The Isle of Wight's old hovercraft have arrived safely in Asia and have made another much shorter journey to Indonesia.

In December, Ben Rue snapped a photo of Freedom 90 and Island Express on board the cargo ship Arneborg, as it sailed out the Solent.

The Wagenborg-operated ship has now reached Singapore and its precious ex-Isle of Wight cargo has been transported by barge to the Indonesian island of Batam, fifteen miles away.

Freedom 90, Island Express and the third craft, Island Courier, will now get some cosmetic restoration and engineering work.

Isle of Wight County Press: On the Arneborg in the Solent, in December.

Above, On the Arneborg in the Solent, in December. Photo by Ben Rue. Below, the ex-Isle of Wight hovercraft on a barge bound for Indonesia. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Indonesia is made up of more than 17,000 islands, spread over millions of square miles of sea and across 3,500 miles, from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific.

Around 6,000 islands are inhabited, which means plenty of opportunity for the three craft to make their mark.

Freedom 90 was launched in 1990, by inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell.

Read more:

Freedom 90, in action in 2017, in a YouTube video by WIMO 1966.

As the Isle of Wight County Press reported, on June 8, 1990, it took three attempts to smash the champagne bottle.

However, it appeared not to affect the craft's good luck.

Freedom 90, which cost up to £2 million, continued to serve the Island until its retirement from the fleet in 2018.

Island Express also retired - twice.

Both it and Freedom 90 were called on to fill in for the current craft (Solent Flyer and Island Flyer) in 2017, due to technical problems with their propellers.

Isle of Wight County Press:

During their refit, the older craft returned to Hovertravel's Southsea to Ryde route for a time.

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