Fast craft Manannan will stay in Manx waters until at least the end of the year, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has confirmed.
The vessel concludes her 2015 season on 8th November and is not due to resume sailings until 17th March 2016. Normally Manannan would be moored in the Mersey during the winter, however this year she will stay in Douglas.
Ben-my-Chree will operate services throughout the winter, including regular sailings to Heysham and weekend services to Birkenhead.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward explained: ‘Ben-my-Chree is a hard-working and reliable vessel which will continue to maintain the Isle of Man’s vital lifeline throughout the winter months.
‘However, we are constantly looking at ways we might improve our service and respond to unforeseen circumstances. This winter we will keep Manannan in Douglas to assess how this may help reduce the time it takes to resume passenger services should Ben-my-Chree be subject to any damage or mechanical issues. In addition, Arrow will be available to ensure freight transport is continued.
‘Having both Manannan and Arrow on stand-by until after the busy Christmas period will provide an extra degree of support for our vital sea links at this important time of the year.’
Manannan will sail over to Merseyside early in the New Year for routine maintenance before returning to the Isle of Man ready for the 2016 season to get under way in March.