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MV Red Eagle (1996)

United Kingdom
NameMV Red Eagle
Operator Red Funnel
BuilderFerguson Shipbuilders
In service1996 – Sept 2004, Jan 2005 – present[1]
IdentificationIMO number9117337
StatusIn service
General characteristics
Class and typeRaptor-class car passenger ferry
Tonnage4,075 GT[1]
Length93.22 m (305.8 ft)
Beam17.5 m (57.4 ft)
Decks5, including 3 vehicle decks
Speed14 kn (25.9 km/h)
Capacity894 passengers, 220 cars

MV Red Eagle is a Raptor-class vehicle and passenger ferry operated by Red Funnel on their route from Southampton to East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The largest of its class, Red Eagle is the current flagship for Red Funnel.


She entered service in 1996, the latest car ferry to enter service after Red Falcon and Red Osprey in 1994.[2] Between October and December 2004 she underwent modifications by Remontowa in Gdańsk, Poland, in order to increase vehicle capacity by 80[3] and allow a greater passenger capacity.[4] This involved the lengthening of the ship by 9.6 m (31 ft).[5] She was the last of Red Funnel's Raptor-class ships to undergo the process.[1] When she re-entered service in January 2005, she became the largest vessel regularly crossing the Solent, taking this title from her sister, Red Osprey.[4] Prior to beginning her 2018 sailing season, Red Eagle underwent a refit at Southampton Marine Services that refurbished and expanded her interior spaces. Fabrication work for the new extensions was by Wight Shipyard.[6]


On 27 September 2018 it was reported that the vessel had cut three yachts adrift from their moorings during thick fog. A catamaran and a channel marker were struck during the incident in Cowes harbour, after which two yachts were found drifting outside the harbour.[7]

On 11 November 2008 she was used on an excursion to view Queen Elizabeth 2 leaving Southampton for the final time.[8]

Appearances in media

She featured in an episode of Top Gear in 2002, as part of a review of an Aston Martin.[9] She is featured in the video game series Ship Simulator, along with one of her running mates, Red Jet 4, as a sailable ship.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries - Vessel Archive 1981-2010". Red Funnel. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  2. ^ "Red Funnel - Vehicle ferry fleet". Retrieved 25 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Maritime Journal: Linkspan Lifts Red Funnel's Fortunes". 1 February 2005. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Red Funnel - vehicle ferry fleet". Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Red Funnel plans to stretch car ferries" (PDF). Black Jack (123). World Ship Society, Southampton branch: 10. December 2002. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Southampton Marine Services moves ahead on Red Eagle refit". Marine Log. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Car ferry 'tears yachts from moorings'". BBC News. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  8. ^ Adams, Keith (2010). Red Funnel 150 Celebrating One Hundred and Fifty Years of The Original Isle of Wight Ferries. Richard Danielson. p. 51. ISBN 9780951315552.
  9. ^ "Top Gear on the Isle of Wight, starring Red Funnel and the Military Road". Isle of Wight Guru. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Ship Simulator 2008". Eurogamer. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
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MV Red Eagle (1996)
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