Manx mythology inspired the name of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s new vessel Manannan, according to the winner of the naming competition.

Alison McNeilly, from Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, recently visited the Island to collect her prize of £1,000 worth of Steam Packet Company travel, following her suggestion of the name in a competition launched by the Chief Executive on his blog.

Alison, a Martial Arts instructor, entered the competition whilst booking a trip via the Company’s website. She visits the Isle of Man twice a year from Belfast and was inspired with the name following a trip to the House of Manannan in Peel.

During her visit she was also presented with a free one year pass to all Manx National Heritage sites.

Alison, said: “I thought it was very fitting to call the vessel Manannan, after the Celtic God of the Sea and protector of the Isle of Man. I am really pleased to have won as the free travel will enable me to visit the Isle of Man more often. I love the Island. I like to come over for the motorbike racing, Tynwald Day and to see the heritage sites.”

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: “Alison’s suggestion was the clear winner for the Company as it epitomises the status of the new vessel within our fleet. Manannan is well-known within Manx mythology and is therefore clearly identifiable with the Isle of Man and reinforces the vital lifeline relationship between the Company and the Island.  We look forward to seeing Manannan in her new livery.”

Manannan, which is currently undergoing a substantial refit, is set to enter service this year and will replace Viking on the Liverpool/Douglas sailings. The 96-metre catamaran will be the largest vessel of her type in the Irish Sea, significantly enhancing the Company’s service by offering greater vehicle, passenger and freight back-up capacity and increased levels of passenger comfort.

Manannan Competition Winner