THE new £30million Wightlink flagship, Victoria of Wight, is on her way to the Solent to join the rest of the company’s fleet.

The environmentally friendly hybrid energy ferry departed from the Cemre shipyard in Yalova, Turkey, yesterday (Monday), at 8pm for the 3,019 nautical mile journey to Portsmouth.

She is being towed by the specialist tug Amber II through the Sea of Marmara, past Gallipoli through the Dardanelles, then westward through the Mediterranean passing Greece, Sicily and Spain before turning north at Gibraltar to sail along the Portuguese coast, across the Bay of Biscay and into the Channel.

The trip should take 17 days if weather conditions are favourable.

Because she has no cabins to allow a delivery crew to sleep onboard, she will be towed back to the Solent by a specialist towage company who have experience of delivering many ships from the Sea of Marmara to northern Europe.

Wightlink chief executive, Keith Greenfield, said: “This is the final stage of our £45million investment in the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route and we look forward to introducing her to our staff and customers this summer.

“Victoria of Wight will set new standards for comfort and her environmental credentials are impressive.”

The new ship has room for up to 178 cars and more than 1,000 passengers.

Powered by hybrid energy, Victoria of Wight will be quieter and with fewer emissions than other vessels.

* You can follow Victoria of Wight’s progress by searching for the tug Amber II on websites such as

Victoria of Wight’s systems have been turned off during the tow so she cannot be found during the journey.