Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Freight and Passenger Ferry to Undergo Major Refurbishment

Local RoPax Vessel Gets Upgrade
Shipping News Feature
UK – Red Funnel, the Isle of Wight specialist ferry company has confirmed that it is to spend £3 million on a major refurbishment of its RoPax ferry Red Eagle in the New Year. The passenger and RoRo freight vessel is of the same Raptor Class as her sister ships the Red Falcon and Red Osprey which themselves were upgraded in 2014 and 2015. The work involved means running miles of cable and ducting as well as major configuration works and, as previously, the main contract has been awarded to Trimline in Southampton, with aluminium fabrication work contracted to Wight Shipyard Ltd in East Cowes.

The refit will be carried out in Southampton and the refurbishment of Red Eagle, coupled with the local order for the high speed catamaran Red Jet 7, already amounts to an investment of over £10 million in Red Funnel’s cross Solent services by the consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds which acquired the business in July 2017. The company says the decisions underpin the new owners’ commitment to growing the cross-Solent market and helping to stimulate the Isle of Wight's economy.

Work on Red Eagle will start in January 2018 and will be completed in time for the summer timetable which starts on 29 March. The project will see a significant increase in the number of internal seats for customers and involves a complete refit of B Deck including a state-of-the-art galley and new toilets. On A Deck, there will be a dedicated pet’s lounge and a purpose built Signature Lounge offering a premium club experience for ‘discerning travellers’. Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented

“We are delighted to make this exciting announcement so soon after ordering Red Jet 7. The refit of Red Eagle will bring the interior right up-to-date with a contemporary new look and a class-leading travel experience for customers which matches the best in the UK ferry industry. Once again we are particularly pleased to award the work to local suppliers, supporting jobs in both Southampton and in East Cowes on the Island.”

Photo: The refurbished Red Falcon with (inset) details of some of the work necessary.