Travel Safely with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

After such an extended period of time with restricted travel, it’s been a pleasure to welcome more passengers on board in recent months.

We understand that some people may still feel anxious about travelling and want to reassure everyone that the safety and welfare of our passengers and crew remains, as always, our top priority. We have been working hard to prioritise the safety of all our travellers, and wanted to take this opportunity to address some queries you might have and share some of the measures and procedures in place to help provide peace of mind and prepare you for future travel with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.  

Will I be checked for COVID-19 symptoms before I board?

No, you will not be checked for COVID-19 symptoms before you board.

If you suspect you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please be sensible, respect your fellow passengers and do not travel.

Will my temperature be checked prior to boarding?

No, this is no longer a requirement for passengers.

If I can’t travel because I have COVID-19 symptoms, will I receive a refund?

Yes, passengers will receive a full refund if they can’t sail because they suspect they have symptoms which might be related to COVID-19.  

I want to feel safe when I sail, how can you help put my mind at ease?

Understandably, COVID-19 safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, particularly when it comes to travel. We hope that the following points will help to put your mind at ease:

  • Robust cleaning procedures – we have increased our already stringent sanitation and disinfection procedures on our vessels, particularly at touch hotspots such as handles. 
  • Spacious lounges – with plenty of spacious lounges and spaced-out seating areas, you and your party can keep to yourselves and enjoy your own space as you travel, with the freedom to head to the outdoor deck and enjoy some fresh air. There is the option of a private cabin when travelling on Ben-my-Chree too, but please note it is advisable to book in advance as they are a popular option.
  • Hand sanitising – you will find hand-washing facilities in passenger toilets on board, in addition to sanitising stations at locations around the terminals and on our vessels. We advise that you sanitise your hands on arrival to the port, as soon as you board and at frequent intervals throughout the journey if you can.
  • Safety information – safety advice and information will be communicated to passengers both visually at prominent locations and audibly throughout the journey.
A photo of a hand sanitizing station at the Sea Terminal in Douglas with someone's hand underneath waiting for gel to come out

A hand sanitising station at the Sea Terminal in Douglas

What advice is given to passengers while travelling?

Once on-board, you will be encouraged to:

  • Keep your face covering on while moving around our vessels
  • Sanitise your hands immediately
  • Proceed to your seat or cabin and try to remain there for as much of the journey as possible
  • Only smoke in the designated areas, at a safe distance from others (it is a possibility that droplets are carried within exhaled smoke)

Why do I have to wear a face covering?

It is to protect yourself and fellow passengers and reduce any risk of spreading COVID-19 while travelling. Passengers are requested to wear a face covering while:

  • Inside our UK and Ireland terminals
  • Boarding our vessels
  • Moving around the vessel
  • Upon disembarkation

We ask that all passengers respect this requirement and arrive at our ports prepared with their own face covering. Passengers are permitted to remove their face covering whilst seated on board. 

Please be aware that if you refuse to wear a face covering, you may be denied travel. 

A man driving his silver car with the window down wearing a face mask

What is considered an effective face covering?

Examples of effective face coverings include a fabric mask comprising three layers, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, and a FFP2 disposable respiratory protection mask. We encourage you to carry out your own research to find an effective face covering to suit you, prior to your travel.

For guidance on how to make and wear your own cloth face covering from Public Health England , click here.

What if I can’t wear a face covering for health reasons?

If you have a severe breathing condition, illness or disability that prevents or hinders you from wearing a face covering, you are exempt from wearing one – please inform staff as soon as you check-in. Children under the age of 11 are also exempt.

While travelling, please be mindful of other passengers who are unable to wear a face covering and be understanding of their needs.

Will food and drink be available on board?

At present, the current on-board facilities available are:

  • Coast to Coast Café – A wide selection of hot and cold food is available.
  • Legends / Blue Point Café Bar – The bar on board both vessels is open.
  • Ocean Avenue Shop – The shop is open during sailings. Contactless payments are preferred to reduce physical contact. Cash transactions will however be possible. 

Should I wear gloves while travelling?

According to the World Health Organisation, wearing rubber gloves while out in public is not effective at preventing infection and regularly washing bare hands offers more protection. For this reason, we ask passengers not to wear gloves while travelling on our vessels.

What should I do if I start to feel unwell during the journey, with symptoms which might be related to COVID-19, or if someone nearby is displaying symptoms?

You should not travel if you feel unwell or suspect you might have symptoms related to COVID-19. However, if you do begin to feel poorly during your journey or become aware of someone who is, please inform a member of crew immediately. We have quarantine procedures in place, trained crew and an emergency outbreak plan prepared should it be required.

Thank you for taking time to read this blog, we hope it is useful and helps prepare you for future travel with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Despite operations being a little different to normal, all changes have been made in the interests of passengers to make travel as comfortable and convenient as possible, and we look forward to welcoming you on board soon.

Photo taken from Douglas Head with Steam Packet Company vessels Ben-my-Chree and Manannan in Douglas Harbour with blue skies. Camera obscura in the foreground.

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