Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Bygg nr. 8311 ved Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, RoPax "Manxman"

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Isle of Man Steam Packet Company signs contract for new vessel

A new purpose-built vessel for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company will be constructed in South Korea.

Earlier today (Friday 31st July), its Board of Directors signed a contract on behalf of the Company with one of the world’s major shipbuilders, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD), based in Ulsan.

It follows a week-long visit to Korea by senior personnel from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, during which they visited the shipyard where the vessel will be built, viewed a recently completed ship to assess the standard of work and discussed technical and commercial considerations with HMD executives.

Work on physically constructing a replacement for the conventional ferry, Ben-my-Chree, is now due to start in mid-2021 after detailed plans are finalised and agreed between builder and buyer.

The process began last autumn when the Company commissioned a tender exercise, during which a large number of shipyards around the world expressed an interest in building the bespoke vessel.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘For some time we have been conducting detailed analysis as we develop plans for major investment in our fleet.

‘I am delighted to confirm that, following lengthy discussions with a leading shipyard in South Korea, we have confirmed specifications for the vessel and today signed a contract with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

‘This truly is an exciting time in our history and, in the year we marked our 190th anniversary, the new vessel will take the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company forward to our 200th anniversary and beyond.’

The new vessel, expected to commence service in Spring 2023, will be an important part of the Company’s future plans, bringing high levels of on-board facilities and enhanced freight capability.

The Company is also committed to maintaining a third back-up vessel, intended to be the Ben-my-Chree when the new vessel arrives, to enhance security of both passenger and freight links and also help increase capacity during the TT and Classic TT.

Mr Woodward continued: ‘The final specification and build programme is still in development but it is expected the new vessel will be slightly larger than the Ben-my-Chree in most respects but with considerably more passenger space. It is also intended to be more environmentally efficient and manoeuvrable in poor conditions.

‘Factoring in various technical and logistical considerations for a new vessel, and taking into account the recent public consultation exercise where possible, our aim for when we introduce the new addition is to ensure we provide an even higher level of service to the Island community and our customers.’

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Begge illustrasjoner: Houlder
 

Refvik

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Staff member

Name of new Steam Packet Company vessel revealed


The new Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel will be named MANXMAN, it has been revealed.

The announcement follows months of deliberation by the Company, which in October announced a shortlist of four potential names – MANXMAN, MONA'S ISLE, MANX MAID and KING ORRY - all of which are traditional Steam Packet Company vessel names.
Throughout November, the public had the opportunity to voice their preference for the name of the new purpose-built ferry, which will replace the BEN-MY-CHREE when it comes into service in 2023.

More than 7,500 people took the opportunity to suggest their favourite of the shortlisted names. Out of these, it was MANXMAN and KING ORRY that emerged as the most popular choices by a considerable margin. These two favourites were then considered further by the company and the name MANXMAN was chosen. This will mark the third ship in the Company’s history to bear the name, the last a turbine steamer launched in 1955.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘After much thought and deliberation, we are excited to announce the name of our bespoke, custom-built vessel. KING ORRY and MANXMAN were both clear favourites, however, with more than 65 years having passed since the launch of our last ship called MANXMAN - compared to just 20 years since we named a vessel KING ORRY, we feel that now is the right time for the return of MANXMAN. It is a name that embodies the Manx spirit, signifies national pride and is suitably enduring for a vessel that will take the Steam Packet Company into its 200th year and beyond. She will be a fine addition to our fleet.

‘We would like to thank everyone who took the time to express their views on the four shortlisted names. It was pleasing to see such interest and, of course, to take the public’s views into consideration when making the final decision - something we thought very important.’
 
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