Islay launch date announced

MV Loch Indaal - Artist Concept

CALEDONIAN Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has announced the launch date of the second vessel for Islay, MV Loch Indaal, as 8 June 2024.

Following the successful launch of sister vessel, MV Isle of Islay in March this year, MV Loch Indaal will move from the slipway into the water at Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Yalova, Turkey. This marks another significant milestone for the project.

Until its launch, work will continue on the slipway. This includes the application of underwater hull coatings, installation of pipework, equipment, and machinery, and electrical works.

The ferry, which will serve Islay and Jura, is set to be delivered in February 2025. Following transit from Turkey, it will undergo crew familiarisation and local operational trials before it enters service.

Jim Anderson, Director of Vessels at CMAL said: “With the launch of Isle of Islay in March, and Glen Rosa in April, Loch Indaal will be the third vessel to launch within three months. Work is progressing well at Cemre, and we are on schedule and on budget with all four vessels, which will be welcome news for islanders.” 

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Fiona Hyslop, said: “I’m delighted that the launch of the MV Loch Indaal has been confirmed for early June. 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.”

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

The new ferry, along with its sister vessel MV Isle of Islay, will have sufficient passenger accommodation to meet anticipated demand, as well as a clear focus on freight. Both vessels will have capacity for up to 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.

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