MV Isle of Lewis is expected to be back in service at the weekend.
A spokesperson for Caledonian MacBrayne said today (Wednesday) that she was due to leave Birkenhead tomorrow afternoon and arrive back in Stornoway on Friday.
She was out of action for her annual refit which led to more extensive engine repairs than originally expected. As she was being towed out of the port, she was damaged and had to return.
Meanwhile in Stornoway, MV Clansman had been providing cover but had to go for its own scheduled refit and was replaced by the much smaller MV Hebridean Isles.
The Calmac spokesperson said: “We are working on the principle she will formally take over the route on Sunday, as the MV Heb Isles must get back to pick up Islay runs on Monday morning.
“If the Isle of Lewis can come into service on Saturday we will do so, but we feel it is prudent to build in some leeway for any unforeseen issues.
We are confident the MV Hebridean Isles can cope with the projected traffic meantime.”