Brosnachadh don Ghàidhlig bho CMAL

By | 2023 Newsletter week 21 | No Comments

Or in English “Boost for Gaelic language from CMAL”

  • Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has released the third iteration of its Gaelic Language Plan, designed to enhance the status of the language.
  • The plan sets out CMAL’s commitments to promote its use through a range of actions and initiatives, including bilingual signage at harbours and other properties; bilingual names for all ferries; Gaelic translation of communications hosted on its website and across social media. A number of employees are currently learning Gaelic.

New names for Scotland’s Islay vessels decided by public vote

By | 2023 Newsletter week 20 | No Comments

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has announced ISLE OF ISLAY and LOCH INDAAL as the names for the two new ferries to serve Islay and Jura following a public vote.

Delivery expected towards the end of 2024 for vessel one, and early 2025 for vessel two.

The two new ferries will have a clear focus on freight, as well as sufficient passenger accommodation: 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles. This will provide a combined 40% increase in vehicle and freight capacity on the Islay routes and will improve the overall resilience of the wider fleet.

The Islay ferries form part of a programme of investment by CMAL, funded through Scottish Government commitments to capital investment of around £700 million in ferry infrastructure and related services over the five years from 2021 to 2026.

Wider plans will deliver other new small and major vessels for the fleet and upgrades of harbour infrastructure with future options being considered through the emerging Islands Connectivity Plan.

FMEL announces further delay to Calmac vessels

By | 2023 Newsletter week 11 | No Comments

Ferguson Marine has announced a further delay to the two vessels under construction for CMAL/Calmac.

The first vessel GLEN SANNOX (Hull 801) will now be delivered between Autumn 2023 and the end of 2023.  The second vessel (Hull 802) will be delivered between autumn 2024 and the end of 2024.

The vessels, now over 5 years late, were most recently due in May 2023 and March 2024.

The further delays are attributed to a variety of issues connected to the difficult construction history of the ships.

Photo: Ferguson Marine

CMAL held a public webinar on the small vessel replacement programme

By | 2023 Newsletter week 6 | No Comments

Scotland. CMAL held a public webinar on 2 February to share a further update on the SVRP feasibility studies. The Small Vessel Replacement Programme aims to achieve a very substantial renewal of the small vessel fleet during the next 10 years.

The meeting slides are available here

Interview with CalMac CEO Robbie Drummond in Herald Scotland

A recording of the online meeting is available to view on YouTube

Two new ferries for ‘The Little Minch’ in Scotland (*)

By | 2023 Newsletter week 2 | No Comments

CMAL signed the contract to build two new ferries to support the communities at Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert (Harris). They will also be built at Cemre Shipyard.

The two new vessels will be built to the same specification as the existing ferries under construction for Islay. (Designed by German firm Navalue)

This will speed up the replacement of the major vessel fleet and provide a more standardised vessel type that can be used on a variety of different routes.

(*) The Minch is the broad seaway which separates Great Britain and the islands of the Inner Hebrides from the Outer Hebrides. The Little Minch is the narrower straits between Skye to the east and Harris and the Uists to the west.

Some technical specifications:

Battery Hybrid Diesel Electric propulsion system: • 4 x Diesel Generators (using low sulphur MGO) • 2 x Cycloidal Propellers on Islay Vessels • 2 x Transverse bow thrusters (880kW) • 2 x Battery Banks (2 x approx. 574kWh) • Shore Charging • Batteries banks for peak shaving, in-port, manoeuvring, slow speed

CMAL has awarded a contract to construct a new terminal building at Tarbert (Harris, Scotland)

By | 2022 Newsletter week 14 | No Comments

The new building will be the final stage in the multi-million-pound upgrade project at Tarbert Ferry Terminal, which recently saw the completion of the new pier and increased marshalling area.

Work to build the new terminal building will begin in spring 2022 and is anticipated to take a year to complete. The new pier is already in use by CalMac, and the upgraded marshalling area has increased vehicle capacity.

CMAL is delivering significant vessel and harbour investment, backed by a £580 million commitment from the Scottish Government for an initial five-year period from 2021 to 2026.  Plans will deliver 21 new vessels for the fleet and multi-million-pound upgrade of harbour infrastructure over the next 10 years.  More information is online at

CMAL is selecting a new name for UTNE

By | 2021 Newsletter week 47 | No Comments

UTNE has joined the CMAL fleet. A competition has been opened to find a name.

The names in the shortlist are all associated with Mull, the island that the vessel will primarily serve.

  • LOCH FRISA – The largest loch on the Isle of Mull, located four miles south of Tobermory.
  • GLEN FORSA – A beautiful open glen in the heart of Mull, with the peak of Beinn Talaidh at its head.
  • TOROSAY – Torosay Castle was built in 1858 by architect David Bryce, and it sits on the northwest side of Mull’s Duart Bay.

CMAL & Strathclyde University Secure £30k Grant for Clean Maritime Fuel Project

By | 2021 Newsletter week 41 | No Comments

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) and the University of Strathclyde have secured a £30,000 grant to fund a six-month research project to explore the technical, operational and commercial viability of using zero-carbon fuels to power ferries.

The project, called Lifecycle Energy Solutions for Clean Scotland/UK Maritime Economy, is a feasibility study that will explore the most effective solutions that will drive down carbon emissions from the maritime sector.

CMAL’s team of ship designers, naval architects and marine engineers will work alongside marine academics and researchers at the University of Strathclyde to conduct a life cycle assessment on the viability of using ammonia, hydrogen, and main grid electricity for ferries.  The team will design robust business scenarios based on 23 ferries on 27 routes on the west coast of Scotland, including highly reliable predictions of the costs and benefits of the proposed alternative fuel sources and a comparison to the use of diesel.

CMAL Acquires Secondhand Tonnage

By | 2021 Newsletter week 40 | No Comments

A deal to purchase a ferry for deployment on the Clyde and Hebrides network has been agreed, bringing additional resilience to the fleet, says a release from Transport Scotland.

Norled’s UTNE has been earmarked for the Oban-Craignure route, and communities in Skye and the Western Isles will also benefit as a result of the cascade of vessels elsewhere on the network.

UTNE was designed by LMG Marin (LMG 40-DE type) and delivered in 2015.

Four Shipyards Invited to Tender for New Islay Vessels

By | 2021 Newsletter week 37 | No Comments

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has invited four shipyards to bid for the contract to build two new ferries for Islay:

  • Damen, Romania
  • Remontowa Shipbuilding
  • Sefine Denizcilik Tersanecilik Turizm
  • Cemre Marin Endustri

The contract will be awarded no later than the end of March 2022.

The new vessels will have greater vehicle capacity than the current vessels on the route (FINNLAGAN and ISLE OF MULL), and will have significantly lower energy requirement. They will be designed with a clear focus on freight, including the capability to operate a possible overnight freight service.