The Portsmouth Harbour Ferry Company (PHFC) has a history almost as long as that of its fellow subsidiary, The Falkland Islands Company. Incorporated in 1884 the business has provided a passenger ferry service across the mouth of Portsmouth harbour from Gosport to Portsea for well over 100 years.
PHFC provides a vital service to the residents of Gosport, many of whom work or travel to the shops or restaurants in the larger City of Portsmouth across the water. Approximately half a mile across the harbour by sea, the ferry journey takes a little over 5 minutes whereas the journey by road to Portsmouth skirting around the head of the harbour is approximately 14 miles long and in today's congested traffic the journey can take up to an hour.
Ferry services run for 18 and a half hours a day from 5.30am until midnight, crossing the harbour every 7 and a half minutes in peak periods. The ferry service operates 364 days a year and carries over 3.3 million passengers per annum.
The ferry is renowned for its reliability and the friendly and efficient service of its crew, many of whom come from families who have worked as watermen in the harbour for generations. The ships are serviced and maintained by the Company's own team of specialist marine engineers and shipwrights who are based at a one acre site at Clarence Marina, half a mile from the Company's Gosport base.
PHFC currently operates three vessels on its ferry service with two on duty on any given day. The company also has three modern vessels which each carry up to 300 passengers, Spirit of Gosport which was commissioned in 2001 and its sister ship Spirit of Portsmouth ( SpoP ) which came into service in 2005. SpoP also doubles in the summer and also operates as a cruising vessel providing leisure cruises around the Solent in summer. In early 2015, construction of the newest vessel “Harbour Spirit” was successfully completed and the vessel was delivered to Portsmouth in March 2015, and entered service in July.
Senior Staff at Portsmouth Harbour Ferry Company
Clive Lane, Director and General Manager
Christine Waters, Financial Director