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Amended services during Islay's Fèis Ìle announced by CalMac

Following consultation with local communities, CalMac has announced additional sailings to support visitors travelling to and from Islay's Fèis Ìle this May and June.

Extra sailings will now go ahead at the beginning and the end of the annual festival to allow as many customers as possible to attend the event.

CalMac teams have worked hard to find extra resources after the loss of MV Caledonian Isles elsewhere in the network meant that initially, additional sailings would not be possible. However, timetables to other islands have been temporarily altered to allow these extra sailings.

The changes are: 

Kennacraig - Port Ellen, Islay 

An additional two return sailings will operate on 25 May 2024 and 1 June 2024 between Kennacraig and Port Ellen.  

Oban - Port Askaig, Islay  

An additional sailing will operate between Oban - Port Askaig on 25 and 26 May 2024 and 1 and 2 June 2024.  

Oban - Colonsay 

An amended timetable will be in place for sailings between Oban-Colonsay on 25 May and 1 June 2024. This will be operated by MV Clansman to allow MV Hebridean Isles to deliver additional capacity to Islay.  

Oban - Craignure, Mull  

An amended timetable will operate between Oban-Craignure, Mull on 24 May, 25 May and 1 June and 2 June 2024 while MV Isle of Mull is deployed on the Oban-Port Askaig, Islay service. The Oban - Craignure service will be operated by MV Loch Frisa and MV Coruisk during those two weekends.  

Mallaig - Armadale, Skye

An amended timetable will operate on this service on 24 May and 25 May 2024, 31 May, 1 June, 2 June and 3 June 2024 while MV Coruisk supports services to Mull. MV Loch Fyne will continue to deliver a normal service on this route during this time.

Booking systems are currently being updated and tickets will be available to book by 30 March. Anyone affected by altered timetables will be contacted by CalMac's port teams in due course.

Pauline Blackshaw, Director of Strategy and Change for CalMac, said: "We have been liaising regularly with the Fèis organisers and the Scottish Whisky Association about issues with capacity, and I am pleased that we have managed to find a solution thanks to a lot of work from our teams.

"However, as our service is stretched to its absolute limit, these additional sailings have only been made possible by altering services on other routes. I am sorry for any disruption this may cause to customers, and we are most grateful for their understanding.

"The network, and particularly Islay, will soon benefit from new vessels which will help to provide the resilient service communities deserve. Until they are operational, we will continue to do whatever we can to provide a reliable service."

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