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Press Releases

New handy visitor guide published by Hovertravel12/04/2019


Hovertravel has published its 2019 Travel & Attractions guide. Produced as a pocket-sized brochure, this guide contains all the information a visitor using Hovertravel might need.

Loretta Lale, head of commercial at Hovertravel, says: “We regularly consult with our passengers about the type of information they need, and customers tell us that a single pocket-sized guide is what they like. Our 2019 Travel & Attractions brochure includes details of our fares, our combination deals with attractions and other transport plus information about our HoverCare facilities and an easy to use map for reference.”

Additionally, there are some top tips to help customers get the most from their Hovertravel experience, details of forthcoming events across the Solent region and information about Hovertravel’s excursion programme to Lee on Solent. The guide covers attractions and offers for passengers travelling both to and from the Isle of Wight, promoting the best of the Island and Portsmouth.

The 2019 brochure is available now from both terminals and will be distributed nationally via Hovertravel’s network of commercial partners.

Hovertravel staff help clean Ryde Beach 10/04/2019


Hovertravel staff started their beach clean initiative this week, with a team of seven staff working their way along the shore from the Ryde Hoverport to Ryde Beach.

Julie Horrocks, head of ground operations at Hovertravel, explains: “Following discussions with our teams and having identified a strong commitment to be more involved in keeping the local environment free of waste, including plastic, Hovertravel will be conducting a series of beach cleans throughout the summer.”

Equipped with litter pickers, eco-plastic waste bags and safety gloves, the beach cleaners spread out to search along the shore line for litter. A wide variety of waste was collected including the usual cans, water bottles, crisp packets and a large amount of unidentifiable plastic shards. The team also found frisbees, tennis balls and several lengths of wire and cabling.

Julie adds: “Keeping the seashore clean and collecting rubbish is one way in which Hovertravel can help the local community. Many of the items we found could easily cause injury to people at the beach or damage to boats on the water. We also recognise that with the popularity of the sandy beaches next door to us, we will need to make this a regular activity and we are actively exploring ways to reduce our own waste too.”

Hovertravel welcomes Rescue Ronnie for Go Orange day05/04/2019


Hovertravel welcomed Ryde Inshore Rescue’s mascot Rescue Ronnie to their Ryde terminal today. Go Orange Day is a national event held locally for independent lifeboat units which do not operate under the RNLI. This event is designed to raise the profile of the independent lifeboats country wide while raising vital funds for this much needed local unit.

Everyone at Hovertravel from cashiers to crew and from pilots to product development supported the day to raise awareness of the Independent Lifeboats and the work they do.

Throughout the UK there are around sixty lifeboat units that are not run by the RNLI and every year their volunteer crews respond to pager callouts in an identical way to the RNLI crews. Training is to the same high standard and all rescue craft must adhere to the same strict code as the RNLI. The Independent Units’ hope is that by all celebrating on the same day, they can highlight the number and contribution of non-RNLI units around the country.

Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel says: “Hovertravel is a long-time supporter of Ryde Inshore Rescue and we have participated in Go Orange Day for many years. By having Rescue Ronnie in our terminal, we are helping to spread awareness of this essential service amongst our younger customers.”

Free and discounted travel for veterans to D-Day 75th Anniversary 04/04/2019


Hovertravel is giving 75 free tickets to Isle of Wight Veterans so they can travel to the DDAY75 events in Southsea between 5th – 9th June and offering a massive 75% discount for all veterans when travelling during the same period from either Ryde or Portsmouth.

In June, Portsmouth will be the focal point for reflection on the events of 1944. Veterans, military personnel and civilians will commemorate those lost and celebrate the achievements of the operation that sailed from Portsmouth 75 years ago. The events will create a momentous occasion to celebrate peace, liberty and reconciliation and they will be focussed on Southsea Common.

Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, explains: “Hovertravel has always supported the serving and retired Armed Forces and for this very special anniversary we wanted to say a huge thank you to those veterans who wish to experience the commemorative events in Southsea and on the Isle of Wight. Being the closest ferry port to Southsea Common and by far the quickest way to cross the Solent makes Hovertravel the most convenient choice for Island veterans.”

Hovertravel will be allocating the free 75 tickets on a first-come first-served basis and Island veterans can apply in the following ways:

• email: info@hovertravel.com entering DD75 free Tickets’ in the subject header

• Joint request from a Veterans association – on behalf of members

• Message Hovertravel on Facebook or Twitter @hovertravelltd

• Call 01983 717700 requesting tickets.

