Pentland Ferries Have Decided not to Time Charter their Vessel PENTALINA to Calmac

By | 2021 Newsletter week 26 | No Comments

CalMac has been searching for solutions to enhance capacity and resilience within its network. One possible vessel was PENTALINA from Pentland Ferries.

Robbie Drummond CEO CalMac: “Berthing trials had shown she could successfully operate services to Arran and Mull and we were looking forward to her deployment. Unfortunately, Pentland Ferries have decided not to enter into a charter agreement for the use of PENTALINA on our network. We are surprised and disappointed by this unexpected news.”

CalMac had first inquired about chartering PENTALINA end of March. Later an engine failure of CalMac’s biggest vessel, LOCH SEAFORTH, caused weeks of chaos across the ferry network.

Managing director of Pentland Ferries, Andrew Banks: “I would like to stress that the talks with CalMac Ferries were positive and constructive. However, our priority has to be to the continued viability of Pentland Ferries, and to our employees and passengers. We cannot commit to a scenario whereby external factors have the potential to cause severe risk and reputational damage to the business that we have worked so hard to build, and unfortunately we have therefore let CalMac know of our decision.” [Source: Hebrides News]

CalMac Acts to Support Passengers at Largs Cumbrae

By | 2020 Newsletter week 33 | No Comments

CalMac is to bring in extra staff to help support passengers who end up in long queues on the Largs Cumbrae route.

Current restrictions on board due to the ongoing Covid crisis means average capacity across CalMac’s fleet is running at around 35% compared to normal.

The extra staff will be on hand to assist and advise passengers on the route which, due to a combination of good weather and capacity restrictions required by social distancing, has seen lengthy waiting times recently.

Queues of up to three hours have impacted day trippers, tourists and islanders trying to get to and from the popular island of Great Cumbrae.


By | 2019 newsletter week 19 | No Comments

Ferguson’s Bosses Welcome an Investigation into The Future of Shipyard – And Insist That Business Is Booming

Ferguson’s bosses have welcomed an investigation into a delayed £97m ferry contract and the future of yard – and insist that business is booming.

Company chief executive Gerry Marshall has broken his silence after a senior Scottish Government minister confirmed a further setback in the delivery of the two new CalMac vessels which are under construction at the Newark site.

GLEN SANNOX is now 14 months late. Hull 802 is around 20 months behind schedule.

Ferguson’s and CMAL are in dispute over the extent of changes made to the design of the ships.


By | 2019 Newsletter week 4 | No Comments

Three Bidders Invited To Apply For Contract To Run Ferries For The Northern Isles

The invitation to tender for the next contract to run ferries to the Northern Isles has been issued to three bidders.

Submission of final tenders is scheduled for March 2019, with a view to awarding the contract in July 2019.

The contract is estimated to be worth £370m and will run for eight years. Two of the bidders are current holders Serco as NorthLink and Calmac – the third is not known.

Call For Calmac To Get The CLIPPER RANGER

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Parliamentary candidate, Alison MacCorquodale (Labour), has called for immediate action to charter a freight vessel for the Stornoway-Ullapool route in order to ease pressure on the LOCH SEAFORTH and the wider CalMac network.

She has pointed to reports that ro-ro vessel, CLIPPER RANGER, which was formerly deployed on the Stornoway-Ullapool route is “resting” at the Cammell Laird yard on Merseyside.

Islay, The “Queen Of The Hebrides”, Next To Get A New Ferry

By | 2018 Newsletter Week 15 | No Comments

Islay, the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides (Scotland), will be next in line for a new ferry to support the island’s growing economy, Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf has pledged.

Transport Scotland officials are currently investigating the potential design of the new vessel with Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) and CalMac Ferries.


By | 2017 Newsletter week 51 | No Comments

CalMac business prospers thanks to retention of Hebrides service

Herald Scotland writes that the retention of the contract for the Clyde and Hebrides service was the driver of CalMac’s improved financial performance in the year to the end of March.
When private company Serco joined the tender process, competition became very stiff. After committing to 350 service improvements CalMac was ultimately successful with its bid. Its new eight-year contract began on October 1, 2016.
According to CEO Martin Dorchester this was a key highlight in a year that saw the business increase its turnover by £5 million to £195.5m at the same time as turning a £4.8m pre-tax loss into a £4.8m pre-tax profit.

Photo: ©Mike Louagie