The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's aim is to provide consistent services with convenient and fast crossing times and to offer a wide range of promotional fares to the travelling public.
Fast craft and conventional vessels make up a modern fleet providing high levels of on-board service. A year-round service for passengers, vehicles (including coaches) and freight operates between Heysham and the Isle of Man.
Steam Packet Ferries offer the latest in high speed sea travel by fast craft services or a more leisurely cruise across the Irish Sea on our conventional vessel, Ben-my-Chree. In addition to their passenger services they maintain a year round freight service to and from the Isle of Man, transporting everything from supermarket deliveries to hospital supplies. This regular and reliable transfer of essential supplies acts as a lifeline to the people and businesses on the Island
Twice daily services are operated by the Ben-my-Chree. Additional fast craft operate a 2 hour crossing at peak times during the summer months.
Steam Packet Ferries - Sea Terminal, Douglas.
Location Sea Terminal, Douglas.
Crossing Times to / from the Isle Of Man are:
Liverpool 2h 30m (Fast craft)
4h (conventional ferry)
Heysham 3h 30m (conventional ferry)
Belfast 2h 45m
Dublin 2h 50m
Car Parking Short and long term pay and display facilities are available near to the Sea Terminal. Current charges are £3 per 24 hours with a maximum stay of one month.
Check-In Car passengers should check-in at the vehicle booths at the entrance to the port. Foot passengers should proceed into the Sea Terminal Departure Lounge and present their tickets at the check-in desks.
Catering Facilities The Terrazza Café is open year round in the Departure Lounge of the Sea Terminal.
By Road The Sea Terminal is reached by the A1 from the West, the A2 from the North and the A5 from the South.
Public Transport There are regular bus services to Douglas from across the Island. The bus station is situated at Lord Street in Douglas, approximately 200 metres from the Sea Terminal. Some buses stop at the Sea Terminal to connect with departures.
A cash dispenser issuing English Sterling, is available Immediately outside the Sea Terminal.
About The Isle of Man
In the heart of the Irish sea, off the north west coast of England lies Britain's best kept secret - the Isle of Man. Just 33 miles long by 13 miles wide, the Isle of Man is a must for all countryside lovers with its many different landscapes and breathtaking views.
Walkers can enjoy unspoilt coastal and hillside footpaths, and this little kingdom is perfect for bicycles, following clearly signposted routes, which make a series of cycle tracks throughout the Island.
Those looking for a more gentle means of exploration can sit back and admire the view on board one of the Island's historic transport systems. But perhaps the most spectacular ride of all is aboard the Snaefell Mountain Railway. Beginning at the old mining village of Laxey - home to the world's largest working waterwheel - the line climbs to the Island's highest point, from where it is possible to see the kingdoms of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Mann, Heaven and the kingdom of the sea.
But it's not just heritage enthusiasts who enjoy visiting the Isle of Man, with eight quality golf courses and a mild winter climate, the Island is a must for golfers of all abilities.
The Island has a packed calendar of special events such as the world famous TT Motorcycle Races, as well as car rallies, railways, arts and music festivals are ideal themes around which to base a visit to the Island.
The southern tip of the Island is a rugged wilderness and is a haven for birdlife and fishing as well as a beautiful location for photography. The beauty and variety of the Island has not been lost on filmmakers either and you can follow the movie trail taking in locations for famous films such as Waking Ned and Tom Brown's School Days.
You'll never be short of things to do in the evenings with cinema, theatre and concerts at the Villa Marina & Gaiety Theatre Complex, as well as a wide range of restaurants and traditional pubs.
About The Isle of Man Steam Packet Ferry Company
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is owned by Macquarie Bank Limited, following the purchase from Montagu Private Equity on October 19, 2005. The acquisition includes Steam Packet’s vessels, buildings, land holdings and other assets.
You may be aware that 2005 was a very special year for The Steam Packet Company as they celebrated our 175th anniversary as the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world!
There had been various shipping companies serving the Island before they were formed in 1830 but such crossings were irregular and vessels use were unreliable. As a result the Island could be cut off for weeks. The locals began to feel it was essential that they should have their own dedicated service and eventually a meeting was held in Douglas in 1829 from which was formed a committee charged with finding out the cost of a Steam Packet.
On June 30th 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 - 175 years ago. 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.
No review of the Company’s history would be complete without a passing reference to our distinguished war record. Their vessels and crews were actively involved in both the 1st and 2nd World Wars acquitting themselves with honour in both instances. One vessel ‘King Orry’ which was attached to British Grand Fleet, had the distinction of leading the German Fleet into Scapa Flow at the end of the First World War.
