Turkish yard launches first ferry for Scottish isles

One of four ferries being built in Turkiye to serve Scotland’s Western Isles has been launched ahead of being delivered to operator Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL) in October.

The MV Isle of Islay will ply the routes between the mainland, Islay and Jura.

It was launched at the Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Yalova by Morag McNeill, chair of CMAL, in the company of other key project stakeholders.

The vessel will have capacity for up to 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles. It will provide a combined 40% increase in vehicle and freight capacity on the Islay routes,bolstering the overall resilience of the wider fleet.

Work will continue onboard the vessel while it is in the water, before it undergoes sea trials and is handed over to owners, CMAL. Crew familiarisation and local operational trials will take place before it enters service. An official naming ceremony will take place on Islay towards the end of the year.

The ferries being built in Turkiye are on time and budget, while the two vessels under construction the Clyde are delayed and hugely over budget.

Commenting on today’s launch, Scotland’s Transport Secretary Fiona Hyslop added: “This is another important milestone reached in the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver six new major vessels to serve the Clyde and Hebrides network by 2026.

“With MV Isle of Islay progressing towards delivery in October, and her sister ship MV Loch Indaal following soon after, ferry users can anticipate more reliable and resilient services with increased capacity for the Islay routes from 2025.

“I look forward to seeing these and more new vessels being added to the fleet in the coming years and bringing improvements for island communities across the Clyde and Hebrides network.”

Robbie Drummond, chief executive of CalMac, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming MV Isle of Islay into our fleet. When she enters service, she will deliver a real step change in resilience and capacity for the community of Islay enabling future growth.”

The second vessel for Islay and Jura is due to be launched at Cemre later this year.

Source: dailybusinessgroup

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