The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fast craft service recommences on Friday 27 March with Snaefell covering the Liverpool route at the start of the season.

Snaefell starts the new season having benefitted from enhancements to the Manannan Executive Club lounge and a complete refurbishment of the toilet facilities.

The terminal at Liverpool has also had extensive improvement work carried out on it. Working within the restrictions of the site owners, the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, there is a new car marshalling area and a new passenger lounge that is now situated on the landing stage closer to the vessel. There will be a new baggage reclaim area with a conveyer system to assist passengers to take their luggage up the ramp to the road.

The start of the fast craft service has also given the Company the opportunity to introduce a no-smoking policy on fast craft.

Given the relatively limited outside deck area on the fast craft and for the comfort of non-smokers, smoking will not be permitted on the fast craft on inside or outside decks when the service starts on 27 March 2009. The Ben-my-Chree has a much larger external deck area providing sufficient room for smokers and non-smokers. Therefore, passengers are still able to smoke on the outside decks of the Ben-my-Chree.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive, Mark Woodward said: ‘We are pleased to announce the start of the 2009 fast craft service. We have carried out some improvements to Snaefell and look forward to the arrival of our new vessel, Manannan, in May. The new facilities at Liverpool will also go some way to enhancing the service for passengers. The start of the fast craft season, coupled with the forthcoming arrival of Manannan, provide us with the opportunity to change our policy on smoking on-board fast craft. We are sure that the majority of passengers will welcome this move and hope that all passengers will assist with its implementation.”