The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is to conduct a berthing trial at Holyhead Port with fast craft Manannan.
The trial is part of the Company’s ongoing assessment of Holyhead’s suitability as a back-up alternative to the harbours it regularly serves. Last month Ben-my-Chree underwent a successful berthing trial at the port.
Overnight on 29th/30th June Manannan will sail to the harbour in North Wales for the trial. Passengers are not affected as the vessel is not scheduled to operate any services during the period and will return to Douglas in time for the afternoon sailing to Liverpool.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We have identified Holyhead as a potential standby destination in the event Heysham or Liverpool are not available for any reason. As I said when we announced Ben-my-Chree’s berthing trial, this is necessary to ensure maximum flexibility for our services, and robust contingency measures for secure lifeline sea services for the Isle of Man.
‘It is prudent to have an alternative should access to the landing stage in Liverpool or Heysham be restricted. This assessment will ensure that we have a full range of contingencies in place to maintain the vital sea links for our passengers and freight customers.’
The Port of Holyhead, a 24-hour, deep-water, lock-free harbour shielded from the Irish Sea by a 1.5-mile breakwater, is only a two hours’ sailing by fast craft from the Isle of Man. The A55, a dual carriageway, provides a direct connection between central Holyhead and the motorway network, with the M6 only 90 minutes away. The port also has a train station with regular services and direct links to London and Cardiff.