Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Enthusiasts

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Passenger Figures Up

Posted on June 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Following the TT festival the company has announced that passenger figures were the highest in 10 years (excluding the 2007 TT centenary) This year the company ferried 35,172 passengers to island between 23 May and 08 June which is up by 4.3% compared with last year. Also the number of motorcycles transported to the island saw a 3.4% increase compared with last year. 

Quote from the company's website...


Chief Executive Mark Woodward explained: ‘As always, the statistics include all inbound numbers to the Island, including residents returning home. Therefore, the number of motorbikes provides the best indicator as to how many TT visitors the Island has welcomed Quote from the company's website.

‘What’s really encouraging is that since 2009 the passenger numbers have increased by 16.7%, with motorbike numbers up 13.5% - indeed, this year has seen the highest number of bikes carried for 10 years, other than for the festival’s centenary year.’

Manannan in Dry Dock

Posted on February 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM Comments comments (0)

On 11th February the Manannan moved from her winter layup in Alexandra to Cammell Laird No. 5 dry dock for her refit prior to starting the 2012 fast craft season. She expected to enter service in late March. Pictures can be found in the Manannan's gallery.

Ben-my-Chree - Delays and Cancellations

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (1)

As many of you will be aware there have been quite a lot of delays and cancellations of the Ben-my-Chree's sailings. The given reason for these delays and cancellations is the fact that the ship is operating with the use of only one bow thruster, consequently her manouverability within ports is restricted and with high winds there is an increased possibility that the ship will face damage, as she did about two weeks ago.

Please go to our forum where I am listing any cancellations/delays that I am made aware of each day.

Ben-my-Chree - Hole Punctured

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)

On 25 November, while manouvering onto her berth in Heysham the Ben-my-Chree was pushed back onto her linkspan in a 50 knot gust that resulted in a small hole being punctured just 4 metres above her water line. It was decided that it would not be safe to sail with the hole in such conditions, therefore her return sailing to Douglas was cancelled while a temporary repair was made and passengers were offered alternative sailings. 

Sailings resumed as normal with the 0145 sailing from Heysham. For more information regarding the delays and cancellations visit the forum and there is a topic that will be kept up to date with the latest information.

Winter Timetable Commences

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

On 30 October 2011 the fast craft season was officially over when Manannan completed (what is thought to be) her last service sailing of the year. On the 01st November she departed Douglas at 1000hrs for her winter layup in Alexandra Dock, Liverpool. 

Over the winter the Ben-my-Chree will continue to provide two return trips per day to Heysham during the week and operate a return trip to Birkenhead on Saturday's and Sundays. Also it has been noted that the company is providing more sailings to Dublin over the winter months. See the company's website for more details.

Currently there are rumours suggesting that the Ben will be take out of service later this month to have her bow thruster refitted and that during this period in dry dock the Stena Caledonia will be chartered to cover her sailings. However this is just a rumour at present.

Possible Disruptions

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 12:15 PM Comments comments (0)

According to the Steam Packet's website it is likely that there will be disruptions to all sailings tomorrow after the 0215 sailing from Heysham. High winds and rainfall is expected to hit the UK later this evening and tomorrow morning. 

If you are intending to travel tomorrow I reccommend you check the company's website to see whether your sailing will be going ahead.

Check Here For Latest Updates

Fast Craft Disruptions

Posted on September 6, 2011 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The weather in the Irish Sea today has forced the company to cancel all of the Manannan's sailings. She was scheduled to operate a return trip to Dublin this morning and then operate an afternoon return trip to Liverpool, which have both been cancelled. 

The company is also expecting disruptions to sailings tomorrow.

Increase in Passengers Over TT Period

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 5:09 AM Comments comments (0)

The company has announced that the number of passengers carried over the TTT fortnight is up by 6.7% on last years TT festival. 

This year the company has carried 33,712 passengers over the fortnight whereas last year only 31,595 passengers were carried over the fortnight. Also the number of motorcycles carried by the company during the TT has increased by 5.5%. This year the company transported 10,866 motorcycles to the island compared with 10,300 motorcycles carried in 2010.


Ben-my-Chree Dry Docking

Posted on June 14, 2011 at 8:34 AM Comments comments (0)

Due to a damaged bow thruster the Ben-my-Chree will be taken out of service on June 18 until June 20 (This weekend). She will enter one of Cammel Lairds dry docks after operating a sailing to Birkenhead to cover for the 0845 sailing to Heysham, which will depart Douglas at 0700.

Over the weekend all passenger sailings to and from Heysham have been cancelled. The Manannan is to operate a 2345 sailing to Heysham on 19 June and on 20 June Manannan is to cover the 0215 sailing from Heysham but instead departing at 0300.

