The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s flagship Ben-my-Chree completed her 15,000th sailing across the Irish Sea on Friday morning.

The record sailing departed from Douglas to Heysham at 0845.

Built by Van der Giessen de Noord in Rotterdam, at a cost of £24 million, the Ben-my-Chree first sailed into Manx waters on Tynwald Day 1998. Since then she has covered more than 875,000 miles and has an impressive reliability record of over 99%.

The vessel has carried more than 2.5 million passengers and 4.5 million metres of freight since she entered service and has completed more trips than many of the former Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessels, which were twice as old as the Ben-my-Chree is now.

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: “The Ben-my-Chree has been the most intensively used vessel in our history and during this time her record of reliability has been outstanding. She has been a fantastic servant to both the travelling public and the Company and I am delighted to see her complete this impressive number of sailings across the Irish Sea. She is without question one of the most reliable ships ever used by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company in its 179-year history and we look forward to many more years of service from her.”

The Ben-my-Chree is the sixth ship in the Company’s history to bear the name.

Benmychree_Master Photo for PR145 Benmy Chree Notches Up1