"Of course from the very nature of things the Isle of Wight is pre-eminently the place of all others for steamboat excursions, and these can be made from many points. Ryde has the greater advantage in this respect, as there is a more continuous service between the pier there and the mainland. The joint committee of the South Western and South Coast Railway Companies have a well-equipped fleet of steamers with a regular daily service which ought to satisfy every desire on the part of the business and pleasure traveller, and throughout the season these splendid vessels make special excursions round the Island, to and from Brighton and other places of interest, Mr D. Greenwood, the gentleman who has local control of the fleet, making it the study of his life how best to please and satisfy his two companies patrons. From Southampton another fleet of magnificent vessels are in daily touch with the Island throughout the year, belonging to the Southampton and Isle of Wight Steampacket Company, and under the management of a body of directors and an efficient secretary, Mr J. J. Bunnett. These vessels call at Cowes, Ryde, and Portsmouth several times daily, and in the season also make pleasure excursions round the Wight and to other places of interest. In addition to these, the Isle of Wight is visited by the vessels of two Companies at Bournemouth. One of these is the Bournernouth, Swanage, and Poole Steam Packet Company, whose principal vessel, the famous Brodick Castle, is a general favourite. Mr Edward Bicker, of Richmond Chambers, Bournemouth, is the Secretary and directing genius of this Company’s admirable service, and the vessels are always heartily welcomed on touching Ventnor, Shanklin, Ryde, Cowes, Yarmouth, Totland Bay, or Alum Bay. The other Bournemouth Company also owns a complement of famous and popular vessels, the most noted of which is the Monarch, which make similar excursions. The title of this company is the Bournemouth Express Company, and its affairs are controlled by a Board of directors, with Mr. D. Sydenham, of the Royal Marine Library, Bournemouth, secretary. The Lymington and Yarmouth steamers also pay attention to the special wants of visitors, and are frequently used in the summer for pleasure excursions. "
The Minerva Isle of Wight Pictorial and Guide - circa 1900