Please note: All ID must be confirmed at the booking process and presented at the Boarding Gate when travelling.

Hovertravel operates services from every thirty minutes early morning to late evening with an average crossing time of less than ten minutes. Booking and full details of the DDAY75 discount are available here: www.hovertravel.com

Hovertravel welcomes ITV’s This Morning 02/04/2019


This Morning’s resident therapists, Nik and Eva Speakman visited Hovertravel as part of their biggest challenge yet. An Isle of Wight resident, Nicola, had been unable to travel, due to debilitating anxiety and claustrophobia.

The Speakmans had planned to whisk Nicola off the island in a helicopter but low cloud cover forced the ITV production team to change their plans. Hovertravel offered to help and hosted the TV crew at their Ryde terminal, before speeding Nicola across the Solent to a successful conclusion of this therapy segment.

Filming Nicola as she boarded, on the journey over and after she landed on the mainland, gave the producers the exciting live coverage they needed and added to the drama of the segment in one of the most watched daytime TV shows.

Hovertravel was thanked live on air by presenters Philip Scofield and Holly Willoughby, with the production team adding: “Thank you so much for being so helpful. It went very smoothly and we massively appreciate your help.”

Try before you fly for World Autism Day26/03/2019


As part of World Autism Awareness Week and for World Autism Awareness Day itself, Hovertravel is holding a special open day on Tuesday 2nd April when visitors will be able to meet the staff, crew and pilots of Hovertravel, whilst being hosted by the HoverCare team.

Recent specific additions to the HoverCare facilities have been the introduction of a safe haven in both terminals and the opportunity to borrow ear defenders during the Hovertravel experience.

This ‘try before you fly’ approach has been designed to help customers get the best insight for any future visits and Hovertravel is encouraging visitors to bring their friends and family along too, to try out the hovercraft and learn about the HoverCare services.

Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, adds: “We recognise that we are still evolving our HoverCare services and events such as this give us the chance to better understand the needs of those on the autistic spectrum whilst giving our visitors a behind the scenes tour of our hovercraft, with the opportunity to ask whatever questions they wish. Our Try Before You Fly events are open to anyone whom might want to chat to us about accessibility. “

As well as discovering how simple it is to use the hovercraft for travel between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, all visitors will be given a free ticket for two people and be issued with a HoverCare card.

The hovercraft will be open for all visitors interested in learning more about our accessibility at Southsea 1100-1230 and as space is limited, please register each person attending here

For more details on the HoverCare services please visit: https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/HoverCare-Concessionary-Travel-Scheme/index.php

Hovertravel expands User Group with Twitter22/03/2019


Hovertravel’s successful user group (HUG) is evolving from a small panel of customers meeting three times per year to an hourly discussion on Twitter held every month and open to all Hovertravel users.

“The HUG started in 2010 and has been very effective in giving us the opportunity to listen and learn from our customers,” explains Julie Horrocks, Hovertravel’s Head of Operations, “The success of the user group has attracted requests from a wide variety of different customers and stakeholders who want to provide their input so we are creating a HUGhour on Twitter to increase participation.”

The HUGhour meetings will be conducted on a dedicated HUG Twitter account (@hovertravelHUG) and aim to be a forum for Hovertravel to receive recommendations for improvements to products and services suggested by users and in turn provide users with regular updates on Hovertravel’s performance.

The dates for the HUG Twitter meetings are:

• 27th March 1pm

• 24th April 1pm

• 29th May 1pm

Julie continues: “If you use Hovertravel and you want to be involved in a constructive dialogue to help make our service better for all customers, we welcome your input.”

For more details about the HUG meetings on Twitter please click here

Hovertravel welcomes Shaping Portsmouth Ambassadors18/03/2019


Last Sunday Hovertravel showed its gratitude to the volunteers who make up the Shaping Portsmouth Ambassadors programme with an extra-special hovercraft experience.

Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, explained: “The Ambassadors at Shaping Portsmouth give their time for free to engage with the local community and businesses, to drive passion for the city. Their energy and enthusiasm are making a real difference across the city and beyond. Hovertravel wanted to say thank you by inviting them onboard a private charter for some fun on the Solent.”

