Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fast craft Manannan will return to service on 31st March and preparations for her 2017 season are well under way.
After spending the winter in Manx waters, where a variety of annual maintenance procedures were undertaken, the vessel is scheduled to sail to Merseyside on 1st March for dry docking and other specialist work before resuming daily services between Douglas and Liverpool.
Prior to returning to service Manannan will conduct berthing trials in the Northern Irish harbour of Larne. Similar to the trials conducted at Holyhead in 2016, this is part of the Steam Packet Company’s ongoing assessment of the suitability of alternative facilities to allow for flexible and robust contingency planning.
The Steam Packet Company has previously operated sailings between Larne and Douglas during the annual Isle of Man TT festival, using the charter fast craft P&O Express.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Manannan has spent the winter in Manx waters, as she did last year, to enable us to respond quickly to any damage or mechanical issues experienced by Ben-my-Chree. Now it is time for Manannan to travel to Merseyside for her annual refurbishment before resuming services.
‘As part of our contingency planning we are always looking at the suitability of alternative facilities, and this gives us an opportunity to conduct berthing trials at Larne without interrupting passenger service.’
Manannan’s daily sailings to the heart of Liverpool will resume on 31st March, and April will see the start of sailings from Douglas to both Dublin and Belfast. For more information visit www.steam-packet.com.