Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP, today (Tuesday) paid a visit to the newest ship in the CalMac fleet, MV Loch Seaforth, which arrived in Scotland from Germany last Friday.
Mr Brown met the Master and crew and had a short private tour of the ship, which is berthed in Inchgreen dry dock, Port Glasgow.
Mr Brown said: “I was delighted to get a chance to see the new MV Loch Seaforth up close and get a taste of what her passengers have to look forward to. The sight of the largest vessel in the CalMac fleet coming down the Clyde last week was a welcome one, and whilst some cosmetic work still has to be done to the interior of the ship, we are another step closer to seeing her enter service.
“The MV Loch Seaforth will offer passengers on the Stornoway-Ullapool route a faster, quieter and more reliable service and has been designed to accommodate a growth in travellers on the route.I look forward to the MV Loch Seaforth offering an improved service for the Western Isles, alongside the planned harbour upgrades at Stornoway and Ullapool.”
There are a number of activities planned for her prior to entering service, including completing work on the passenger areas, addressing some outstanding technical matters from build, further Class & MCA inspections and carrying out sea trials and crew familiarisation exercises.
Martin Dorchester, Managing Director of CalMac, said: “Bringing the MV Loch Seaforth back to Scotland from the yard in Germany where she was built was an important milestone and once we are fully satisfied that everything is in order, and subject to the completion of the Stornoway Harbour works, will be making arrangements to take her to the Western Isles and, in due course, bring her into service on the Stornoway-Ullapool route.”