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I can’t comprehend why the adjective “Jet Set” still equates to being cool. I admit the idea of grabbing a jet to parts known and unknown still has some caché. The reality of air travel is quite the opposite, as we all know. Even if you’re flying first class, it can still be a hassle. No frills or furbelows when leaving from Stansted Airport in London, that’s for sure.
A day trip to the Isle of Wight, with a bunch of my favorite bloggers, confirmed that we have it all wrong. “Ferry Set” is how I want to be described from now on! It’s so simple. In fewer than two hours, you can pop a train to Southampton, grab a cab to the port and be on the ferry to the Isle of Wight.
No long lines, no getting there two hours in advance, no weighing of luggage, no checking of liquids…and there’s business class! Anywhere you arrive by boat has that luxurious feeling and the Isle of Wight is on a list that includes Venice, Martha’s Vineyard, Koh Lanta, and Shelter Island.
We are almost at the tail end of National Ferry Fortnight 2017 (May 6 – 20) when Discover Ferries, the umbrella association for the ferry industry, aims to promote ferry travel within the UK, Ireland and other countries in Europe, including France and Belgium.
Upon arrival at the port in Southampton, we were whisked up to the brand new Signature Lounge on the Red Osprey of the Red Funnel line. Not only a spectacular view awaited us at the top of the boat, but also coffee, tea, and pastries were on hand, to cull our hunger pangs until we arrived in East Cowes.
It’s a perfect haven to relax and enjoy the view, read the papers, work in peace and quiet or step outside onto the deck. We wanted the journey to be much longer, but in only 50 minutes, we were in port and headed off to Osborne House.
Although Brighton was the height of fashion in the 19th C, it was far too crowded for Queen Victoria. The Isle of Wight became her place to get away from it all. She found a little Georgian pile, added to it, then tore it down and added more to it, and it became known as Osborne House.
Albert loved it here, saying the view reminded him of the Bay of Naples, and we weren’t to be disappointed, albeit the weather was not in our favor. Still, I think Albert was with us that day as the sun finally broke and stayed out the whole rest of the day.
We made a quick stop to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway which is not in operation anymore. The original railway had over 55 miles of tracks and covered the entire island of 23 miles across and 131/4 miles up and down. Now there are only five miles, but it gives you an idea of what the island’s transportation system was like before everyone had a car.
Our last port of call was Fishbourne Harbor where we hopped on the Wightlink’s Santa Clara headed to Portsmouth Harbor. Onto the deck, we toasted to such a great day with a glass of Pinot Grigio, looking very “Ferry Set”, if I may say so myself!
Having a much deserved toast: Check our their blogs: Vicky Flip Flops, London Unattached, Jenography and A Modern Mother
PIN IT LATER
The trip was organized by Discover Ferries, the industry body for the UK ferry industry, as part of its National Ferry Fortnight (6 – 20 May 2017). Now in its ninth year, National Ferry Fortnight showcases Britain’s 75 ferry routes and the benefits of travel by sea.