Red Funnel’s new Hi-Speed flagship was officially named Red Jet 7 by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at a recent ceremony held in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

The ceremony, held at Trinity Landing, saw HRH The Duchess of Cornwall unveil a commemorative plaque and break a bottle of Isle of Wight produced ‘champagne’ on Red Jet 7’s bow with civic dignitaries, invited guests and members of the public - including 300 children from local schools in Cowes - in attendance.

This was followed by an excursion aboard the new vessel for members of the public, with all the proceeds going to the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary, which is Red Funnel’s Charity of the Year.

Red Jet 7 was built in East Cowes by Wight Shipyard Co and represents a £7m investment by the ferry company in its Southampton-West Cowes route. Its construction, and that of Red Jet 6 in 2015, equates to a £13m investment by the brand in the Isle of Wight and Solent economies with a further £10m being spent on the twin phase expansion and redevelopment of the company’s East Cowes terminal which is due for completion in 2020.

Fran Collins, the ferry company’s CEO said: “The arrival of Red Jet 7 continues to enhance our fleet and gives our customers an unrivalled travel experience. She also adds more capacity to our Southampton-West Cowes route to accommodate the anticipated growth in the Isle of Wight’s population and economy over the next ten years. We are actively encouraging more people to visit the Island on foot and the new Red Jet based day-trip tours and packages that we have just launched will make the Island even more accessible for visitors. Red Jet 7 will also be used to help develop the excursion and private charter market to places like The Needles and to watch events like the Bournemouth Airshow.”

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