The fastest ferry across the Solent for 50 years

Portsmouth to Isle of Wight – Just 10 mins away by hovercraft. – For daytrips, holidays, dining out and aventures.

Hovertravel is the world’s longest running commercial hovercraft service and is the only scheduled passenger hovercraft service in the Europe. Hovertravel offers the fastest way to cross the Solent between Southsea, Portsmouth and Ryde, Isle of Wight. Hovertravel operate two hovercraft with a frequent service (plus additional services at commuter times) and the journey time is just under 10 minutes.

The hovercraft is a tourist attraction in its own right. Hovertravel was established in 1965 and over 29 million passengers have travelled on the service. The advantage of the hovercraft is that they can travel at extremely low tides. If it hadn’t been for the tides, Hovertravel might never have existed. The low tides at Ryde, take the sea out far beyond the town’s esplanade, and it has always been impossible for any ship to berth anywhere near roads or bus routes. Until 1965, the only passenger ferries from Portsmouth stopped at the end of Ryde’s third of a mile long pier.

Ferries that travel only in water still have to use the end of the pier today. But Hovertravel seized on the hovercraft’s ability to travel across both water and land and launched their service in 1965. No matter what the tide was doing, passengers could embark and disembark in exactly the right place, with no need to trundle up and down the pier as an additional requirement of their journey.

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