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Blue Funnel Cruises
Solent & Wight Line Cruises
 
Page 2: New Vessels 1974-2006
 
 
This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of Blue Funnel Cruises and Solent & Wight Line Cruises.
 
Blue Funnel Cruises are based in Southampton, and in 2006 run public and charter cruises around the Solent area to Portsmouth, Rivers Hamble, Beaulieu, Itchen & Test, etc, plus shorter Southampton Docks cruises. Solent & Wight Line Cruises work out of Portsmouth and Isle of Wight ports running harbour trips and excursions, whilst the versatile fast "Jenny" boats can also be used on ferry trips and emergency ambulance work.
 
The first purpose-built vessel was the Solent Scene of 1974, followed by her sister the Island Scene in 1978. An even larger vessel, the Leisure Scene, was delivered in 1985, the last of the Gosport ferries, Princessa departing the fleet soon afterwards. Horace Barkham retired from the company in 1979, selling out to his partner William Hogg.
 
The "Jenny" boats began operating for M.J.Rayment of Cowes from about 1980. These are fast purpose-built launches with speeds of around 18 knots that can be used as excursion vessels, workers' trip boats and for emergency ambulance work. Rayment acquired a 50% interest in the Solent Scene and began operating her as Wight Line Cruises, later Solent and Wight Line Cruises, whilst retaining the same Blue Funnel fleet colours. When the two similar large vessels Wight Scene and Ocean Scene were delivered in 1992 and 1994, one was allocated to each company. Wight Scene arrived first in 1992, and Mark Rayment's son took Solent Scene to Poole, and later also ran Poole Scene (ex-New Forrester) there. Delivery of Ocean Scene to Blue Funnel was delayed, causing financial difficulties, and the Poole-based Rayment bought out Blue Funnel from William Hogg. Both Blue Funnel Cruises and Solent & Wight Line Cruises were then owned by the Rayment family, but the companies retain separate identities, and separate websites, but work together to cover the whole of the Solent area, with Blue Funnel still based in Southampton, and Solent & Wight Line Cruises working out of Portsmouth and Isle of Wight ports. Solent Cat generally operates Portsmouth Harbour cruises from the Historic Dockyard and Gunwharf Quays. Solent Scene passed to Blue Line Cruises in May 1998, and continues services from Poole in 2006.
 
 
Boats on this Page:-
Ali Cat (Solent & Wight Line: 1999-2002 then Clyde charter until 2011 )
Ashleigh-R (Blue Funnel Cruises: 2004- )
Island Scene (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1978-c.1994)
Jenny Lee (Solent & Wight Line: 1985- )
Jenny M of Medina (Solent & Wight Line: 1988- )
Jenny R (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1984- )
Leisure Scene (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1985-2002)
Ocean Scene (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1994- )
Solent Cat (Solent & Wight Line: 2000- )
Solent Scene (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1974-1998)
Wight Scene (Solent & Wight Line: 1992- )
 
Boats on Page 1:-
Princessa (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1958-1986)
Solent Queen (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1962-1984)
Venus (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1966-1978)
Verda (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1958-1984)
Wight Queen (Blue Funnel Cruises: 1956-1986)
 
Blue Funnel Cruises Pages:-
Blue Funnel Cruises - Page 1 - Acquired Vessels 1952-1973
Blue Funnel Cruises - Page 2 - New Vessels 1974-2006 - this page!
 
Solent Area Pages:-
Blue Line Cruises
Hythe-Southampton Ferries
Hovertravel
Portsmouth Harbour Ferries
Portsmouth Harbour Tours
Solent Steam Packet Ltd - SS Shieldhall
 
Associated Pages:-
UK Excursion Ships
Ferry Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates
Simplon Postcards - Home Page
Simplon Facebook Page - Simplon Postcards facebook page

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References:-
Trip Out Guides - Written and published by G.P.Hamer - various editions from 1977 to 2005 consulted




Table of Ship Histories
Name
Other names
 Built
 Leisure Scene  Golden Jubilee
 1985
 Solent Cat  
 2002
 Solent Scene  
 1974






Fleet List
 
Page 2: New Vessels 1974-2006
 
 
 
Solent Scene
(Blue Funnel Cruises: 1974-1999)
 
131 gross tons - 90 ft long - 249 passengers - 10 knots
 
Solent Scene was the first purpose-built excursion boat built for Blue Funnel, and was completed by Bideford Shipbuilders in 1974. She was followed by a sister from the same yard, the Island Scene of 1978. M.J.Rayment later acquired a 50% interest in the Solent Scene and began operating her as Wight Line Cruises, later Solent and Wight Line Cruises, whilst retaining the same Blue Funnel fleet colours. Solent Scene passed to Blue Line Cruises in May 1998, and continues services from Poole in 2006.
 
