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Covid-19 Customer Updates and Travel Advice

Customer message from CalMac MD Robbie Drummond

Message from Robbie Drummond, Managing Director, CalMac Ferries

24 June 2020

"We are currently operating an essential services timetable which will be in place until 30 June 2020. The next phase of our timetable will begin on 1 July 2020. We'll publish this on our website on 26 June 2020, and bookings will be available for this timetable from 30 June, 9am.

COVID-19 has changed many aspects of day to day life - including how our customers sail with us. As we all work together to manage the ongoing risk, safety must be the priority.

We are implementing the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland's travel guidelines and safety measures, including social distancing. These measures are designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and they dictate the number of passengers we can carry. They are strictly controlled and not open to interpretation.

In the next phase of our timetable we will be increasing the frequency of sailings, but capacity will continue to be constrained for these reasons. We will continue to optimise capacity to reflect the further expected changes in travel guidelines from the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland.

This next phase of our timetable will run from 1 July until 14 July - coinciding with the timings of the Scottish Government's route map, which guides the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions.

The following phase of our timetable will run from 15 July until 17 October which will include a further step up in capacity. We will publish this on our website on 2 July, and bookings will be available for that timetable from 2 July. This timetable will include the return of a two-vessel service to Islay, Mull's Oban to Craignure route and on Arran's Ardrossan-Brodick route.

From 1 July, we strongly advise that all foot passengers on our bookable routes make a reservation prior to travel to help us manage demand effectively. We have made provision to accommodate passengers who have been unable to make a booking - but this will be very limited, so we strongly advise all customers to book in advance. 

From the same date, one of our 'turn up and go' routes - Mallaig to the Small Isles will change to a bookable service. All passengers using that service, including those on foot, should book travel in advance. All other current 'turn up and go' routes will remain non-bookable.

The last few months have brought many changes for all of us. We will continue to provide guidance for our customers on what these changes mean. In the meantime, please remember to:

  • Consider your safety and the safety of others by understanding the latest safety guidelines, including the use of face coverings on public transport.

  • Be responsible when considering travel - your decision to travel could impact someone else's ability to travel.

  • When you do travel, plan ahead and be prepared.

    • When travelling on our bookable routes, we strongly advise you always book ahead.

    • When travelling on a 'turn up and go' route, capacity is constrained, and your first choice of sailing may not be always be available.

  • Stay in touch - we'll keep sharing guidance and information on changes to how you sail with us via our website and social media feeds.

We know restrictions are challenging for everyone - we will continue to work and engage with the communities we serve. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we move into this next phase."

Robbie Drummond
Managing Director
CalMac Ferries Ltd

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