Starting with an inshore fly-by of Fort Monckton and Fort Gilkicker, the guests were treated to demonstration of the extreme manoeuvrability of the hovercraft with 360 degree spins and then sped on at over 40 knots to fly round No Man’s Fort and Spitbank Fort before returning to Southsea. With the pilots providing an expert commentary during the flight and hosting an informal question and answer session after landing at Southsea, the visitors were given an in-depth insight to Hovertravel’s operation and had the chance to take a selfie with the world’s only year-round commercial hovercraft service.

Shaping Portsmouth Ambassadors are volunteers who live, study or work in the city and want to do something to help their local community and wider City. Ambassadors are invited to regular meetings at a variety of interesting places around the city for an update on the Ambassador project and be kept informed of new developments in the city. If you would like to become a Portsmouth Ambassador, you can find details here.

Hovertravel can organise private charters for groups, associations, clubs or parties. If you would like to find out more about the Hovercraft experience please visit the website here.

Hovertravel gets onboard with National Apprenticeship Week07/03/2019


This week Hovertravel joined in the celebration of apprentices with a variety of activities for National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2019). National Apprenticeship Week is coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

Hovertravel attended the apprenticeship open day at Havant & South Downs College, taking a team which included one of their current apprentices, a duty manager and the head of operations. This team was able to explain how the apprentice scheme works and the students were able to ask questions of current apprentice.

Shaping Portsmouth is showcasing some of the amazing apprentices in the Portsmouth area with a series of video interviews, designed to reveal exactly what goes on in the daily life of an apprentice. Hovertravel Apprentice Handling Agent Jess was invited to be part of the series and her video will be available here.

93% of those who complete the apprenticeship programme are now place in full time employment with Hovertravel. The company continues to see the value of this program, not only from a reduction in recruitment costs, but in the passion so many of these individuals have brought to our business as well as allowing us the extra manpower to offer additional services to our customers to improve the customer experience.

Hovertravel's apprentices have had several notable successes including running a program of newly introduced excursion trips to the Hovercraft Museum, celebrating the very British invention of the Hovercraft but also creating a business case for a product that continues to grow today. The apprentices have also been deeply involved in initiatives such as HoverCare which is helping to make cross-Solent travel easier for all customers.

Hovertravel is a unique business which offers development opportunities for its apprentices that benefit the company and, just as importantly, provide excellent experience to advance the individuals’ future career aspirations, either at Hovertravel or elsewhere.

'Try before you fly' for Disabled Access Day                                       04/03/2019


Hovertravel is supporting Disabled Access Day 2019 by opening their doors to offer a unique opportunity. On Saturday 16 March 2019 visitors will be able to meet the staff, crew and pilots of Hovertravel, whilst being hosted by their HoverCare Ambassadors.

This ‘try before you fly’ approach has been designed to help customers get the best insight for any future visits and Hovertravel is encouraging visitors to bring their friends and family along too, to try out the hovercraft access and learn about their HoverCare services.

Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, adds: “The hovercraft will be open for visitors at both Ryde on the Isle of Wight & Southsea in Portsmouth. It is also a great opportunity to share your experiences with our staff so we can further enhance our services, ensuring we are helping all to travel more easily.”

The hovercraft will be open for visitors as follows; at Ryde from 1000 to 1130 and at Southsea 1200-1330.

As well as discovering how simple it is to use the hovercraft for travel between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, all visitors will be given a free ticket for two people and be issued with a HoverCare card.

As space is limited, please register each person attending here: www.hovertravel.co.uk/HoverCare-Concessionary-Travel-Scheme/index.php

For more details on the HoverCare services please visit: https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/HoverCare-Concessionary-Travel-Scheme/index.php .

£200 raised at Hovertravel for Dementia UK’s Time for a Cuppa 28/02/2019


Hovertravel welcomed visitors to their Time for a Cuppa Pop-up Café at their Ryde Terminal to raise awareness and funds as part of the tenth anniversary of this worthy initiative. They raised a fantastic £200 for more families across the Isle of Wight to access the unique and specialist help of an Admiral Nurse.

Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, says: “We must thank Tesco Extra, French Franks and Grace's Bakery who donated very popular cakes and to 1st Brading Scouts for helping make this event possible.

We also say huge congratulations to Dementia UK for reaching its 10th year of Time for a Cuppa. To be able to bake until we dropped for such a fantastic cause was amazing and we hope that the money raised will help more families access the lifeline that Admiral Nurses bring.”

Admiral Nurses provide the specialist dementia support that families need. When things get challenging or difficult, they work alongside families affected by dementia, giving them one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions, helping families face dementia with more confidence and less fear.

