The Steam Packet is reporting a ‘marked increase’ in bookings for next year’s TT races.
The company said there was a surge when additional motorcycle spaces went on sale on Monday.
It has created more motorcycle capacity by investing in a new mezzanine deck for Manannan. The deck will be built this autumn and installed ahead of each TT to create extra motorcycle space during peak periods.
Sales started at 8.30am on Monday and by 3pm the call centre had dealt with over 50 per cent more calls than a normal Monday in July. More than 600 new motorcycle bookings had been made by phone and on the website, plus a number of fans were able to amend their sailings to preferred dates and times.
The new deck will allow Manannan to carry up to 100 additional motorcycles on each sailing during TT and the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling when demand is high, giving fans who had previously had to travel as foot passengers greater opportunity to bring their bikes. Manannan has a maximum passenger capacity, set by the regulatory authorities, which will not be exceeded and the number of seats on the vessel will always exceed the passenger numbers.
The additional capacity has been welcomed by fans, including by MotoGP racer Cal Crutchlow and British Superbike Championship frontrunner James Ellison on Twitter.
The need for extra space reflects the continuing growth in interest in the TT.
When bookings opened for 2015, the Steam Packet experienced a 41 per cent increase in first day inquiries compared with last year.
There are still places available for off peak sailings to the Isle of Man during the 2015 TT.