The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s new vessel Manannan has been hailed a success by passengers and a leading maritime author and shipping journalist.
From the moment she started service on the Douglas to Liverpool route on 22 May, Manannan has impressed passengers with her bright, spacious accommodation offering a variety of seating areas, including two cinema lounges, a large bar area at the stern and the Coast-to-Coast cafe that offers a wider selection of food options than on other Steam Packet Company fast craft.
The enlarged skylounge on the upper deck provides the accommodation for the Niarbyl Reserved Lounge, the Premium Lounge and the Manannan Executive Club.
Comments to independent online forums have included the following:
“...as you step inside the passenger accommodation you begin to appreciate a new experience of sea travel to the Isle of Man. The first thing that strikes you is the size of the vessel with the new rear lounge incorporating a bar/coffee shop with various groups of tables, rather than lines of aircraft type chairs as on the other fastcraft.”
“Having travelled on a few Incat vessels in the past like P&O Express, Stena's three Incats, Speed One, Emeraude France, Condor Vitesse, Normandie Express and seacat IOM / Snaefell the Manannan surpasses them all, as has been stated the crew are very friendly and take good care of their new vessel, yes I understand she is still new, but I think this is just what the Steam Packet Company and the Island needed, I would class her as fast, classy, spacious, light and airy, the only drawback is lack of decent outside space, but that will not be enough to stop me using her. Manannan is probably one of the best fast craft I have been on - well laid out with a variety of seats, tables for groups - large and small, circular tables in the rear bar and nice u shaped areas with small dinky drink holder tables.”
“Yes, the Steam Packet has really pulled a pedigree rabbit out of the hat with Manannan.”
“Let’s face it – virtually all the reports coming out are positive. The Steam Packet have got it right this time.”
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive, Mark Woodward, said, “When Manannan arrived, we could have issued a statement on how good we felt she would be when she entered service, but why take our word for it? The real test is what our passengers think or her and I am pleased to say that, based on the feedback that has been received, our expectations for Manannan have been justified. Our £20 million investment in Manannan is a clear demonstration of our commitment to providing the Isle of Man with a high quality fast craft service. As the busiest time of the TT period approaches, we look forward to welcoming more passengers onboard to share the Manannan experience. For those who have not been able to travel on her, we will be holding an open afternoon/ evening on Tuesday 23 June. Further details on that will be announced shortly.”