Dementia UK is on target to have 300 Admiral Nurses by 2020 working out in the community as well as in care homes, hospitals, hospices and on the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline.

New Daisy Bus unveiled 22/02/2019


To celebrate the arrival of their new vehicle and the success of the appeal, the charity hosted a thank-you event for all supporters, including Hovertravel, at the charity’s support centre in Lugley Street, Newport.

Grant funding has enabled Wessex Cancer Trust to buy a new Daisy Bus – which has funding secured into 2020 – thanks to incredible fundraising efforts of individuals, groups and businesses on the Island.

Barry Ronaldi, from the Wessex Cancer Trust, said: “For us as a charity, we are so proud to be helping residents of the Island. It means patients now don’t have to worry if the bus will arrive. We must say a big thanks to everyone who has supported – especially the Isle of Wight Freemasons, Hovertravel and the Lions Club. We are very grateful for all of the support receive – it is vital.”

The Island’s Freemasons and the IW Prostate Cancer Support Group raised thousands towards the appeal, alongside Hovertravel, which has donated 10% of its ticket fares from patients travelling across the water.

Neil Chapman, Managing Director of Hovertravel, said: “We are proud to be supporting such a vital link for Island cancer patients. We are always looking to make travelling across the Solent as easy as possible.”

Wessex Cancer Trust’s CEO, Cait Allen, said: “Being able to purchase a new minibus will help reduce our ongoing costs significantly while also providing a more comfortable experience for patients travelling to the mainland for treatment. We have much to celebrate and we’d love everyone that has supported the appeal to join us next Wednesday so we can say thank you in person.”

To maintain the future of the service for years to come, the charity is planning to host a dedicated Daisy Day annually.

Add a hovercraft to your wedding 14/02/2019


You can have the world’s only scheduled passenger hovercraft service as part of your wedding. Hovertravel has a range of options from group discounts on its timetabled operation to a full private charter.

“Using a hovercraft as part of your big day is a great way to add something unique to your wedding,” says Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, “our hovercraft are so different and everyone loves the thrill of travelling across the water on a cushion of air.”

Hovertravel speeds across the water at up to 45 knots and glides effortlessly on to land, creating an unforgettable experience for up to 78 passengers per craft. With the short ten-minute crossing time from Southsea to Ryde you could even consider getting married in Portsmouth and having a reception on the Isle of Wight! Or choose the hovercraft to start your honeymoon on the Island.

For an added touch of exclusivity, you can book your own private charter which can depart and arrive at our existing hover ports in Southsea and Ryde, as well as other locations on request including Lee on Solent and selected Isle of Wight beaches. Imagine having complete use of a hovercraft just for your guests and landing on a sandy beach! Or maybe arrange to have your speeches delivered floating in the middle of the Solent.

Loretta adds: “When you charter our hovercraft, you get a full complement of crew and a pilot. We can help you design your own itinerary, which can include the opportunity to hover around the Solent for sightseeing as well as whisking your wedding guests to your reception.”

Please email info@hovertravel.com to discuss your requirements.

Hovertravel pedals for Isle of Wight Admiral Nurses 18/01/2019


Hovertravel committed to 15 hours of pedalling as their latest fund-raising initiative for Dementia UK Isle of Wight Admiral Nurses. Starting at 0615 in the morning and running continuously during Hovertravel’s hours of operation until 2115, pilots, engineers, crew members, cashiers, duty managers, alongside members of the finance, HR and commercial departments all cycled for charity.

During the morning Mr Alf Holman, 95, of the Briars Care Home in Sandown jumped on the bike and showed everyone how it was done!

Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, explains,” We want to be fully involved with our chosen charity for 2019 and all the team love to participate in this type of fund-raising activity. By holding a continuous cyclethon in our terminal we are spreading the message about Admiral Nurses to our customers and putting our commitment on show.”

Hovertravel is raising these funds to support the provision of Admiral Nurses on the Isle of Wight and raise awareness of these specialist professionals who provide support, expert guidance and practical solutions.

By placing the charity’s branding in key marketing locations such as terminal screens, craft screens and as advertising banners in customer emails, Hovertravel will promote this worthy cause to their passengers, who have always proved to be generous in their support for local charities.

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Hovertravel Ltd Company registered in England, UK. Company Registration 830401. VAT Registration 107-3428-91. Hovertravel Registered Trade Mark number 2614882 and Hovertravel logo registered trade mark number 2630390. Registered Office: Encombe House, Estate Office, Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5LW, England.

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