Complete history of Solent Scene
 
 
Solent Scene at Southampton Royal Pier on 15th April 1976, with original white hull
Photo: © Ian Boyle
Click to open larger image in new window



Solent Scene with Southampton Castle leaving Southampton.
Southampton Castle is on the last ever Union-Castle mail ship departure to South Africa.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th September 1977



J.Arthur Dixon postcard of Solent Scene at Beaulieu.



Solent Scene at Ryde Pier
Photo: © Ian Boyle
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Duncan photographic postcard of Solent Scene.



Solent Scene at Ryde Pier
Photo: © Ian Boyle
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Wight Line Cruises postcard of Solent Scene.
Note additional upper deck aft.



Solent Scene passed to Blue Line Cruises in May 1998, and continues services from Poole in 2006.
Photo: © Blue Line Cruises, 12th March 2006.
Click to open larger image in new window






Island Scene
(Blue Funnel Cruises: 1977-c.1994)
 
131 gross tons (as built) - 90 ft long - 250 passengers - 10 knots
 
Island Scene was a repeat of the successful Solent Scene, delivered from Bideford Shipbuilding in 1978. In 1980 her aft deck was enclosed, to make her more suitable of all-weather charters. In 1994 she was replaced by the Ocean Scene and she was sold to River Tyne operators, where she still runs in 2006 for River Escapes as the River Escapes Fortuna (Fortuna being a Roman goddess).
 
Duncan photographic postcard of Island Scene.



Tyne Leisure advert showing Island Scene and ex-Tilbury-Gravesend ferry Catherine.
Issued shortly before the company re-launched as River Escapes, with Island Scene renamed as River Escapes Fortuna.



Skylark
(Blue Funnel Cruises: 1981-1983)
 
Skylark was working for R.G.N.Woodford of Newport by 1987.






Jenny R
(Solent & Wight Line: 1984-2005 )
(Blue Funnel Cruises: 2005- )
 
Blue Funnel Jenny R passes QE2 at Southampton.
Jenny R ran occasional ferry trips to Marchwood Military Port and also harbour trips.
Note the miniature dummy "blue funnels".
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th July 2005






Jenny Lee
(Solent & Wight Line: 1985- )
 
Jenny Lee at Gunwharf Quays, for the Festival of the Sea.
Jenny Lee ran harbour tours from Gunwharf Quays, along with Solent Cat and Jenny M of Medina.
Wight Scene and Ashleigh-R ran harbour tours from the Naval Dockyard, adjacent to HMS Warrior.
Note the miniature dummy "blue funnels".
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.






Leisure Scene
(Blue Funnel Cruises: 1985-2002)
 
300 gross tons - 100 ft long - 250 passengers
 
Leisure Scene was built for Blue Funnel by Bolson's of Poole in 1985. She was their first cruiser designed to cater for the changing demands of the excursion market, and is more suitable for evening cruises and charters where eating and dancing are provided. She passed to Capital Pleasure Boats on the Thames in 2002 as the Golden Jubilee.
 
 
Blue Funnel Cruises postcard of Leisure Scene with the QE2.



Blue Funnel Cruises postcard of Leisure Scene.



Leisure Scene at Southampton Ocean Village.
Photo: © Ian Boyle






Jenny M of Medina
(Solent & Wight Line: 1988- )
 
Jenny M passing Gosport, with HMS Warrior in the background.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th November 2004.
 
 
Jenny M of Medina and Jenny Lee at Gunwharf Quays, for the Festival of the Sea.
Jenny M of Medina ran harbour tours from Gunwharf Quays, along with Solent Cat and Jenny Lee.
Wight Scene, Ocean Scene and Ashleigh-R ran harbour tours from the Naval Dockyard, adjacent to HMS Warrior.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Jenny M of Medina in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Jenny M of Medina in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Jenny M of Medina in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Jenny M of Medina in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Jenny M off Cowes, Isle of Wight
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2006
Click to open larger image in new window






Wight Scene
(Solent & Wight Line: 1992- )
 
Wightline Cruises postcard of Wight Scene.
 
 
Wight Scene in the Solent.
Photo: © Ian Boyle
 
 
Wight Scene at Portsmouth.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th June 2002.
 
 
Wight Scene in Portsmouth Harbour.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 19th April 2003.
 
 
Wight Scene at Cowes, Isle of Wight.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st December 2003.
 
 
Wight Scene at Cowes, Isle of Wight.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st December 2003.
 
 
Wight Scene in Portsmouth Harbour.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004.
 
