Do you live on the Isle of Man?
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is confirming details around its new flagship Manxman’s entry into service with it set to begin by commencing daytime-only sailings.
The new vessel, built as a replacement for the Company’s Ben-my-Chree, will eventually take over the Douglas-Heysham-Douglas route entirely, but initially will only operate the 08:45 sailing from Douglas to Heysham, and the return sailing at 14:15.
Ben-my-Chree will continue to operate on the 19:45 sailing from Douglas and its 02:15 return sailing for the first four weeks of operation. This is to give Manxman’s crew greater opportunity to maximize training and familiarisation as well as to implement operational learnings as they get to know the vessel and its systems.
A date for the first service sailing is yet to be confirmed, with the Company committed to ensuring Manxman complies with all safety, passenger comfort and regulatory requirements. The Company’s staff and crew are working closely with officials from the Isle of Man Ship Registry to achieve Passenger Ship Safety Certification.
Passengers booked to travel with the Company over the Summer months may see Ben-my-Chree or Manxman as the vessel named on their tickets, however,
as previously confirmed, due to the complex and not entirely predictable nature of commissioning and readying for service a brand new vessel there is no guarantee that Manxman will operate any particular sailing, and there may be last minute changes of vessel with no notice.
In order to provide more certainty for customers, the Company has taken the decision to enable the purchase of full on board facilities for all sailings to Ben-my-Chree capacity limits up to 31st August. Additional capacity will be released to Manxman limits as soon as the first sailing date is confirmed.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Managing Director Brian Thomson stated ‘We’ve always been clear Manxman will only enter service when her crew, the shoreside team and regulators are happy she is ready. Getting a brand new vessel up to the exacting standards of safety needed for daily passenger service in the Irish Sea isa complicated task and there are no shortcuts.
He added: ‘We’ve got a great team working literally around the clock to have Manxman ready for service, but we’re not going to push for an artificial date. Manxman will be in service when Manxman is ready for service. We fully appreciate the travelling public’s interest in Manxman, and we are just as keen to have her in regular use, welcoming passengers on board. Let me reassure everyone that every effort is being made, but it’s also important to remember Manxman is due to serve the island for the next twenty-plus years so it is worth taking a little time to get everything right at this stage.’