Ben-my-Chree in Douglas Harbour
|Namesake:||Manx: Girl of my Heart|
|Owner:||Isle of Man Steam Packet Company|
|Port of registry:||Douglas, Isle of Man|
Douglas—Birkenhead (winter only)
Douglas—Dublin / Belfast
|Builder:||van der Giessen de Noord, Netherlands|
|Identification:||IMO number: 9170705|
|Length:||125.2 m (411 ft)|
|Beam:||23.4 m (77 ft)|
|Draught:||5.8 m (19 ft)|
|Installed power:||2 × MAK 9L32 diesel engines|
|Propulsion:||2 × Controllable pitch propellers
2 × bow thrusters
|Speed:||19.5 knots (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)|
Ben-my-Chree was ordered in 1997 by Sea Containers for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Costing around £24 million, she was built by van der Giessen de Noord of the Netherlands and launched on 4 April 1998. The sixth vessel to carry the name, she is registered in Douglas, Isle of Man.
Brought around to the island from Holland by the late Captain Vernon Kinley, Ben-my-Chree entered service on 5 July 1998, Tynwald Day - the Isle of Man's national holiday. At a gross tonnage of around 12,000, she was the largest ship to enter service with the company. The vessel received a lot of criticism due to her low passenger capacity of 500, (carrying no more than 350 per sailing), and the fact she had no open deck for passengers. The company insisted this was a "comfort level" for the vessel's size. Subsequently, the islanders have warmed to the vessel.
On the evening of 1 May 2013 when arriving in Douglas Harbour from Heysham, Ben-my-Chree struck part of the King Edward Pier Linkspan, Number 5 berth. In the collision part of the ship was slightly damaged, meaning the evening departure to Heysham was cancelled. Passengers were transferred to the Liverpool service. Ben-my-Chree re-entered service the following day with a freight-only service to Heysham and was back in full service at 19.45 the same day.
Design and construction
Ben-my-Chree is a Ro-Pax ferry, largely designed to carry freight, with two vehicle decks (decks 3 and 5) and two passenger accommodation decks (7 and 8). There are 20 four-berth cabins and crew accommodation for 22. Her freight capacity is 200 vehicles (1235m).
A refit during her first winter improved passenger accommodation. Reclining chairs were added in the forward and aft lounges and partitions added between the restaurant and bar areas. In 2004, a major refit allowed her to carry a full capacity of 636 passengers. A new accommodation section containing the Legends café/bar, Niarbyl Quiet Lounge and toilets was added. The refit also created an outside deck space and modified the vessel's stern door. Another refit in April 2008, included a new livery and internal refit.
The Ben-my-Chree's passenger facilities are centred around the main passenger area on Deck 7.
- Coast-to-Coast café
- Junior Shipmates children's play area
- Legends café/bar
- Ocean Avenue shop
- Manannan Premium Lounge
- Niarbyl Reserved Lounge
- Passenger with Dogs Lounge
- Passenger cabins including 2 dedicated for passengers with pets and Two Disabled Cabins. plus two premium cabins
- Outside deck
- Manannan executive lounge
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ben-my-Chree.|
- "Ben-My-Chree". Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Ben-My-Chree" (PDF). IHC Merwede. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Ben-My-Chree VI; the First Ten Years". Ships of Mann. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- "Ben-My-Chree" (PDF). IHC Merwede. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Ben-My-Chree". ship-technology.com. Retrieved 1 July 2012.