A NEW independent rival to one of Wightlink's ferry routes — the £1 million passenger carrying vessel, Kraken — has arrived on the Isle of Wight.


Kraken, in unseasonably foul weather, sailed into Yarmouth this afternoon (Tuesday), following a nine-hour voyage from Dover.

Built by Blyth Catamarans, based at Canvey Island, and funded by a private investor, Magnus Gundersen, from New Milton, Kraken is planned to begin operating a daily passenger service between Yarmouth and Lymington sometime later this month.

Tim Anderson, who co-owns Anderson Boat Cruises.Tim Anderson, who co-owns Anderson Boat Cruises. (Image: County Press)

Tim and Michelle Anderson at Yarmouth quay.Tim and Michelle Anderson at Yarmouth quay. (Image: County Press)

The 15m long ferry can hold up to 110 passengers over two decks, is fitted with two Tier III engines and can run at up to 20 knots, with a 'working speed' of 14 knots.


Kraken will be operating all year round, with a timetable (not yet published) that will include early and late departures between Yarmouth and Lymington.

It will take 40 minutes to cross The Solent, with a crew of three. 

Run by Anderson Boat Cruises, the company will also be running excursions to The Needles, from both ports.

It is sister to the Coral Star, a smaller passenger vessel, which can carry up to 62 passengers, and runs four trips both ways, between Yarmouth and Lymington, every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays, as well as doing  excursions to The Needles.

Kraken's official launch date is dependent on the the Maritime Coastguard Agency, which will be conducting a passenger certificate survey on Tuesday next week (July 16).

They are also still awaiting delivery of life jackets, which are coming from China, via Russia.

The project, the brainchild of Tim and Michelle Anderson, of Yarmouth, was delayed by four months due to a hold up with a vessel Blyth was building ahead of Kraken.

It was a delay Tim described as frustrating, from a business perspective — coupled with a shortage of qualified skippers available at present.

But Tim was delighted with the new addition to the fleet.

"She's gorgeous! She's a different beast to drive, that's for sure. It's lighter than the Coral Star to drive and I'm looking forward to getting things going properly," said Tim, 69.

"Kraken is a Class IV vessel — top of the tree — that can run day and night and is built to all the modern safety standards there are."

(Image: County Press)