Isle of Man Line

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History

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world and celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2005. At that time, it was providing freight, passenger and vehicle services between the port of Douglas, Isle of Man and four ports in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Various shipping companies served the Island before the formation of this company in 1830, but crossings were irregular and the vessels unreliable. As a result, the Island could be cut off for weeks. On June 30, 1830, The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company was born when the brand-new vessel, 'Mona's Isle', built at a cost of £7,250, sailed from Douglas to Liverpool on its very first sailing. Since that time, the Company has adhered to its founding principles of providing a dedicated and reliable sea service for the Isle of Man and its people.

Vessels and crews of the company were actively involved in both World Wars, acquitting themselves with honour. During WWI, 11 of the fleet of 15 Steam Packet ships were requisitioned by the Admiralty. Of these, 4 were lost, 3 were retained by the Government and 4 returned to service. Another vessel, Viking was one of the first vessels to be converted to an aircraft carrier, serving as HMS Vindex and, in so doing, making a significant contribution to aviation and maritime history. Ben-my-Chree and Manxman also served as aircraft/seaplane carriers. One vessel, King Orry, which was attached to the British Grand Fleet, had the distinction of leading the German Fleet into Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands at the end of the war.

In WW2, ten of the fleet of 16 ships were commandeered for active duty of which four were lost. The Dunkirk evacuation was perhaps the company's finest hour, with 'Mona's Isle' (the original vessel) being the first vessel to leave Dover and the first to complete the round trip during the evacuation. Eight company ships took part in this historic mission, rescuing a grand total of 24,699 British troops from certain death. As a matter of interest and of record, this means that 1 in 14 lives saved during the Dunkirk evacuation was brought out by an Isle of Man Steam Packet ship.

The Steam Packet Company introduced car ferries beginning with the 'Manx Maid' in 1962. It now also operates a fast ferry service with the HSC SuperSeaCat Two.

Ships

Vessel Type Launched/Completed Tonnage DWT Builder
Ben - My - Chree Passenger 05/04/1927. Gross: 2586 Net: 1043 Cammell, Laird & Co. Ltd. Birkenhead
Fenella Passenger 1937 Gross: 2376 Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. Barrow
Fenella No Info 1951 Gross: 1019 Ailsa Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. Troon
King Orry Passenger 1913?
King Orry Passenger 22/11/1945. Yard No: 1169 Gross: 2485 Net: 953 Cammell, Laird & Co. Ltd. Birkenhead
Lady of Mann Passenger 04/03/1930. Yard No: 660 Gross: 3104 Net: 1258 Vickers-Armstrong & Co. Ltd. Barrow
Manx Man Passenger 15/06/1904. Gross: 2030 Net: 2174 Vickers-Armstrong & Co. Ltd. Barrow
Manx Maid Passenger 26/05/1910. Gross: 1505 Cammell, Laird & Co. Ltd. Birkenhead
Mona Passenger 1907 Gross: 1241 Fairfield Shipbuilders & Engineering Co. Ltd. Glasgow
Mona's Isle Cargo / Passenger 7,090 G. 11/03/1905. Gross: 1671 Net: 700 2700 Wm. Denny & Bros. Ltd. Dumbarton
Mona's Isle Passenger March 1951. Yard No: 1209 Gross: 2491 Net: 955 Cammell, Laird & Co. Ltd. Birkenhead
Mona's Queen Passenger 1895 Gross: 1559 Barrow Shipbuilding Co.
Mona's Queen Passenger 1934
Mona's Queen Passenger 1972
Peel Castle Cargo / Passenger 3,074 B. 20/02/1894. Yard No: 480 Gross: 1531 Net: 457 2096 Wm. Denny & Bros. Ltd. Dumbarton
Ramsey Town Passenger 22/04/1904. Gross: 2083. John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank
Rushen Castle Passenger 23/04/1898. Gross: 1570 Net: 700 1724 Vickers Sons & Maxim, Barrow
Snaefell Passenger 1906 Gross: 1713 Net: 700 Fairfield Shipbuilders & Engineering Co. Ltd. Glasgow
Tynwald Passenger 1891 Gross: 937 Fairfield Shipbuilders & Engineering Co. Ltd. Glasgow
Tynwald Passenger 16/12/1936. Gross: 2376 Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. Barrow
Victoria Cargo / Passenger 6790 G. 27/02/1907. Yard No: 789 Gross: 1658 Net: 343 2434 Wm. Denny & Bros. Ltd. Dumbarton
Viking Passenger 1905 Gross: 1957 Net: 800 2650 Armstrong - Whitworth & Co. Ltd. Newcastle

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