The newest addition to Red Funnel’s fleet has arrived at its new home in the Solent.

The £10 million Red Kestrel will operate as a freight ferry between Southampton and East Cowes from next month  (May).

The 74 metre-long Ro-Ro (roll on-roll off) vessel sailed away from Cammell Laird’s famous River Mersey shipyard earlier this month, following 14-months in development.


As a freight vessel, Red Kestrel is limited to 12 passengers.

Red Funnel CEO Fran Collins said:

“We are all very excited to have welcomed Red Kestrel to her new home in Southampton ahead of her official naming ceremony next week.

“The addition of a new ship is always an exciting time for everyone at Red Funnel. We’re thrilled that not only will Red Kestrel increase our total capacity but will be Red Funnel’s first dedicated Ro-Ro freight ship since the company’s inception almost 160 years ago.”

Red Kestrel will use the same berths as Red Funnel’s existing Raptor class ro-pax vehicle ferries in Southampton and East Cowes.

It is to be officially named at a ceremony in Southampton on Thursday (25).