Hovertravel is the world’s longest running commercial hovercraft service and is the only scheduled passenger hovercraft service in the Europe. Hovertravel offers the fastest way to cross the Solent between Southsea, Portsmouth and Ryde, Isle of Wight. Hovertravel operate two hovercraft with a frequent service (plus additional services at commuter times) and the journey time is just under 10 minutes.
The hovercraft is a tourist attraction in its own right. Hovertravel was established in 1965 and over 26 million passengers have travelled on the service. The advantage of the hovercraft is that they can travel at extremely low tides. If it hadn’t been for the tides, Hovertravel might never have existed. The low tides at Ryde, take the sea out far beyond the town’s esplanade, and it has always been impossible for any ship to berth anywhere near roads or bus routes. Until 1965, the only passenger ferries from Portsmouth stopped at the end of Ryde’s third of a mile long pier.