UK ferry operator Red Funnel has confirmed it is to spend £3M (US$4M) on a major refurbishment of its ropax Red Eagle early next year.
The Isle of Wight ferry operator said the work would be similar to the new look given to Red Falcon and Red Osprey in 2014 and 2015 and will be carried out by local marine businesses. The main contract has been awarded to Trimline in Southampton, with aluminium fabrication work contracted to Wight Shipyard Ltd in East Cowes. The refit will be carried out in Southampton.
The refurbishment of Red Eagle, coupled with the order for Red Jet 7, amounts to an investment of over £10M in Red Funnel’s cross-Solent services by the consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds who acquired the business in July 2017.
Red Funnel’s chief executive Kevin George commented “We are delighted to make this exciting announcement so soon after ordering Red Jet 7. The refit of Red Eagle will bring the interior right up-to-date with a contemporary new look and a class-leading travel experience for customers which matches the best in the UK ferry industry. Once again, we are particularly pleased to award the work to local suppliers, supporting jobs in both Southampton and in East Cowes on the Island.”
Work on Red Eagle will start in January 2018 and will be completed in time for the summer timetable which starts on 29 March. The project will see a “significant increase in the number of internal seats for customers and involves a complete refit of B Deck including a state-of-the-art galley and new toilets”.
LED lighting, high-capacity wifi, USB charging points, air conditioning and digital entertainment are some of the other features that will be added.