria of Wight can carry up to 178 cars and more than 1,000 passengers.

Posted on 28th September 2018 at 08:09 am in Ferry Operators | Wightlink | Ferry News |

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