The Manx Parliament of Tynwald has rejected the current Isle of Man Steam Packet Company offer to continue running the island's ferry services after 2026.
This decision could potentially open the doors to other ferry operators running the ferry routes once the current user agreement expires.
Prior to the decision, Isle of Man's Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer said
"Although some elements are worthy of consideration, on balance it is recommended that Tynwald does not accept the offer, but instructs the department to continue negotiating and to consider all routes available for a solution that is in the best interests of the island as a whole. Safe, reliable, high quality and fairly priced ferry services are absolutely fundamental to the economic and social wellbeing of the Isle of Man."
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company had previously said it would invest £170m in ferry services including two 'state of the art' ships, an increase in ferry capacity and continue to link fair price increases to Isle of Man inflation.
A Steam Packet Company spokesman said
"It is unlikely that any other possible operator could replicate such an offer, at least without significant government support. We believe our offer is in the best long-term interests of the Isle of Man."
The Steam Packet Company will be able to submit a revised offer. Could we see a change in IOM ferry operator in 2026?