The Only Commercial Hovercraft in the World

The Isle of Wight Hovercraft is the last remaining commercial hovercraft service in the world. It operates a regular timetable, transporting passengers between Ryde and Southsea in Portsmouth, UK. The bonus is that there are excellent connections to both road and rail networks on either side. As the quickest way to travel from the mainland to the Isle of Wight — less than 10 minutes journey time at 78mph — the hovercraft is regularly used by visitors to the island, as well as commuters heading to and from work. The hovercraft was the very first craft invented by British boat maker Christopher Cockerell in 1959. The official terminology for a hovercraft journey over water is “flying,” not “sailing.” What's for certain is that the sight of a hovercraft coming out of the sea and up onto dry land in a matter of seconds is really quite impressive. Within moments of it landing, the steps are wheeled up to the side and passengers can disembark. Combine the speed of docking with the mere 10 minutes that it takes them to cross the Solent — a strait of the English Channel — and you can see why it’s such a popular method of transportation.