Voting opens on the shortlist to name new Stornoway Ullapool ferry

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THE shortlist of names for the new Stornoway to Ullapool ferry has been announced and Cal-Mac are giving voters the chance to vote for the new name.

Due to be launched in February 2014, the new 116m, Roll On Roll Off vehicle passenger ferry that 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 online competition is now open for voters to select from the shortlist to name the new vessel.

The shortlist put forward by the CMAL Board and the Scottish Government are based on associations with North of Scotland locations and the Artic Convoys. The shortlisted names include:

1. LOCH SEAFORTH – is a sea loch between Lewis and Harris. The MV Loch Seaforth was the name of the MacBrayne mailboat which linked Stornoway with Mallaig and Kyle of Lochalsh from 1947 until 1972.

2. CALLANISH - is a township situated on a headland jutting into Loch Roag, a sea loch and lies 13 miles west of Stornoway. Calanais is the location of the Callanish Stones, a cross-shaped setting of standing stones erected around 2000 BC, one of the most spectacular megalithic monuments in Scotland.

3. LOCH EWE - was used as an assembly point for the Arctic Convoys during World War II. Ships from the British, American and other ports gathered here before sailing to Murmansk from September 1942 following the disaster of Convoy PQ 17 in order to confuse German intelligence.

4. CAPE WRATH - is a cape in the parish of Durness, Sutherland and is Britain’s most north westerly point. The land between the Kyle of Durness and the lighthouse is known as the Parph. It would probably have been the last point on the Scottish Mainland that the Arctic convoys would have seen as they set off on the long and treacherous passage to Murmansk.

5. LOCH BROOM - is a sea loch located in north western Ross and Cromarty, in the former parish of Lochbroom. The small town of Ullapool lies on the eastern shore of the loch.

The naming competition opens today (Tuesday, March 5) and to vote in the competition, ferry lovers should go online to: before Friday, April 5, when voting closes.

One person chosen at random from those suggesting the most popular name will be invited as a special guest (with a friend) to the ferry’s launch. They will also win a one day ferry crossing of their choice for a car and two people, courtesy of Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd.

Guy Platten, Chief Executive of CMAL commented: “We’re looking forward to finding out the most popular name. Faster, greener and more reliable, the new ferry will provide a critical lifeline service for communities between the Western Isles and the Scottish mainland.”

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 in February 2014, delivered in June 2014 and is expected to be in service by July 2014.