The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company dealt with a marked increase in bookings when additional motorcycle spaces for the 2015 TT went on sale on Monday morning.
The Company has created more motorcycle capacity by investing in a new mezzanine deck for Manannan. The deck will be fabricated this autumn and installed ahead of each TT to create extra motorcycle space during peak periods.
Sales started at 8.30am on Monday and by 3pm the call centre had dealt with over 50% more calls than a normal Monday in July. More than 600 new motorcycle bookings had been made by phone and on the website www.steam-packet.com, plus a number of fans were able to amend their sailings to preferred dates and times.
The decision to provide additional capacity was made in response to demand from fans who wanted to bring their motorcycles over for the annual road racing festival.
The new deck will allow Manannan to carry up to 100 additional motorcycles on each sailing during TT and the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling when demand is high, giving fans who had previously had to travel as foot passengers greater opportunity to bring their bikes. Manannan has a maximum passenger capacity, set by the regulatory authorities, which will not be exceeded and the number of seats on the vessel will always exceed the passenger numbers.
The additional capacity has been welcomed by fans, including by MotoGP racer Cal Crutchlow and British Superbike Championship frontrunner James Ellison on Twitter.
The need for extra space reflects the continuing growth in interest in the TT. When bookings opened for 2015, the Steam Packet Company experienced a 41% increase in first day inquiries compared with last year.
Despite the volume of reservations already handled, there are still places available for off peak sailings to the Isle of Man during the 2015 TT, so it is worth checking on line or with the reservations team on 01624 661661.