Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel the Manxman has won a prestigious industry award.

The ferry firm’s new flagship has been recognised as the ‘best and most innovative’ vessel of its kind at the 2024 Shippax Awards.

Shippax is widely regarded as the world’s premier ferry information service, providing a platform for industry news, statistics and best practice.

First held in 1996, the Shippax Awards were set up to recognise innovation and design on newly-delivered ferries and cruise vessels across the world.

Manxman won the ‘Shippax Ro-Pax Award 2024’ after judges declared it to be the best and most innovative Ro-Pax (roll-on/roll off freight and passenger ferry) vessel in its class in the world for 2024.

Steam Packet Managing Director Brian Thomson was presented with the award during the annual Shippax Ferry Conference which took place last week in Sweden.

Mr Thomson said: ‘It is a huge honour that Manxman has been recognised for this prestigious award.

‘It is a credit to everyone in the company and we are proud of designing, delivering and operating such an excellent vessel, which is the largest, most-modern and best-equipped ferry the island has ever had.’

The Shippax awards cover a wide range of categories with the winners decided by an expert panel of judges.

Steam Packet Managing Director Brian Thomson with the award in Sweden
Steam Packet Managing Director Brian Thomson with the award in Sweden (Steam Packet)

As part of the adjudication process, judges will take an anonymous trip on each ship in contention for an award, assessing the vessel based on their experience onboard the vessel as well as a number of other factors.

The merits of each ship are then debated by the panel before judges decide on the eventual winners of each category.

Judges praised the Manxman for its clever use of space which combines room for entertainment, families and quiet spaces.

They also said the vessel caters to the needs of a diverse range of passengers through its variety of cabins and lounges, a factor which they said give the Manxman a ‘touch of cruising’.

A Shippax spokesperson said: ‘The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company illustrates that even smaller Ro-Pax operators can successfully manage new building projects in Asia, thereby combining British ship design excellence with the experience and efficiency of Far Eastern shipbuilding.’

As well as a trophy, the Steam Packet has received a special commendation plaque which will go on display onboard the Manxman.

The Manxman was introduced to the Steam Packet’s fleet last year and can accommodate 948 passengers and crew onboard - 300 more individuals than the ferry form’s former flagship the Ben-my-Chree.

According to the Steam Packet, the Manxman is powered by the world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine which is recognised for its high level of fuel efficiency and significantly reduces exhaust emissions.