 
Wight Scene in Portsmouth Harbour.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004.
 
 
 
Wight Scene at Cowes.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th April 2005.
 
 
Wight Scene at Cowes.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th April 2005.
 
 
Wight Scene at Cowes.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th April 2005.
 
 
Wight Scene in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Wight Scene in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.






Ocean Scene
(Blue Funnel Cruises: 1994- )
 
Blue Funnel Cruises postcard of Ocean Scene.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th April 2005.
 
 
Ocean Scene with ARC car carrier Resolve.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th April 2005.
 
 
Ocean Scene with ex-Red Funnel tender Calshot.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th April 2005.
 
 
Ocean Scene with Shieldhall.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th April 2005.
 
 
Ocean Scene on a Southampton harbour tour
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2006
Click to open larger image in new window
 
 
Ocean Scene on a Southampton harbour tour
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2006
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Ali Cat
(Solent & Wight Line: 1999-2002 - then chartered out until 2011)


Ali Cat was built in 1999 for Solent & Wightline Cruises, She was then chartered to Red Funnel Line who had contracted to run a service for Caledonian MacBrayne for the Dunoon to Gourock peak passenger services. She entered service on 21 October 2002 to run at peak times, carrying up to 250 passengers. The run had previously been served at peak times by two car ferries, one of which went down the Firth of Clyde at quieter times to assist on the Rothesay to Wemyss Bay service which only had a 90 minute service at peak times. Introduction of the Ali Cat for the winter 2002-03 timetable met morning and evening commuter demand on the Dunoon run, releasing the peak period car ferry to improve the Rothesay service. At first the catamaran had occasional difficulties with winter weather making embarking at Dunoon hazardous and leading to cancellations. The service was subsequently extended to cover summer timetables, and construction of a breakwater in 2004 overcame the problems at Dunoon pier.

From 30 June 2011, the Dunoon to Gourock crossing became a passenger-only service operated by Argyll Ferries Ltd (a sister company to Caledonian MacBrayne). Ali Cat was purchased outright by Argyll Ferries and continues on the route.



Ali Cat at Portsmouth before moving to the Clyde
Photo: 2000 Ian Boyle
ALI CAT - Solent & Wight LineALI CAT - Solent & Wight LineALI CAT - Solent & Wight LineALI CAT - Solent & Wight Line






Solent Cat
(Solent & Wight Line: 2002- )
 
More images of Solent Cat
 
Solent Cat in Portsmouth Harbour, passing Pride of Cherbourg.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th June 2002.
 
 
Solent Cat in Portsmouth Harbour.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004.
 
 
Solent Cat in Portsmouth Harbour.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th June 2004.
 
 
Solent Cat in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Solent Cat ran harbour tours from Gunwharf Quays, along with Jenny Lee and Jenny M of Medina.
Wight Scene, Ocean Scene and Ashleigh-R ran harbour tours from the Naval Dockyard, adjacent to HMS Warrior.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Solent Cat in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Solent Cat off Cowes, Isle of Wight
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2006
Click to open larger image in new window
 
 
Solent Cat running light from Cowes to Portsmouth to run harbour cruises
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st January 2009
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Solent Cat running light from Cowes to Portsmouth in rough weather
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st January 2009
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Solent Cat running light from Cowes to Portsmouth in rough weather
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st January 2009
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Solent Cat running light from Cowes to Portsmouth in rough weather
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st January 2009
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Ashleigh-R
(Blue Funnel Cruises: 2004- )
 
Ashleigh-R and Ocean Scene in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Wight Scene, Ocean Scene and Ashleigh-R ran harbour tours from the Naval Dockyard, adjacent to HMS Warrior.
Solent Cat, Jenny Lee and Jenny M of Medina ran harbour tours from Gunwharf Quays.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Ashleigh-R in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Ashleigh-R in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
Ashleigh-R in Portsmouth Harbour, for the Festival of the Sea.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 2nd July 2005.
 
 
 
 
 
Blue Funnel Publicity Material
 
Blue Funnel advertising postcard showing destinations.
 
 
 
Undated brochure from c.1997, showing the Southampton-based Ocean Scene and Leisure Scene, plus Poole-based Solent Scene.
Click to see larger images in a new window
 
 
 
 
 
Blue Funnel Cruises - Page 1 - Blue Funnel Cruises - Page 2
Portsmouth Harbour Ferries - Portsmouth Harbour Tours - Solent Steam Packet Ltd
UK Excursion Ships - Ferry Postcards - Cruise Ship Postcards - Ocean Liner Postcards
Top of Page - Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates - Simplon Postcards Home Page
 
 
 
 
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