MV Loch Seaforth finally returns to Ullapool-Stornoway route after April breakdown
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A FERRY plying the route between Ullapool and Stornoway is set to return to service this evening.
The vessel had been out of action since mid-April when one of its engines failed. It return to service had been pushed back a number of times and the issue has been raised by MSPs at Holyrood.
Sea trials on the MV Loch Seaforth have been successful and the vessel will return to service, CalMac confirmed.
Following "major repairs", the vessel left the James Watt dock in Greenock on Friday and completed 50 hours of sea trials before arriving in Stornoway yesterday.
Further tests carried out today were also successful.
The return means that:
Castlebay-Oban will recommence on Wednesday, June 2 with the MV Isle of Lewis
Islay-Kennacraig two-vessel service on Wednesday, June 2 – the MV Hebridean Isles will return to this service and will also operate the Colonsay service as timetabled.
MV Isle of Arran will return from the Islay service on Wednesday, June 2 June and Brodick-Ardrossan two-vessel service will resume on Thursday.
Campbeltown Summer season will start on Thursday, June 3 with the MV Isle of Arran.
Lochboisdale-Mallaig and Mallaig-Armadale will recommence on Wednesday, June 2 with the MV Lord of the Isles.
Robert Morrison, operations director of CalMac, said: “We recognise that this has been an extremely challenging time for customers and staff and again apologise for the disruptions over the past few weeks.
“We are looking forward to getting back to operating the normal summer timetable service and to welcoming passengers onto our ferries.”
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CalMac is the UK's largest ferry operator, running 29 routes to over 50 destinations, across 200 miles of Scotland's west coast. Its fleet of 33 vessels complete approximately 136,000 sailings a year with crossings ranging from five minutes to seven hours. CalMac provides an everyday lifeline service to west coast communities, and for tourism, we play a critical role in enabling its development, which is hugely important for the area's economy.