Since I started visiting the Isle of Wight in 2008 I have seen her and been on her a number of times, the trip across the Solent generally taking less than 10 minutes.
She was built by the British Hovercraft Corporation in 1984 as Yard Number 5, her keel was laid in May 1983 and she was delivered to Dampskibsselskabet Oresund in Denmark on the 27 June 1984 where she was named Freja Viking. Up to April 1994 she worked the Copenhagen to Malmo Route before being laid up. Sold to Scandinavia Airlines Systems in January 1997 she was sold again to Hovertravel in September 1997. In 2002 she was renamed Island Express and currently works the Ryde to Southsea route.
Overall she is 23.15m long with a 10.06 beam and a height of 8.90m when hovering or 7.92m when landed.
Her main engines comprise of four Deutz BF12L 513 FC Air cooled Turbo Diesels (4x196kW) powering two Hoffmann fixed pitch 2.755m diameter propellers giving her a service speed of 45 Knots although 60 Knots has been reached on sea trials
She can carry 100 passengers + Crew
MMSI - 235007473
REG - UK, Portsmouth
IMO - 9618525
Call Sign - ZIRL9
Built -British Hovercraft Corp.
Yard No. -5
L 23.15m W 10.06m
GT - 73
Year - 1984
Ryde, 26 October 2014