BEN-MY-CHREE & MANXMAN: HOW DO THEY COMPARE?

With the detailed design of Manxman progressing well, we wanted to give our customers an insight into how Ben-my-Chree and the exciting new replacement vessel will compare.

In this blog we take a look at the two vessels side-by-side, both visually and through a Q&A, to help demonstrate how Manxman will differ and what customers should expect from the new ferry when it comes into service. Let’s get started!  

Ben-my-Chree & Manxman Comparison Graphic

A graphic which illustrates the key differences between Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Ben-my-Chree and the new replacement vessel Manxman, due to come into service in 2023. Included on the graphic is passenger capacity, pet lounges, lifts, number of cabins and more.

Manxman Q&A

WHAT IS THE MAIN PURPOSE OF MANXMAN?  

Manxman will replace the Ben-my-Chree when she comes into service in 2023, taking over the twice-daily Heysham route. The Ben-my-Chree will then be maintained and used to enhance back-up capabilities, providing additional capacity for peak periods such as the Isle of Man TT and Manx Grand Prix.

One of our main priorities is to ensure that Manxman offers a greatly enhanced passenger experience and improves the Island’s lifeline freight capability. Although extra capacity will not be required for the majority of sailings, it will provide additional space and comfort for passengers and help to develop the visitor economy during busy periods.

WILL MANXMAN BE BIGGER THAN BEN-MY-CHREE?     

One of our greatest challenges has been designing a bespoke vessel which meets our needs and requirements but also fits into the ports where we operate. So, although Manxman will have a greater capacity for passengers and freight, and feel much more open and spacious compared to the Ben-my-Chree, there will not be a significant noticeable difference in the physical size of the two vessels.

The difference will come from the careful use of space, interior design and open layout.

WILL MANXMAN BE FASTER THAN BEN-MY-CHREE?

The crossing time for Manxman will be similar to the Ben-my-Chree; approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes between Douglas and Heysham. A minor increase in speed would result in a major increase in fuel consumption, leading to higher emissions. Our goal is to design a fuel-efficient vessel with increased capacity that is more sympathetic to the environment, and meets all current and future emission regulations.

Significantly, Manxman’s engines will be more powerful and able to maintain schedule crossing times in adverse weather conditions, resulting in fewer disruptions when sailing conditions are poor.

WHAT CAN PASSENGERS EXPECT IN TERMS OF PASSENGER FACILITIES ON MANXMAN?

We are committed to delivering a national flagship vessel which meets the needs of our customers and makes travel with the Steam Packet Company a truly enjoyable experience. Where practical, the design incorporates feedback from the 2019 public consultation where more than 8,000 people offered their views. Here’s just a small insight into what passengers can expect on Manxman:

  • A choice of spacious passenger areas with a variety of seating options
  • Improved disability access and facilities
  • A separate restaurant and dining area
  • A coffee bar serving snacks and drinks
  • Forty cabins including standard, premium, disabled-access and pet-friendly options
  • Three large 20-person lifts
  • A dedicated family area with improved facilities for children
  • Two pet lounges plus on-board kennels
  • An enhanced on-board shopping experience  
  • Three outside decks with disability access
  • Additional washroom and toilet facilities
  • Enhanced on-board entertainment

WILL MANXMAN BE BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT? 

Our environmental impact is naturally very important to us, which is why we have been working closely with maritime specialists to ensure Manxman delivers sustainable operations when she comes into service.   

Not only will our new vessel utilise Hybrid Diesel Electric technology to ensure optimum efficiency, she will be powered by what the Guinness World Records describes as the ‘world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine’ which will be compatible with some of the future low-carbon fuels anticipated to come on the market.

Please note that the information in this blog is correct as of March 2021, adjustments may occur as the design and build process progresses.   

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