I had an interesting conversation via Twitter today with the always helpful staff at Calmac. Earlier this month the winter timetable for the Islay route was published. It actually consisted of two separate timetables. The main winter timetable period runs from 26 October 2015 to 24 March 2016. However, from the 2nd of January to the 26th of February there is an alternative timetable in effect with less sailings, Islay will then go back to a one ferry service. So I got in touch with Calmac to find out which ferry is sailing when and where and according to which timetable. Here goes:
26th of October 2015 to 2nd of January 2016
From 26th October, MV Finlaggan and MV Hebridean Isles will operate as normal. In November (dates TBC), MV Hebridean Isles will go for her refit and will be relieved by MV Isle of Arran. When MV Hebridean Isles comes back from her refit, she will resume service with MV Finlaggan until 2nd January.
2nd of January 2016 to 27th of February 2016
MV Hebrides enters her refit period and will also cover for another route’s refit period so both MV Isle of Arran and MV Hebridean Isles will cover the Uig triangle service during this time ( as per this article ) and Islay will have a single vessel service operated by MV Finlaggan.
27th of February 2016 to 24th of March 2016
From 27th February, there will be two vessels back on the Islay service, MV Hebridean Isles and MV Isle of Arran, as MV Finlaggan will need to go for her refit.
The winter timetables for the Islay service can be found here
More info on disruptions/cancellations can be found in this blog post