Passengers expecting to travel on disrupted sailings have been offered an alternative crossing or a full refund. The company is to charter a freight vessel to cover for the weekend. The Ben-my-Chree is expected to return on 20 June with a 1515 sailing from Birkenhead.

The Ben-my-Chree's bow thruster was damaged during May when debris was ingested causing the thruster to be out of use. Over the weekend the damaged bow thruster will be removed and taken away for repairs. After the busy summer period the Ben will return to dry dock when her bow thruster will be refitted. 

Manannan Sea Trials

Posted on March 23, 2011 at 8:56 AM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday afternoon the Manannan departed Douglas for further Sea Trials. She was out at sea for around an hour and a half.

She did not venture out too far, sticking to the East coast of the island for the whole trial. Whilst on Sea trials she was recorded at one point doing 41.1 Knots. Hopefully this is a sign that she will have a good summer with very few disruptions. Only time will tell.

Ben-my-Chree - Delayed

Posted on March 20, 2011 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Today sailings on the Ben-my-Chree to and from Birkenhead have been delayed. She departed Douglas at 0825 hrs and arrived at 12 Quays at 1300 hrs. She was scheduled to depart 12 Quays at 1400 hrs but this was delayed by 45 minutes.

She is currently en-route to Douglas with an ETA of 1900hrs. Sailings are expected to resume as normal with the 1945 Douglas - Heysham sailing later today.

The reason for the delays is currently unknown if anyone has any information regarding the delays could you please drop me an email.


Fast Craft Movements

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 7:37 PM Comments comments (0)

On Tuesday 15 March 2011 both the Manannan and Snaefell departed the Wet Basin, Birkenhead in order to complete sea trials following their refits.

The Snaefell was first to depart the Wet Basin, at 0620 and proceeded to Princes Landing Stage before heading out into the Irish Sea. The Manannan departed the Wet Basin at around the same time as the Snaefell but proceeded to the Pier Head at a much lower speed and had to wait in the Mersey for the Snaefell to depart.

Following the Snaefell departing the Landing Stage the Manannan berthed and the Snaefell proceeded out to sea to carry out her annual trials. During the trials she sailed along the North Wales coast to Anglesey before turning around and returning to the Wet Basin.

At around 0830 the Manannan broke away from the Landing Stage bound for Douglas. En-route to Douglas she did a few circles to carry out more trials before arriving in Douglas at around 1505. 

During sea trials BOTH crafts maintained a speed over 30 knots. The Snaefell hit a top speed of 35.1 knots, which is impressive, and the Manannan 35.9 knots. Hopefully this year they will not suffer from any major mechanical faults.

The Manannan is currently berthed in Douglas waiting to enter service on Thursday 31 March 2011 and the Snaefell remains in the Wet Basin awaiting charter or sale.

Mezeron Axes Liverpool Freight Service

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 3:21 PM Comments comments (0)

Over the last couple of days Mezeron Line have announced that they are to cease operations to Liverpool from the 19th February 2011. 

The decision has been made as the service did not prove profitable enough for the company therefore they have decided to axe the service and continue services with the Silver River from Ramsey to Glasson Dock and Belfast.

The last sailing on the route will arrive in Douglas on the 19th February 2011.

Personally I am pleased to hear that the route will cease operations as I do not like the idea of losing the Steam Packet for many reasons. I hope that the Steam Packet continues to operate for the next 181+ years.

Douglas Harbour Figures Rise

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 2:54 PM Comments comments (0)

Despite the poor economic climate, the number of passengers passing through Douglas Harbour during 2010 had rose by 1.1/1.2%

Although the figures were up for the year, in December figures had fell. The only route on schedule that had not improved was Heysham which had figures that were down by 4.2% It is thought that it is the adverse weather on both the Irish Sea and land is the reason why figures for December are down.

The increase in figures on the Liverpool is thought to be due to the higher capacity that the Manannan offers, also the effect of the ash cloud helped to increase figures on the Liverpool and Irish routes.

Jobs Lost at the Steam Packet

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM Comments comments (0)

It has been announced that, due to the Snaefell being taken out of service 29 crew members are to be made redundant. Most of these who have been made redundant are seafarers. This suggests that the Snaefell could of already been sold. However this is only a suggestion.

Although it is thought by many that the reason for the company removing Snaefell from the fleet is purely due to recent competition from Mezeron Line, most people are forgetting that back in 2009 the company was reviewing the Snaefell's position in the fleet. That was before increased competition from Mezeron Line! 

The Snaefell is now 21 years old and has served on the Irish Sea during 1994 and 1995. Also she returned in 1997 and continued to serve the Steam Packet until 2004. During 2005 she served the Liverpool - Dublin route under the guise of Sea Express 1. She returned to the Steam Packet in 2006 and served the company until 2010.