According to TT festival exit data from the Isle of Man Steam Packet, its ferries Ben-my-Chree and Manannan carried about 6% fewer motorcycles to this year’s event.
Between 23 May and 8 June, the Steam Packet shipped 13,236 bikes to the Island, against slightly more than 14,000 in 2017. Almost 34,000 people made sea crossings in the same period.
Higher fares on Steam Packet routes also pushed some enterprising bikers into more innovative travel solutions. MV Aspire, a converted scallop dredger usually based in Inverness, became a pirate ferry and floating hotel for eight Scottish TT fans.
Aspire shipped their motorcycles as deck cargo from Fort William to the Manx fishing port of Peel and they lived aboard, conveniently adjacent to the Peveril Hotel’s lavish quayside terrace bar, while in harbour.
A video of Aspire’s crew reloading bikes in Peel before departure has gone viral on Facebook.