During the Great War, 11 out of a total fleet of 15 Steam Packet ships were requisitioned by the Admiralty, 4 of which were lost, 3 retained by the Government and 4 returned to service.
Another vessel, ‘Manxman’ deserves a special mention also, as she is believed to have been one of the first (if not the very first) vessel to be converted to an aircraft carrier and in so doing, making a significant contribution to aviation and maritime history.
In the 2nd World War, 10 of their fleet of 16 ships were commandeered for active duty 4 of which sadly were to be lost. Dunkirk was perhaps our finest hour, with ‘Mona’s Isle’ 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 a Steam Packet ship.
Happier times followed and the Island became a fashionable and most popular resort for tourists from the adjacent isle. The Steam Packet introduced car ferries beginning with the Manx Maid in 1962 and now operates the very latest fast craft on its routes dramatically reducing travel time to and from the Island.
A year round, twice daily service to and from Heysham is operated by the Ben-my-Chree ropax vessel built for the Company in 1998 at a cost of £24 million and has recently benefited from a £1.5 million passenger accommodation extension.
Today the Steam Packet Ferry Company operate services that connect the Isle of Man with our neighbours in Northern Ireland and Eire in addition to Liverpool and Heysham and have more passenger sailings than at any time in the previous 50 years and almost twice as many services than they offered 5 years ago.
Steam Packet Ferry Company offer the latest in high speed sea travel by fast craft services or a more leisurely cruise across the Irish Sea on our conventional vessel, Ben-my-Chree. In addition to their passenger services they maintain a year round freight service to and from the Island, transporting everything from supermarket deliveries to hospital supplies. This regular and reliable transfer of essential supplies acts as a lifeline to the people and businesses on the Island.
Over the last few years they have invested heavily in improving the level of services they offer to their customers.
Another thriving department of our business is ‘Steam Packet Holidays’ our wholly owned package holiday company. They exist to provide an ‘add-on’ to our services providing an additional facility for visitors to and from the Island, the UK, and Ireland allowing our customers to book the complete package holiday into or out from the Island. Additionally, they arrange and operate special excursions to events, shows, shopping, sport on a regular basis from the Island.
A lot has happened to The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company over its long and distinguished past from its beginning with small wooden paddle steamers to today's modern and sleek fleet. The one thing that has not changed in all that time is our adherence to the founding principles of the Company in 1830 – to provide a dedicated and reliable sea service to the Island and its people.
IOM Steam Packet Ferry Port and Destination Information
Location The Steam Packet Terminal is at Donegall Quay Belfast.
Crossing time from the Isle of Man to Belfast is 2h 45m (Fast craft)
Laganside Bus Terminal is a five minute walk away from the Passenger Terminal. Belfast Central Railway Station is a fifteen minute walk from the Steam Packet Terminal. Taxis meet most arrivals. If one is not available please use the free phone in the terminal.
Short term parking facilities for set down and pick up are available at the Steam Packet Terminal. Daily rates are also available. Longer term parking is available in a Pay and Display car park operated by Belfast Harbour Commissioners.
Check In Car Passengers should check in at the vehicle reception. Foot passengers should proceed into the Passenger Terminal. Tickets may be purchased from the terminal if space is still available.
Light refreshments are available in the departure lounge of the Steam Packet Terminal.
Crossing times from the Isle of Man to Liverpool is 2h 30m (Fast craft)
Check-In Car passengers should check in at the vehicle booths at the entrance to the Princes Landing Stage. Foot passengers should proceed into the Passenger Terminal across the road.
Catering Facilities A coffee bar serving light snacks and hot and cold beverages is available in the passenger terminal.
Liverpool is one of Britain's most distinctive and best-loved cities. It is proud of its history as one of the nation's great ports, and just as proud of its recent achievements - modern Liverpool's mosaic of cultures makes it a fascinating place to visit.
The Albert Dock is the centrepiece of Liverpool's famous waterfront. The best way to see it is from the water - Mersey Ferries offer a special sightseeing cruise. Many of the old warehouses have been converted into museums, galleries, restaurants and shops. Admission is free at all the national museums and galleries.
The Merseyside Maritime Museum shows you how the city helped to launch global trade. A very different global phenomenon coming from Liverpool is the Beatles. Fans should head straight for the Beatles Story. For real fans, there is also a two-hour guided trip of the city as the Fab Four knew it.
Two of Liverpool's churches are among Britain's finest modern religious architecture. Liverpool cathedral is the largest Anglican church in Europe, and the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the most striking modern buildings in the city.
