Today I received the final set of images from John Salton, my contact at CMAL for over a year now. The final set of images show the handover of Islay's new ferry to Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL). The following press release was issued afterwards:
Following successful sea trials in Gdansk, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) will today (Wednesday 11 May) take delivery of the MV FINLAGGAN, the brand new vessel which will serve the Kennacraig to Islay route. Gdanska Stocznia Remontowa IM Jozefa Pilsudskiego S.A will deliver the vessel in Gdansk, Poland and CMAL will immediately bareboat charter the vessel to the operator CalMac Ferries Limited (CFL). The ship will remain in Gdansk for a few days for crew familiarisation and minor changes to the power management system and software, before sailing to Scotland.
The new 90m long vessel is a modern Ro-Ro Euro Class B passenger ferry with capacity for 550 passengers and 85 cars, or the equivalent coaches and commercial vehicles. This marks a 22% increase in passenger capacity and an 11% increase in cars compared to the current provision. The ferry boasts three passenger decks, an observation lounge, reclining seats and quiet lounge, restaurant, shop, childrenâ€™s play area, two decks of external panoramic seating and two disabled lifts accessing all decks, including the outside upper deck. Continue reading.....
The vessel was contracted by CMAL in November 2007 and will be the first new ship to serve the Islay route in almost 40 years. The ferry will sail from Kennacraig to Port Askaig initially, while infrastructure works are completed at Port Ellen. The project marks a major investment by CMAL, as part of its ongoing commitment to providing modern, sustainable ferries which are reliable and have lower maintenance costs. The vessel was completed on time and within the budget of Â£24.5M.
Commenting on the handover, Guy Platten, Chief Executive of CMAL said: â€œWe are delighted to see this project reach fruition on time and on budget, which has been down to excellent teamwork between CMAL as the owners and project managers, CFL as operator and the shipyard in Gdansk. â€œThe project demonstrates CMALâ€™s commitment to the long term improvement of vessels for remote and island communities and we look forward to welcoming FINLAGGAN to Scotland shortly.â€