The Steam Packet Company will run additional sailings during the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling to further increase capacity for fans.
Freight vessel MV Arrow, which is on charter to the Company, will operate four extra return services during the festival fortnight. This will in particular free space on Ben-my-Chree sailings between Douglas and Heysham for visitors and their cars and vans.
The decision to operate the additional Arrow sailings is in response to demand from fans wanting to attend the festival, which includes the Manx Grand Prix, Classic TT, modern and classic trials and other events.
Forward bookings for motorcycles to travel to the festival, which starts on 22nd August, are already up 7% on the total number carried during the 2014 event, although there is still space for bikes available on peak days.
Manannan’s removable mezzanine deck, which was first used during this year’s TT, has contributed to the increase as it has created more room for fans to bring their bikes rather than travelling as foot passengers.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘The Festival of Motorcycling continues to grow in popularity, and we have been working to help support that growth.
‘Our substantial investment in Manannan’s removable mezzanine deck has created extra space for more motorcycles, and the success of that has been seen both at the TT and in forward bookings for the Festival of Motorcycling, which are up 7% to 3,677.
‘In response to demand from fans wanting to attend the festival, we have scheduled four additional return services for Arrow. By carrying freight on these sailings we have freed space on Ben-my-Chree so more people will be able to enjoy the racing.’
The number of motorcycles brought to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 International Diamond Jubilee Road Races was also up on last year. Between 2nd and 14th July, the Steam Packet Company carried 16% more motorcycles to the Island than in the same period in 2014.
The Steam Packet Company has a long-standing association with the ‘friendly races’ and has been title sponsor for more than 15 years.
The Classic TT, part of the annual Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling (iomtt.com)