Alternatively, Liverpool's unofficial religion is football: Everton and Liverpool FCs offer tours of their grounds. For fans of the horses, Aintree Racecourse includes the Grand National Experience, an interactive taste of the famous race.
The port lies at the west end of Heysham Village and is well sign-posted.
Crossing time from the Isle of Man to Heysham is 3h 30m (conventional ferry)
Getting There By Road Heysham is reached by following the signs from junction 34 on the M6 through Lancaster.
Public Transport Stagecoach Ribble operate a bus service from Combermere Road in Heysham. This is approximately a 10-minute walk to the passenger terminal. Details are available from Stagecoach on 0870 6082608
Taxis may be booked in advance from Radio Cabs on 01524 848848. Radio Cabs operate all the taxis in the Lancaster area.
Car Parking (at owner's risk) is available adjacent to the Terminal Building. Ample space is available and no advance booking is required. The current charge is £5 per 24hrs (maximum stay 28 days).
Check-In Car passengers should check-in at the vehicle booths at the entrance to the port. Foot passengers should check in at the Passenger Terminal.
Heysham is the gateway to one of England's favourite seaside resorts, Morecambe, and one of its oldest cities, Lancaster. And the Lancashire landscape is a real treat for walkers, with its rivers, fells and sleepy villages with lively pubs.
The port town of Heysham itself is well worth exploring. Start in its new Heritage Centre and then discover its public gardens and the ancient chapel of St Patrick. Finish with a tatse of the local speciality, potted shrimps.
Morecambe is the traditional British seaside at its best. The promenade is full of interest, including the statue of comedian Eric Morecambe. He would approve of the town's annual festival of culture, which is a genuinely popular event.
The city of Lancaster is steeped in centuries of English history. The dramatic castle is where the Pendle witches were hanged. Its soaring battlements look down on the city centre, with its Georgian squares and parks.
The New Millennium Park is a must-see - it's a ten mile riverside walk, dotted with sculptures, with great views along the way. Cultural attractions include the outdoor theatre in Williamson Park and the annual jazz festival in September
Dublin Ferryport is on the North bank of the River Liffey, approximately 6km East from the city centre and is shared with Irish Ferries.
Crossing time from the Isle of Man to Dublin is 2h 50m
Getting There By Road Dublin Ferryport is reached by the M1 from the North, the N11 from the South and the N7 from the West.
By Rail Connolly Station serves the North and South of Ireland and is situated 6km or a 15 minute bus ride from Dublin Ferryport. Houston Station serves the West of Ireland and is situated 12km or a 30 minute bus ride from Dublin Ferryport.
Public Transport The Central Bus Station, Busárus is situated 6km from Dublin Ferryport. There is a connecting bus service between the Ferryport and the city centre. Tickets can be purchased on-board the vessel prior to arrival in Dublin. Please note that on busy sailings (particularly day trips) it can be difficult to find taxis immediately available from the Ferryport to the City Centre, unless they have been pre-booked.
Car Parking Pay and display parking is available immediately outside the Terminal. Long term parking is available for €5 per day in a car park to the left of the main terminal building (as you approach).
Check-In Car Passengers should check-in at the vehicle booth area at the Ferryport. Foot passengers should proceed into the Ferry Terminal.
Catering Facilities There is a café at the Ferryport serving a selection of drinks and snacks within the terminal building. There is also a 24hr waiting room facility at the port.
Dublin is a place of creativity and conviviality. As the home of Joyce, Shaw, Wilde, Yeats and Beckett, it has a claim to being called the literary capital of the world. It also has a lighter reputation - as one of the most sociable and lively cities in Europe. And recently it has developed an exciting new cultural and commercial district.
Trinity College, a huge walled complex containing beautiful buildings and tranquil lawns. The Old Library has among its treasures the Book of Kells, a 9th century illuminated manuscript of the Gospels.
Dublin is so full of interesting sights that it hardly matters which direction you wander. But be sure to see the famous Georgian squares, with their magnificent townhouses, gardens and sculptures. You will pass through some of the city's best architecture if you head for the National Gallery with its new Millennium Wing. There are plenty of smaller art galleries to explore.
The nightlife is sensational - every type of restaurant and bar is here. Dublin has become amazingly cosmopolitan in recent years. Those of more traditional tastes need not worry - it still offers countless mellow pubs with Guinness and live music.
If you fancy a break from the city, the Wicklow Mountains are just short drive away, with their huge gorges and waterfalls and views of the sea.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Ferries provide freight, passenger and vehicle services between the port of Douglas on the Isle of Man and Belfast, Dublin, Heysham and Liverpool ferry ports in England, Northern and Southern Ireland.