CMAL progress

Second of four island ferries launches in Türkiye

MV Loch Indaal will soon enter sea trials

A second ferry for the Scottish islands being built in Türkiye has been launched and will undergo outfitting and sea trials ahead of delivery early next year.

MV Loch Indaal slipped into the sea from the Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Yalova. It is the second of four ferries being built at the yard and will serve Islay and Jura alongside sister vessel, MV Isle of Islay, which was launched in March.

The launch marks continued progress in Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited’s (CMAL) commitment to delivering new ferries to serve the Scottish islands.

Representatives of CMAL and key project stakeholders were in attendance to witness Elaine Anderson, wife of CMAL’s director of vessels, Jim Anderson, officially launch the ferry.

Scheduled for delivery in February 2025, MV Loch Indaal will significantly boost capacity on the Islay routes, with the ability to accommodate up to 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles. This addition will increase vehicle and freight capacity by 40% on the Islay routes, strengthening the overall fleet’s resilience.

Upon its arrival from Türkiye, MV Loch Indaal will undergo crew familiarisation and local operational trials before entering service.

An official naming ceremony will take place on Islay early next year, where stakeholders and community representatives will be invited to board and tour the vessel to celebrate its arrival before it officially joins the fleet.

Kevin Hobbs, chief executive at CMAL, said: “The successful launch of MV Loch Indaal represents another major achievement in our shipyard construction programme. Following the launches of MV Isle of Islay and MV Glen Rosa earlier this year, it is wonderful to see another vessel in the water.

“We look forward to the ferry’s completion and delivery, and to seeing the positive impact she will have on our communities as she enters service next year.”

Transport Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This is another important milestone in the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering six new major vessels into service by 2026.

“I have no doubt the communities and businesses on Islay and Jura are looking forward to a more resilient and modern ferry service, with further vessels set to bring similar improvements to other parts of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network.”

Duncan Mackison, interim chief executive at CalMac, said: “We are confident that lifeline ferry services for Islay and across the network will continue to improve.”

The first vessel for Islay and Jura, MV Isle of Islay, is due to arrive in Scotland at the end of the year.

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