Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
The hovercraft is a passenger craft and does not carry vehicles.
Yes, dogs may travel with you but must be kept on a lead and must not travel on the passenger seats of the craft. There is no extra fare for dogs. Please note that there will be a penalty fare if the dog fouls on the craft, pad or terminal.
You may take your bicycle on the hovercraft and they will be stored in the our luggage/freight compartment on the inside of our craft. Due to space restrictions, we can only carry four bicycles on the craft per service. Bikes may not be booked on the craft; it is a first come, first served basis. There is no extra charge for bicycles.
Bookings can be made in advance online. Alternatively, you may turn up at the terminal on the day of travel and purchase your tickets from the Ticket Office. Please allow a minimum of 15 minutes to purchase your tickets before your flight is set to depart. Please note advanced booking is required for festival.
Yes, the hovercraft are wheelchair accessible via a boarding ramp. Please note we can only carry 1 wheelchair per crossing, therefore we advise customers to pre-book HoverCare Assistance. Please note we cannot carry large motorised scooters. The wheelchair user will be asked to stay in the wheelchair for the duration of the journey.
View our HoverCare Guide here
The service takes approximately 10 minutes.
It is advisable that you travel at the time of the booking you have made as you have a reserved seat on this service. However, we realise that this is not always possible so if you have missed your booked flight, we will do our very best to place you on the next available flight providing there is space.
If you arrive earlier than your booked flight, we will try to place you on the next craft available but if it is full, then you may have to wait until the next crossing.
Yes, return tickets are flexible. We will ask you for a return time but this is only a guideline time for us. However, if you wish to travel at peak times on Monday to Friday pre-booking is advisable, especially if your onward travel is time specific.
Day returns can be used on any return crossing on the same day which have available space if it is not your booked time. Period returns are valid up to 90 days after the outward journey on any crossing which has available space.
You do not need your passport to travel to the Isle of Wight.
The hovercraft service operates between Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, and Southsea, Portsmouth.
Ryde Hoverport is part of Ryde Transport Interchange where you can easily connect to Ryde Esplanade Railway Station (for onward connections on the Island Line rail to Shanklin) and Ryde Bus station for Southern Vectis bus services all around the Island. Please see our all-inclusive deals for Hovertravel tickets which include Island buses and rail travel.
Southsea Hoverport is next to Clarence Pier and is a short distance from Portsmouth City Centre. Hovertravel provides a Hoverbus service which connects with the Hovercraft at Southsea and conveniently takes passengers to and from Portsmouth Harbour, The Hard (including Gunwharf Quays), City Centre and Portsmouth & Southsea Train Stations.
|Mon – Wed||05:45 to 20:45|
|Thu – Fri||05:45 to 21:45 (20:45 Oct – Mar)|
|Sat||07:30 to 21:45 (20:45 Oct – Mar)|
|Sun||08:30 to 20:45|
|Mon – Wed||06:00 to 21:00|
|Thu – Fri||06:00 to 22:00 (21:00 Oct – Mar)|
|Sat||07:45 to 22:00 (21:00 Oct – Mar)|
|Sun||08:45 to 21:00|
Yes, there are council run car parks next to both Ryde and Southsea Hoverports. Both car parks have CCTV operating.
Please note the Southsea car park is operated by Portsmouth City Council and Hovertravel sells permits on their behalf. These permits are available from both Southsea and Ryde.
Both Ryde and Southsea Terminal are highly accessible for coaches with transfer points directly outside and convenient parking for coaches close by.
You are now able to book a preferred crossing for Travel Card holders. Full details can be found under the Regular Travel Card section.
Hovertravel Ltd sets its prices for travel many months in advance, based on a fuel purchase rate linked to the price of oil. If the cost of fuel increases it will be necessary to add a surcharge to all current rates as advertised, this will be for all new travel purchases. Please see our terms and conditions for the surcharge rates.
We do not permit any refunds on standard day return, period returns and single tickets purchased. Please see our terms and conditions for further details. We are looking to develop an online self-amend booking facility in the future..
After you have successfully made your booking online, an automated e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address specified by you. This will contain your 10-digit booking reference number, a barcode and the details of the journey you have requested. Please bring this ticket along with you to the terminal where it will be scanned at the boarding desk ready for you to board the craft, avoiding any queues for the cashiers at the terminal. Alternatively, keep a note of your 10 digit booking reference and bring it along to the terminal with you.
As long as you have your 10-digit booking reference number you can turn up at the terminal and re-print your ticket by visiting one of our cashiers. Please note that if you have booked a combination ticket to re-print at our cashiers office, you will incur a cost of £10.
If you have not received your e-ticket and do not have your booking reference number, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, giving details of your name and the booking made, and we will find it for you and send you the booking reference number for you to print out at the terminal. We are unable to re-send the automated e-mail.
Hovertravel offer senior citizen singles, day returns & period returns for customers 60+.
You may use your local bus pass on the Hoverbus for free travel between these times as well.
It is not possible to make an open return booking when purchasing your ticket. Our cashiers and the website will always require a date and time of possible travel when purchasing a period return. However, that return date and time is not fixed and you can return using that ticket at any time up to 90 days from the date of outward travel on the next available flight after your arrival.
