With one of the busiest TT festivals of recent years less than a fortnight away, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company can confirm provisional bookings for 2016 sailings will open on Monday, 1st June, at 8.30am.
More than 13,500 motorcycles are currently booked to travel to the Island for this year’s TT, an increase of 10% on 2014, and demand for 2016 is expected to be just as high.
Provisional bookings, which are held with a deposit, can be made by visiting www.steam-packet.com or calling 08722 992 992* (UK) or 0044 8722 992 992* (ROI & Outside UK) from 8.30am on 1st June.
The deposit for foot passengers has been held at £10 for another year, but there will be a small increase in the deposit for vehicles, from £40 to £50. This does not represent an increase in final fare price, only in the level of deposit required.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward explained: ‘The deposit system is intended to help TT fans secure a place on the ferry and book accommodation a year in advance. However, in recent years it has become apparent that some people are obtaining deposit bookings to secure an “option” for a place – or to sell it on – but without a firm commitment to coming to the TT.
‘This means genuine visitors have less opportunity to secure their preferred sailings, which in turn can discourage some fans from planning a visit. Clearly, this situation is not in the best interests of fans or the event, so we have taken this decision to help promote committed bookings.
‘This deposit increase for vehicle bookings does not affect the final fare level and we hope it will dissuade speculative bookings which are limiting the options for genuine fans.’
Mr Woodward added: ‘Demand continues to grow to visit the TT, so we are expecting our website and phone lines to be very busy when provisional bookings open. We will be bringing in additional staff to help with demand, but would ask for the public’s patience as we assist other customers.’
*Calls to these numbers are charged at 10 pence per minute including VAT from a BT landline, calls from other networks and mobile operators may vary.