Red Eagle now features a new sun decks with teak-style seats have been added to the outside AA Deck (Image: Red Funnel)
Red Funnel’s ro-pax ferry Red Eagle has returned to service between Southampton, England and East Cowes on the Isle of Wight following an extensive £3 million (US$4.2 million) interior refit.
The renovation mirrors the work carried out on Red Falcon in 2014 and Red Osprey in 2015 by Southampton-based marine interior refit firm Trimline, Southampon Marine Services and Wight Shipyard Co. The same companies completed this project.
The refurbishment involved the replacement of the two main passenger accommodation on B Deck, which now have modern seating and tables. Meanwhile, two new public lounges were created on A Deck, including a pet lounge and a purpose-built Signature Lounge that offers guests panoramic views across the Solent. The Signature Lounge will also offer guests access to a well-stocked library of magazines, newspapers and books, as well as inclusive tea and coffee, cold drinks and pastries.
New sun decks with teak-style seats have been added to the outside AA Deck. The teak-style seats have also been fitted to the promenade walk on A Deck, which can now be accessed via an elevator for the first time. Lift access is also now available from the main car decks to the passenger areas on the A and B Decks.
Other new onboard highlights include high-capacity wi-fi; charging points for phones, tablets and laptops; CCTV systems; air conditioning; digital entertainment facilities; and 35 LED screens showing the vessel’s position, local points of interest and real-time travel information for road, rail and coach services have been fitted. There is also a large touch screen in the North Lounge on A Deck with games, an image library and an interactive map of the Isle of Wight. Bridge top cameras are used to relay live video footage to the screens for close up views of passing cruise ships and merchant vessels travelling along Southampton Water.
“Trimline and Red Funnel have worked together for several years now, so we feel we have a thorough understanding of the brand," said Michael Oliver, Trimline co-chairman. "We are delighted with the outcome of the refit and feel that the new look Red Eagle now offers a much-improved customer experience.”
Red Funnel’s current menu, which features a full English breakfast and beer-battered cod and chips, will be supplemented with new seasonal specials. Travellers can also enjoy three Steam Café bars offering a wide range of beers, wines and spirits, as well as a variety of hot drinks, cakes and pastries.
The ferry was also retrofitted with a fire safety system, designed by marine fire suppression and protection company Fireboy-Xintex UK Operations. The system has been engineered using Kentec Syncro ASM 2 Loop Control panels and Apollo Devices.
“Red Eagle marks the culmination of a more than £7 million investment programme to provide our vehicle customers with a fleet-wide travel experience that matches the best in the UK ferry industry,” said Kevin George, chairman and chief executive of Red Funnel. “The investment further demonstrates our commitment to the Isle of Wight and the UK, as we work with partners and stakeholders to help grow the island’s economy.”
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