The introduction of Manannan will mean that the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fleet for TT 2009 will not include any charter passenger vessels.

With the imminent arrival of Manannan into the operational fleet, and the extra capacity she brings, the Company is now able to meet TT passenger demand using its own vessels, even allowing for the fact that forward bookings at this stage indicate a 5% increase on TT 2008 passenger numbers.

The Company will still be chartering a freighter for two days during the festival. It has also taken the prudent step of ensuring Viking is ready for service should it require additional back-up at this busy time of year. The Company is making a significant additional investment to ensure that Viking will be ready to provide back-up services if required. Having been out of service since January, Viking will enter dry dock this week to ensure that the necessary work can be carried out. This is a clear and further sign of the Company’s commitment to the TT event.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: “Work on Manannan is progressing well as she goes through the final stages of her fitting-out. As the largest conversion of an aluminium vessel anywhere in the world, we are all looking forward to her arrival in Douglas harbour before she commences service in the run up to the TT period. Manannan’s extra capacity along with that offered by the Ben-my-Chree and Snaefell, have enabled us to meet this year’s TT demand without the need to charter additional passenger vessels. We have also taken the prudent step of making Viking ready for service should we require additional back-up at this busy time of year. We look forward to a successful TT 2009.”