A revised schedule was announced by the Steam Packet Company last week for the period Friday, December 16 through to Monday, December 19. This is to allow the Ben-my-Chree to go into dry dock for the refit of its repaired bow thrust unit.
As stated in last week’s press release, Manannan will operate passenger and limited freight capacity services for the weekend, with 0845/1415 Heysham passenger and freight services every day from Friday, December 16 through to Monday, December 19, as well as covering the Dublin sailing on the evening of Saturday, December 17.
The Steam Packet Company had hoped to confirm an extra freighter charter for both Saturday, December 17 and Sunday, December 18 but the freighter owner has today contacted the Company to advise they too have issues with their fleet and they can no longer charter to the Isle of Man.
Chief Executive Mark Woodward explained: ‘Manannan is freight capable but we had planned to supplement her with a freighter charter. However, the company from whom we had hoped to charter has itself been beset by technical and weather issues. As a result, they do not feel able to release a freighter to us. We will continue to explore all other avenues to secure a last-minute charter but, given the lack of suitable freighters operating in our waters, this now seems unlikely.
‘We are now planning to schedule additional Manannan trips on Wednesday, December 14 and Thursday, December 15 for passengers and cars. This is to free up Ben-my-Chree vehicle deck space to provide additional freight capacity in advance of the weekend.
‘We will contact passengers and freight customers to confirm any arrangements. However, given the continuing and consistent severe weather forecasts, all sailings will remain subject to change and may be revised to take advantage of “weather windows”.’