Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries is to invest £2.2million in a major refurbishment of the interior of a second ro-pax ferry, MV Red Osprey which operates on the Southampton and East Cowes route.
This investment follows a record breaking year for the company with traffic levels up 15% over the main summer holiday period and the company put the success down to, in part, the major refurbishment and upgrade of the passenger accommodation on MV Red Falcon which returned to service in April 2014.
Red Funnel is also benefitting from the repositioning of the Isle of Wight as an all season destination for active couples and families, a strategy which has seen the value of the Island’s tourism economy grow by 6% in the past 12 months
Red Osprey’s planned new look will almost be identical to the refurbishment carried out on Red Falcon although the design will incorporate some minor changes following operational experience and customer feedback.
Kevin George, CEO commented: “We are delighted to announce this new tranche of investment following such positive feedback received from the customers who have travelled on Red Falcon since April. The refurbishment of Red Osprey further underpins our commitment to the Isle of Wight as we work with partners and stakeholders to help grow the Island’s economy.”
Local marine interior specialist Trimline, supported by other local specialist suppliers, has been given the contract for Red Osprey and work is scheduled to start on the ship in the New Year and will all be undertaken in Southampton. Red Osprey will re-enter service in time for Easter 2015.
Refurbishments will include: 55% more inside seats, 2 new brand new lounges, one of which is pet friendly, Air-conditioning, Free high bandwidth Wi-Fi in all passenger areas and Lift and wheelchair access to the outer promenade deck.