The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company claims the title of the oldest operating passenger transport company in the world. A few years ago, she decided to replace her current ferry, the Ben-my-Chree, with a new one. Called Manxman, the new ship will have enough room for 949 passengers, plus 495 square meters (5,328 square feet) of additional space for vehicles and other types of cargo.
The name of the new ship was revealed in 2020, following more than 7,500 people submitting their favorite from the shortlisted picks. King Orry was among them, but Manxman ultimately won. Customers were also involved in the design process and were able to submit their preferences for future onboard services.
These included additional space for those traveling with pets, children’s area suitable for a wider range of ages, more charging points for devices, and more variety in dining options. and drinks. All of these, and more, will be revealed as the new onboard services once the ship is ready to take off.
Those who are passionate about shipbuilding know that the keel laying ceremony is one of the most beautiful and exciting parts. The ceremony that marked Manxman’s birth took place on Christmas Eve at the Hyundai Mipo shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. A centuries-old tradition has it that a coin is placed under the keel, to bring good luck to the captain and crew on board the new ship.
The part that was placed under Maxman’s keel is not ordinary. An Isle of Man coin issued in 1979 depicting a ship was presented to the President of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company by Treasury Minister David Ashford MHK and Bill Henderson MLC, a member of the department responsible for coins and cash.
The new ferry, which is expected to enter service by 2023, will also have a collection of works of art on permanent display. The special collection will highlight and celebrate the great maritime heritage of this unique island.