The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is advising customers of changes to the weekend’s sailing schedule brought about by the forecasted weather.
The Isle of Man Met Office is advising that Easterly winds in excess of 30 miles per hour will affect the Irish Sea on Sunday.
In a change from the published schedule, Ben-my-Chree will operate the Sunday morning sailing to Heysham, departing Douglas at the revised time of 08:30 and returning from Heysham at 14:00.
This is due to Manannan currently operating on three engines. The master has confirmed that although the sea state would not pose a problem, it will be unable to sail on Sunday due to reduced ability to manoeuvre in the confines of Heysham Port and there being no tug on hand to assist.
Manannan's sailing to Liverpool at 16:00 has been rescheduled to depart at 15:15 with the return sailing remaining as scheduled at 20:00.
The forecast wind speed will also require Manxman’s Round the Island Cruise to be rescheduled to a later date. Again, this is due to the predicted strong winds exceeding Manxman’s current temporary operating limit for entering Douglas Harbour.
Customers affected will be contacted by the reservations teams once a future date is confirmed and offered the choice of a refund or exchange.
Manxman will remain at sea until the weather conditions allow a return to port later in the afternoon.
Sunday evening’s 20:00 departure to Heysham will go ahead, based on current forecasts.
Managing Director Brian Thomson said ‘As ever, the decision to make changes to the published schedules is not one taken lightly. Our team has considered various options to ensure sailings can go ahead as far as possible, but we can’t ever compromise on safety. We have done our level best to ensure minimum inconvenience, but we can only apologise to those customers who have to make changes to their plans because of this announcement.’
He added; ‘We will be in touch with customers looking forward to the Round the Island Cruise on Manxman. We will be making an announcement as soon as possible about the replacement date and we’ll work with customers to try and ensure everyone gets the chance to experience Manxman.’