The Steam Packet Company, the key ferry service provider to the Isle of Man (IoM), has received its new flagship ship, the Manxman

Its arrival in Douglas marks the end of a four-year process to replace the Ben-my-Chree vessel and a two-month journey from the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea. 

The RoPax ferry is powered by the Wartsila 31 four-stroke diesel engine.

The keel was laid in December 2021 and the sea trials started 12 months later. By May 2023, the vessel was named and her 10,000nm journey back to the Irish Sea port of Douglas was underway. 

The £78m vessel made its way to northern Europe via Hong Kong, Singapore, Colombo (Sri Lanka), Oman, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), through the Suez Canal, Gibraltar and a final stint in Southampton for final fittings. 

The new ferry will undergo testing by IoM authorities, including trials of its evacuation tools and procedures. Staff will also be given time to familiarise themselves with the vessel before the first commercial voyages begin in late July.

The first trip is scheduled to be an around-the-island circular voyage, to give Manx locals a chance to experience the brand-new flagship, without having to take a return trip. 

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It will then enter service ferrying passengers between the IoM and either the UK or the Republic of Ireland. 

Steam Packet operates services departing Liverpool, Heysham and Belfast in the UK and between Douglas and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.