Calmac website search form
Corporate CalMac

About CalMac Ferries Ltd

Introducing CalMac Ferries Ltd

CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of David MacBrayne Ltd, which is wholly owned by Scottish Ministers.

Previously operating as Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd, CalMac was created in October 2006 to bid for the Scottish Government contract to operate Clyde & Hebrides Ferry Services, which it subsequently won.

At the same time Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd changed its name to Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) and retained ownership of the vessels and piers which it leases to the operator of the Clyde & Hebrides Ferry services (currently CFL). CMAL is also wholly owned by Scottish Ministers but is entirely separate from CFL. Although they have the same shareholder, each has its own Board and their relationship is solely contractual.

CalMac Ferries Limited has one wholly owned subsidiary; Caledonian MacBrayne Crewing (Guernsey) Limited, which employs and supplies all sea going staff (approx 1000) to CFL.

CalMac runs 33 vessels to over 50 ports and harbours, across 200 miles of Scotland's west coast. Operating to 27 ports and have delegated authority at 17 statutory harbours on behalf of owner Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. We complete 162,750 sailings a year - from 5 minutes to 7 hours. On average, we ship 10,738 coaches and 1,431,631 cars a year. In 2018, one of our busiest years to date, we carried 5,309,771 passengers.

Logistics specialist

CalMac Ferries Ltd is the UK's largest ferry operator in terms of ships and destinations served and one of the largest transport operators in Scotland.

It is a multi-award winning ferry and port operator and ship management specialist providing essential lifeline services and logistical support to island and remote communities

Customer focused

In delivering the Clyde & Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract, CalMac is focused on delivering customer service to the highest standards possible and achieving added value within the contract specification for communities, businesses, tourism, our employees and for the taxpayer, via The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland - i.e. improving value for the investment made.

Community role

We can trace our heritage and the provision of lifeline ferry services back more than 160 years. CalMac is part of the DNA of the Highlands and islands and embedded in the local community where it plays an integral part in the economic sustainability of the area's social and business life.

Major employer

CalMac employs 1,700 people, including 200 at our Gourock headquarters - this means we are one of the largest businesses headquartered in Scotland.

Strategic partnerships

We are easy to do business with and have formed a series of strategic partnerships at local, national and international levels to help enhance our customer service.

Delivering value for Scottish Government/Transport Scotland


While continuing to improve services, CalMac is committed to maximising benefits from the Scottish Government subsidy to ensure best value for the public purse. It returns to the Scottish Government any profit we achieve over and above the £1.8 million pre agreed profit level.

Quality senior management

Led by Managing Director, Robbie Drummond, CalMac's senior management team has been reshaped in recent years and is implementing an organisational change programme with a customer/commercial focus designed to achieve further service and safety improvement, operational efficiencies and cost savings.


While CalMac already achieves contractual technical reliability of 99.51% and punctuality of 99.57% it is implementing a modernisation programme that will improve operational efficiencies and enhance the customer experience.

Valuable expertise

Our experts work closely with Transport Scotland to support implementation of the Scottish Government's Ferry Plan (2012 - 2022) and to innovate in areas such as marine technology and lower emission fuels.

Delivering value for communities

Lifeline services

operating as a publicly-owned company delivering a commercial contract helps support evolution of these lifeline services to meet the changing needs of the islands. Operational decisions are never taken on a purely commercial basis.


CalMac undertakes significant community and stakeholder engagement on a daily basis. The majority our employees live in the communities we serve giving us a unique insight into local issues and sensitivities.

Service improvements

Service improvements are made in response to feedback from communities, customers and stakeholders. This engagement has led to investment in new and expanded services and improved connectivity.

Supporting local businesses

CalMac supports businesses in the community by sourcing the majority of our goods and services from the local area. This includes much of the food and drink served every day on the ferries.

Ability and willingness to respond

CalMac is geared to respond effectively to day-to-day issues and has a proven track record in helping tackle weather-related crises faced by local islands.

Adding value in tourism

Stimulating tourism

CalMac's role goes way beyond simply transporting people by sea for holidays and short breaks. We recognise its critical importance in achieving Scottish Government objectives, benefiting communities, boosting local and tourism businesses while growing our business. More visitors mean more spend in shops and restaurants.  Increased ferry traffic also leads to greater investment in island infrastructure which helps everyone.

Tourism partnership

We add value in tourism by working with national and local tourism bodies, partnering with local attractions and supporting local events and investing in marketing initiatives.

Adding value - our staff


Staff commitment is supported through training programmes tailored to our needs which go beyond legislative or contract requirements. Many are based on national standards and best practice which we view as essential in improving customer service. Our training programmes also benefit the community by helping improve staff progression and earning power, encouraging retention of skills locally.

Close Don't show again