Ferry operator CalMac has finalised its winter maintenance programme.
Including inter island services, CalMac runs a total of 50 routes served by 32 vessels each of which is required to undergo a period of annual dry dock maintenance.
This presents the company with a complex logistical problem to keep all of its lifeline services running with minimal disruption.
“This is always a challenging time of year for us. The communities we serve all have different service requirements, continuing to meet these over the winter months when weather also becomes a factor is a real test for our staff,” said CalMac’s Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement, Brian Fulton.
“We know the attachment communities form with their own vessel and that having it taken away is an inconvenience, we appreciate people’s patience and understanding during this short maintenance period.”
The schedule may change depending on operational priorities, but currently the arrangements are:
Ullapool/Stornoway - MV Loch Seaforth replaced by MV Isle of Lewis & MV Hebridean Isles, Oct 24 to Nov 7
Sound of Barra - MV Loch Alainn replaced by MV Loch Bhrusda, Dec 4 to Dec 18
Sound of Harris - MV Loch Portain replaced by MV Loch Bhrusda, Jan 15 to Jan 29
Oban/Castlebay - MV Isle of Lewis replaced by MV Isle of Arran, Jan 22 to Feb 5
Uig/Lochmaddy/Tarbert - MV Hebrides replaced by MV Isle of Arran & MV Hebridean Isles Mar 14 to Mar 28