Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has announced the name for the new Stornoway Ullapool ferry, due to be launched in February 2014.
The MV LOCH SEAFORTH was the most popular name, receiving 40 per cent of the votes cast in the recent competition, run on the CMAL website.
Loch Seaforth is a sea loch between Lewis and Harris. The previous MV Loch Seaforth was the name of the MacBrayne mailboat that linked Stornoway with Mallaig and Kyle of Lochalsh from 1947 until 1972.
She was a faithful servant on this route for a quarter of a century until replaced by the car ferry MV IONA and is fondly remembered by many in the Western Isles. She transferred to the Inner Isles mail run and sadly on 22 March 1973 she ran aground on Cleit Rock in the Sound of Gunna and was subsequently scrapped.
The new 116m, Roll On Roll Off vehicle passenger ferry will be capable of operating 24 hours a day and will have a capacity for up to 700 passengers, and 143 cars or 20 commercial vehicles.
The new ferry is being built at Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft MBH and Co KG - Flensburg, Germany. Work is still being completed on the final design with building due to begin in September this year. The ferry will be launched on 21st February 2014 and is expected to be in service by summer 2014.
Guy Platten, Chief Executive of CMAL commented: “We are excited that voters have chosen a name that reflects the proud heritage of both the Outer Hebrides and the MacBrayne mail boats.
“The new ferry will be faster, greener and more reliable, providing a critical lifeline service for communities between the Western Isles and the Scottish mainland.”