Karen shares this news on behalf of Wightlink. Ed
Isle of Wight haulier George Jenkins was the first person to drive on board Wightlink’s new £30 million flagship Victoria of Wight.
He took an articulated lorry full of Wightlink stores and supplies for the hybrid energy ship on to the lower vehicle deck at the company’s Portsmouth car ferry terminal on Sunday afternoon (12 August). The second vehicle was another articulated lorry carrying stores driven by Wayne Lightbown of MP Lightbown.
Victoria of Wight arrived in the Solent on Friday morning after her 3,000 mile journey from the Cemre shipyard in Turkey and tied up at Wightlink’s harbour moorings near the FastCat terminal in Portsmouth.
She left Portsmouth Harbour on Sunday morning under her own power for the first sea trials undertaken by Wightlink crew.
They included a full speed run to the Nab Tower at up to 14 knots and manoeuvring exercises at Spit Head. Victoria of Wight also berthed successfully at Wightlink’s ports at Fishbourne and Portsmouth.
Victoria of Wight performed excellently
Project Director John Burrows was on board for the sea trials:
“This was a very successful day. Victoria of Wight performed excellently and her crew was impressed with her speed and responsiveness. We also had our naval architects Houlder on board and everyone was impressed by how well she handled.”
Jenkins: “Modern and comfortable”
George Jenkins, owner of George Jenkins Transport, adds:
“As one of Wightlink’s biggest customers, I was delighted to be asked to take the first vehicle on board. I took the opportunity to tour the ship and thought she looks modern and comfortable.”
Preparing for customers
Wightlink staff and contractors will now move on to Victoria of Wight to get her ready for her first customers. Tasks include commissioning the Costa Coffee and Wight Taste outlets, installing the children’s play area, TV screens and signage.
She will enter service later in the summer.
Image: Jenkins reverses one of his lorries on board Victoria of Wight