St Albans to Isle of Wight

SAPhil

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2011
Messages
196
Hi All,

I am attempting to buy tickets travelling out on Friday 21st August and returning on Sunday 23rd ideally from St Albans to Shanklin.
I would prefer to travel via Waterloo. I have an annual gold card (not covering any part of this journey).
I don't seem to be able to get off peak returns for this journey (whether from St Albans or London) unless I elect to use the Hovercraft. The Wightlink service is running, so I don't understand why I'm only being offered singles.
Can anyone explain what is going on?

Thanks,

Phil
 
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Lewlew

Member
Joined
15 Oct 2019
Messages
196
Location
London
The Fastcats from Portsmouth to Ryde are only running every 2 hours, that's why it keeps suggesting the Hovercraft. There are itineraries available for the fastcat but are rare.

The Hovercraft is good fun, the rail ticket is available on the bus to Southsea (every 20 mins or so taking 10 mins from Portsmouth and Southsea station). And the Hovercraft itself only takes 10 minutes and it's then a short walk to Esplanade station.

I was on the Island early this week, went out via Hovercraft and came back via the Fastcat. I remember leaving Shanklin at 1318 to get the 1347 boat, only had 5 minutes connection which was plenty of time but they are limiting the amount of people on the boats so there is a very small chance you won't be allowed to board.
 

Lewlew

Member
Joined
15 Oct 2019
Messages
196
Location
London
Seems as though there is engineering work on the Sunday so no Island line, there are taxis running to the Pier Head but it'll be quicker to get the Hovercraft so it won't ever suggest the Cats
 

Haywain

Established Member
Joined
3 Feb 2013
Messages
4,812
Hi All,

I am attempting to buy tickets travelling out on Friday 21st August and returning on Sunday 23rd ideally from St Albans to Shanklin.
I would prefer to travel via Waterloo. I have an annual gold card (not covering any part of this journey).
I don't seem to be able to get off peak returns for this journey (whether from St Albans or London) unless I elect to use the Hovercraft. The Wightlink service is running, so I don't understand why I'm only being offered singles.
Can anyone explain what is going on?

Thanks,

Phil
You may be able to get a Wightlink itinerary by using an option to avoid Southsea Hoverport.
 

SAPhil

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2011
Messages
196
The Fastcats from Portsmouth to Ryde are only running every 2 hours, that's why it keeps suggesting the Hovercraft. There are itineraries available for the fastcat but are rare.

The Hovercraft is good fun, the rail ticket is available on the bus to Southsea (every 20 mins or so taking 10 mins from Portsmouth and Southsea station). And the Hovercraft itself only takes 10 minutes and it's then a short walk to Esplanade station.

I was on the Island early this week, went out via Hovercraft and came back via the Fastcat. I remember leaving Shanklin at 1318 to get the 1347 boat, only had 5 minutes connection which was plenty of time but they are limiting the amount of people on the boats so there is a very small chance you won't be allowed to board.
Thanks for the reply. If I have to use the hovercraft then I will (I've used it before) but I still don't get why if I pick a time when I am offered the fastcat, no off peak returns are available. The cost difference between an off peak return and the two singles is roughly £20 so I'm not keen to pay that.
 

SAPhil

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2011
Messages
196
Seems as though there is engineering work on the Sunday so no Island line, there are taxis running to the Pier Head but it'll be quicker to get the Hovercraft so it won't ever suggest the Cats
That explains it! Thank you.
 

cav1975

Member
Joined
24 Sep 2010
Messages
243
Seems as though there is engineering work on the Sunday so no Island line, there are taxis running to the Pier Head but it'll be quicker to get the Hovercraft so it won't ever suggest the Cats
What @Lewlew has said is true but I think that the root of the problem is that the rail replacement taxis are not in the timetable so the booking engines can't offer a fare which includes a walk up the pier after getting off the replacement bus at Ryde. You could try a ticket office, alternatively given that an Off Peak Return is a flexible ticket in terms of the return date just put in the next day.
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PS - The Wightlink ferry is now more frequent - see https://www.wightlink.co.uk/go/isle-wight-ferry-timetables/
 

Hadders

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
27 Apr 2011
Messages
7,733
As you're travelling out on a Friday and returning on a Sunday you'll be purchasing an Off Peak Return, the return portion being valid for a month. No reservations are required so I'd just choose another day for the return when buying the ticket which gives an itinerary via Ryde Pier Head and Wightlink. You can use the return portion at anytime during its period of validity (subject to the time restrictions of course).
 

Belperpete

Established Member
Joined
17 Aug 2018
Messages
1,547
The Hovertravel web-site says that people with a through rail ticket need to book their place on the hovercraft at least 48 hours in advance to be sure of getting a place.

Secure my Hover
 

SAPhil

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2011
Messages
196
Thanks for the suggestion of changing the return date - hadn't thought of that! In the end I've gone for the hovercraft option simply because at the times I expect to be travelling they are hourly whereas the ferry has two hour gaps then. As well as masks, I shall have to pack some earplugs :lol:.
 

Mainline421

Member
Joined
7 May 2013
Messages
155
I never did that, I got on fine.
Yep I traveled last week the standby que was at least twice the size of the check in que, upon showing my rail ticket I was directed there without even being asked if I had a reservation, as was everyone else from the 'Hoverbus.' Doubt anyone had reservations.
 

route101

Established Member
Joined
16 May 2010
Messages
7,269
Yep I traveled last week the standby que was at least twice the size of the check in que, upon showing my rail ticket I was directed there without even being asked if I had a reservation, as was everyone else from the 'Hoverbus.' Doubt anyone had reservations.
I used the hovercraft last month and booked the day before online. The sailings i had booked never existed as it was only operating every half hour. I managed to get on earlier sailing on way over but on way back i was put in the standby list. So id watch for that.
 

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