Enjoy a relaxing coastal cruise aboard the Isle of Man’s largest pleasure boat, the classic M V Karina. See the stunning Manx coastline with its pretty bays and towering cliffs; all sorts of wild life may be observed including numerous varieties of sea birds, seals, porpoises, dolphins, basking sharks and whales; along with shipwrecks, lighthouses and interesting historical buildings.
The Karina normally sails from the Villiers Steps on Douglas Promenade, opposite the Jubilee Clock near the Sea Terminal. At low water the Karina sails from the Sea Terminal Floating Landing Stage and passengers are asked to assemble for boarding in the Sea Terminal Departure Lounge. The point of departure for a particular cruise will be shown on the timetable. Advance booking is not required and tickets are available on board.
On landing cruises one way tickets are available and many choose to travel from, say, Laxey by boat and return by Horse and Electric Trams back to the departure point.
Private parties and charters welcome. For up-to-date sailing details and departure times, please see the notices on this website, in the Isle of Man Courier or on the blackboards displayed adjacent to the Villiers Steps. Alternatively telephone (07624) 493592, (01624) 617436 or (01624) 861724.
The principal technical details of the Karina are:
- Launched 17th June 1946, maiden voyage 27th July 1946.
- Overall length 66 ft, breadth 14.9 ft, depth 5.7 ft, freeboard 3 ft.
- Constructed of carvel planking, laid over oak frames.
- Her powerful Gardner diesel engine develops 127 bhp at 1,500 rpm which gives a service speed of 9 knots with more in reserve if necessary.
The 100-passenger Karina is fully equipped with the latest safety equipment, has toilet, snack bar, covered saloon accommodation and large open deck space. A full commentary is provided on every trip. The Karina is licenced by the Isle of Man Government for passenger voyages and she is fitted out for the convenience and comfort of passengers. The Karina is available for public cruises, coach parties and for private charter and corporate hospitality trips during which live entertainment or taped music can be arranged if required.
The History of the m.v. Karina
The Karina is a very special ship and was built more than half a century ago for ferry excursion work in and around the famous Plymouth Sound. Originally named ‘May Queen’, she was the last passenger ferry built for the Oreston & Turnchapel Steamboat Co. Ltd., and was constructed to a design which has its origins in the company’s old steam powered ferries built in the 1880′s. The Karina was built in 1946 by Philip and Sons Ltd., of Dartmouth at their Noss Shipyard on the River Dart.
After twelve years mainly on the Plymouth ferry run, she was sold to the rival Millbrook Steamboat & Trading Co. Ltd. in 1957, and following major refurbishment was renamed the ‘Eastern Belle’. She served the Millbrook company’s River Tamar routes until 1985 but by then the Millbrook company had been taken over by Dart Pleasure Craft Ltd. so after 1983 from time to time, the ‘Eastern Belle’ was also to be found at Dartmouth when required. In 1985 she was sold to Plymouth Boat Cruises Ltd., for whom she operated until 1988.
At the end of that year, she was sold to G H Ridalls & Sons of Dartmouth and in March 1989 was renamed ‘Totnes Princess’ and commenced service from Dartmouth to picturesque Totnes, and on trips out to sea as far as Torquay and Hallsands. Ten years later the Ridalls’ sold their fleet to Dart Pleasure Craft Ltd. who had by then recently been bought out by Dart Valley Railway Plc.
Being surplus to requirements at Dartmouth in September 2000, the ‘Totnes Princess’ was inspected by the Laxey Towing Company Ltd. Having until very recently had passenger certificates for river and sea going trips, the ship was found to be in excellent condition and fully equipped with modern life saving equipment. The ‘Totnes Princess’ was purchased by the Company for coastal service in Manx waters where she arrived in April 2001. After thorough overhaul and survey on the slipway in Ramsey, the classic ship was renamed ‘Karina’ (after the famous 1913-built Manx excursion vessel of the same name) and was duly issued with an Isle of Man Class VI passenger certificate for 100 passengers and 5 crew. The ‘Karina’ is included on the prestigious National Maritime Museum’s register of historic ships.