Blue Funnel Group

Blue Funnel Group refers to a related set of companies providing boat charter, cruise and ferry services around the Solent and Isle of Wight in vessels up to 500 passengers. The Blue Funnel Cruises operating out of Southampton Port and the Solent and Wightline Cruises operating out of Portsmouth and Cowes as well as Blue Funnel Ferries Hythe Pier, Railway and Ferry operations are all run independently but co-operatively.[1][2]

Solent and Wightline Cruises
IndustryShipping
Headquarters,
Area served
Solent
ServicesPassenger transportation
Websitewww.solentcruises.co.uk

The 75-126 seat Jenny series of boats are noted for their high speed of up to 19 knots.[3][4]

Blue Funnel Cruises

Blue Funnel Cruises offers cruises from Southampton Port and Bucklers Hard.[5][6]

Blue Funnel Ferries

Blue Funnel Ferries took over operation of the Hythe Pier, Railway and Ferry on 21 April 2017.[7][8]

Solent and Wightline Cruises

Solent and Wightlink Cruises offers cruises from the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.[9]

Blue Line Cruises

While the operation Blue Line Cruises and the vessel Solent Scene were once owned by Solent (& Whiteline) Cruises under the Blue Funnel brand they were sold in May 1998 and are now independent of Blue Funnel.[10]

Operations

The groups operations include:

  • Hythe Ferry by Blue Funnel Ferries
  • Cruise from Bucklers Hard by Blue Funnel Cruises
  • Transfers to Spitbank Fort by Solent and Wightline Cruises.
  • Port and Solent cruises from Southampton.
  • Portsmouth Harbour cruises by Solent and Wightline Cruises.
  • Portsmouth and Solent cruises from the Isle of Wight by Solent and Wightline Cruises.

Vessels

Current vessels operated by the group include:

  • Generally operated by Solent and Wightline Cruises:[3]
    • Wight Scene, launched in 1992 and able to carry up to 500 passengers.
    • Solent Cat, a 245-passenger vessel including inside seating for 150.
    • Jenny M, a 116-seat vessels suited for harbour tours and school groups.
    • Jenny Lee, a 12.9 long vessel with an 18 knot top speed.
    • Jenny R, a 12.9 long vessel with an 18 knot top speed, may sometimes operate from Buckler's Hard.
    • Valerie, build in 1971 and since totally refurbished with a 17 knot top speed.
  • Generally operated by Blue Funnel Cruises:[11]
    • Ashleigh R, A twin hull introduced in 2004.
    • Oliver B, A vessel generally operating from Bucklers Hard
    • Ocean Scene, a sister ship of Wight Scene
  • Generally operated by Blue Funnel Ferries:
    • Hythe Scene, a vessel Blue Funnel Group inherited as part of the Hythe ferry deal. Refitted during maintenance in 2017 including rebranding, adding winter heating and wooden bench seating replacement.[8][12]
    • Jenny Blue, a 13m long vessel sharing Hythe ferry duties with Hythe Scene as of autumn 2018.

History

Blue funnel Cruises was formed from two or three companies including the boatbuilding Barkham family who pioneered viewing ocean liners in the 1930s. The trading name Blue Funnel was adopted about 1965. Walter Charles Hogg ( aka Bill) bought out the operation in 1979 but ran into financial difficulties in 1992 and was bought out by the Solent and Wightlink Cruises operation.[4]

Solent and Wightlink Cruises originated from the Rayment Family providing fishing trips from Bembridge on the Isle of Wight and eventually taking over Blue Funnell[4]

References

  1. "Company History". Solent and Wightline Cruises. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  2. "Company History". Blue Funnel Cruises. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  3. "Our Vessels". Solent and Wightline Cruises. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  4. "Blue Funnel Cruises - Solent & Wight Line Cruises - Page 1: Acquired Vessels 1952-1973". simplonpc. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  5. "Blue Funnel Cruises". Visit Hampshire. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  6. "River Cruise". Bucklers Hard. Thumbnail Picture with Oliver B. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  7. "Sale 'secures future' of Hythe ferry and pier". BBC. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  8. "New Operator Takes Over Saved Hythe Ferry". Capital FM. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  9. "Firm invests £1.5m in Portsmouth Harbour Fleet". The(Portsmouth)News. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  10. "Blue Line Cruises - Page 2: Cruises on Solent Scene". simplonpc. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  11. "Blue Funnel Cruises - Solent & Wight Line Cruises - Page 2: Acquired Vessels 1974-2006". simplonpc. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  12. Yandell, Chris (27 April 2017). "New owners vow to revamp Hythe Ferry after taking over service". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 28 April 2017.

Official website

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