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New fast craft officially named

The Steam Packet's new fast craft Manannan has been officially named.

The ceremony was performed on board the 96-metre catamaran by Mary Cringle, wife of the President of Tynwald.

Steam Packet chairman Robert Quayle said the event marked another milestone in a major programme of investment by the company.

He pointed out that under the User Agreement with the Manx government the Steam Packet was required to invest £46 million in the Isle of Man operation by 2015. With six years to go, he said, £80 million had already been spent.

Mr Quayle said the company wanted people to enjoy travelling on Manannan and for it to be a vessel of which the Isle of Man could be justifiably proud.

Chief executive Mark Woodward said the new vessel completed its first passage from the Isle of Man to Liverpool in two hours and 20 minutes, much faster than Snaefell, which averages two hours and 40 minutes.

An open day will be held for members of the public to examine Manannan when everything has quietened down after the TT.

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