Our service operates every 30 minutes, 7 days a week. (hourly service in the winter months) On Mondays to Fridays we also operate additional crossings offering a 15 minute frequency between 07:15 and 08:15 and 16:15 and 17:45.
|Thu||06:15||21:45 (20:45 Oct – Mar)|
|Fri||06:15||21:45 (20:45 Oct – Mar)|
|Sat||07:45||21:45 (20:45 Oct - Mar)|
|Thu||06:30||22:00 (21:00 Oct – Mar)|
|Fri||06:30||22:00 (21:00 Oct – Mar)|
|Sat||08:00||22:00 (21:00 Oct - Mar)|
Child fares apply to children aged 5 to 15 years inclusive. Infants and babies up to and including 4 years old travel for free but do require a boarding pass. Proof of age will be asked at the boarding gate.
Children aged 7 to 12 years old inclusive may only travel unaccompanied if a parent or guardian has made themselves known to the Ticket Office at the destination terminal before the hovercraft is due to depart.
Children less than 7 years old must be accompanied by a person aged 13 years or older.
Children aged 13 or above may travel unaccompanied.
We are unable to accept any dangerous goods on our hovercraft. This includes gas canisters in camping equipment. For further advice, please contact Hover Parcels. Further details can be found on our Freight page.
For our combination tickets including onwards bus and rail travel on the Isle of Wight please see our Hover Rover Bus and Hover Rover Rail tickets.
For mainland rail & coach travel please request a ticket for the "Isle of Wight via Hovercraft". Your ticket will state either "Ryde Hoverport", "route via Hovertravel" or "Southsea Hoverport". If it does not then your ticket has been routed via Wightlink and is not available to be used on our service. You can also apply rail & coach card discount at the time of booking.
Please alight at Portsmouth and Southsea railway station and change onto our Hoverbus. This will take you directly to our Southsea terminal for no extra charge on production of your rail ticket.
|Mon||05:45 – 20:45|
|Tue||05:45 – 20:45|
|Wed||05:45 – 20:45|
|Thu||05:45 – 21:45 (20:45 Oct – Mar)|
|Fri||05:45 – 21:45 (20:45 Oct – Mar)|
|Sat||07:30 – 21:45 (20:45 Oct – Mar)|
|Sun||08:30 – 20:45|
|Mon||06:00 – 21:00|
|Tue||06:00 – 21:00|
|Wed||06:00 – 21:00|
|Thu||06:00 – 22:00 (21:00 Oct – Mar)|
|Fri||06:00 – 22:00 (21:00 Oct – Mar)|
|Sat||07:45 – 22:00 (21:00 Oct – Mar)|
|Sun||08:45 – 21:00|
We advise passengers to arrive at least 10 minutes before their intended crossing, especially if tickets still need to be purchased. Customers must be at the boarding gate 5 minutes before departure time to ensure travel on that crossing.
A taxi rank is available outside Ryde Hoverport. If there are no taxis available, a taxi rank is accessible across the bridge. In Southsea, there is only a collection point available.
Sorry, but we do not offer any left luggage facilities at either of our terminals
There are no toilets onboard the craft but there are toilet facilities at both terminals.
All our craft and terminal buildings are designated non smoking areas. This includes the use of e-cigarettes.
All prams should be collapsed and stored in our dedicated frieght/luggage area onboard our craft. Please ask one of our staff members for assistance if required.
On average less than 2% of our total crossings are cancelled. Our operation is quite weather dependant due to the nature of the craft. High winds and swells in the Solent may stop operation of our service for safety reasons.
On the rare occasion that due to high volumes of traffic in Portsmouth, our Hoverbus may not meet its connecting Hovercraft service. In the event of this your ticket will be valid for the next available crossing.
Our luggage limit is 30 kilos per passenger. Any baggage in excess of 30 kilos will be carried subject to load and may have to be carried as freight at the applicable freight tariff.
For groups of 15 or more we offer discounted group rates. Please fill out the Group Booking form or call Customer Services on (01983) 717700 during office hours. Please be aware that we cannot split these travel tickets; you are required to travel as a group. - Group Bookings
- I do need a wheelchair. I CAN walk up and down stairs/ramp but I can’t walk long distances unaided. I require assistance to get me through the terminal and to my boarding gate. I can make my own way onto the craft
- I do need a wheelchair. I CANNOT walk up and down stairs/ramp or walk long distances but I can move about the cabin unaided. I require assistance to get me to and from the craft door
- I do need a wheelchair. I CANNOT walk, stand or move about the cabin unaided and I need to be lifted into and out of my craft seat. I will be travelling with an adult companion who can look after my requirements
- I am deaf
- I am blind or significantly sight impaired
- I do not need a wheelchair. I am travelling alone and I confirm I meet the criteria for travelling alone. I do need someone to help me get to and from the craft door
- I do not need a wheelchair. I am travelling alone and I confirm I meet the criteria for travelling alone. I do need help getting through the terminal and to my departure gate. I can make my own way onto the craft
We provide the above levels of assistance.If you are unsure which assistance level suits your needs, please contact us for advice at 01983 717700 - HoverCare
Hovertravel have selected charities and we are unable to support all charitable requests for raffles. We are unable to respond to all letters received.