FAQs

Planning

When do I need to check-in?

Passenger and vehicle check in times vary and can be between 5 minutes and 60 minutes before the advertised departure time. You'll find your latest check in time on your confirmation email or our timetables.

On routes where there is a ticket office at the port, you must buy a ticket before boarding. Whether foot passengers or vehicle drivers, passengers who arrive later than the displayed check-in closure times cannot be guaranteed boarding.


What happens if I don't check-in on time?

The check-in closure times are extremely important and failure to meet these times will result in vehicle space being reallocated. If there are vehicles waiting in the un-booked lane and you do not arrive for the displayed check-in closure time, the port staff will reallocate your space to a vehicle in the un-booked lane.


What do I need to do to check-in my vehicle?

Simply arrive at the port on the day of travel by the check-in time shown on your booking confirmation. Follow the signs to the vehicle marshalling area, and the instructions of the marshalling crew. Drive slowly and be careful if you open a vehicle door as other vehicles may be travelling beside you.
 


I am travelling as a foot passenger, is there parking at the port?

Please check our port details page for more details on parking facilities available. 

 


Can I take my bicycle onboard?

Yes, bicycles are carried free of charge and will be stored in a designated area on the car deck, subject to availability. Boarding will be via the car deck. Please follow the directions of the crew - they will show you where you can store them. On some routes space is limited, and it may not be possible to store all bicycles in an upright position. 

All cyclists, especially groups, are advised to either contact the port of departure, or call us direct on 0800 066 5000 or +44 1475 650397 (for international customers) before the day of travel to check availability of bicycle space.
 


I am travelling to Arran on my bike, is there anything I need to know before I travel?

If you are travelling to Arran on a bike, we would like to advise that due to high demands being placed on our sailings on the Ardrossan to Brodick service, particularly at the weekends, space on the car deck for bicycle's is limited.

We will do everything we can to accommodate all cyclists and their bicycles, however, we cannot guarantee shipment on busy sailings. If you do not get on a particular sailing, we will do everything we can to get you on the next available sailing.

We appreciate your understanding during these busy periods.

All cyclists, especially groups, are advised to either contact the port of departure, or call us direct on 0800 066 5000 or +44 1475 650397 (for international customers) before the day of travel to check availability of bicycle space.


Can I find out about sailing disruptions and cancellations before I travel?

Yes, there are several ways to get service status information:

  • Online - visit the Service Status section of this website.

  • Download our app - get service information direct to your smartphone. Download Android app . Download IOS app . Download Blackberry app .

  • Text - To subscribe to live updates for a particular route text CALMAC and SUBSCRIBE and the route code of your choice to 60030 e.g. 'CALMAC SUBSCRIBE 05'. This will subscribe you to service information for that route six months. You can subscribe to multiple routes by sending a text message for each route. You can cancel your subscriptions by texting 'CALMAC STOP' or, e.g. 'CALMAC STOP 05' for an individual route. For a one time update on the route of your choice text CALMAC and the route code to 60030 e.g. 'CALMAC 05'.

  • Text - You can now easily manage your new and existing subscriptions to our text messaging service. Manage the routes and choose the length of your subscription period, from 1 day to 6months. Follow the simple steps on our manage my text subscriptions to view, edit, delete your existing subscriptions and add new route subscriptions.

  • By phone - call our Service Information line on 0800 066 5400 for an update.

We always recommend that passengers consider insuring themselves against consequential costs which may be incurred through delays, cancellations etc.

For road travel and weather information visit  Traffic Scotland  and  Met Office  websites.
 


Why do you need personal details about the passengers?

For voyages longer than 20 miles out to sea we're required to collect passenger details (name, sex, age). If you're travelling on these routes, we need to record your details in both directions:

  • Ardrossan - Campbeltown

  • Campbeltown - Brodick

  • Coll - Tiree

  • Lochboisdale - Castlebay

  • Lochmaddy - Tarbert

  • Mallaig - Lochboisdale

  • Oban - Castlebay

  • Oban - Coll

  • Oban - Colonsay

  • Oban - Lochboisdale

  • Oban - Tiree

  • Tiree - Castlebay

  • Uig - Lochmaddy

  • Uig - Tarbert

  • Ullapool - Stornoway

If you travel on these routes you must observe the check in times for registration for the particular sailing and be on board at least 10 minutes prior to sailing time. (See appropriate timetable for information). Each passenger must complete a Passenger Registration card. These cards will then be collected on boarding and, where applicable, the second (landing) part of the card should be retained for collection on disembarking.


I have reduced mobility, what assistance do you provide?

If you have reduced mobility, are travelling with young children, or with a lot of luggage, we will try our best to make your journey stress-free.

If you need assistance let us know when you book, or at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure time. You can call us on 0800 066 5000 or +44 1475 650397 (for international customers), or email assistanceteam@calmac.co.uk

We do not normally provide assistance at unmanned ports, but if you need help contact the assistance team and they will help where possible. 

If booking through a travel agent or tour operator, and you require assistance, please ask them to book assistance with us. 

We cannot guarantee that we can arrange assistance if this has not been requested 48 hours before your scheduled departure time.

Watch our Passenger Assistance video or go to our transcript of the content.

For visually impaired passengers our timetables and guide to passenger welfare leaflet are available in braille and audio formats. If you require any of these, call us on 0800 066 5000 or +44 1475 650397(for international customers), or email: assistanceteam@calmac.co.uk
 


I have reduced mobility. Can I stay in my car during the voyage?

Sorry, on our larger vessels, safety regulations mean customers can't stay in their car while the vessel is on passage. If you have reduced mobility, please advise staff when you check-in and they'll arrange for your car to be loaded as near to the lift entrance as possible. All of our bookable services, with the exception of the Berneray - Leverburgh and Oban - Lismore routes are operated by these larger vessels.

Our smaller vessels have open car decks and customers can stay in their car if desired. These small vessels operate the Berneray - Leverburgh and Oban - Lismore services, in addition to our turn up and go routes.
 


Are your port offices reachable using other forms of public transport?

Yes, many of our port offices can be reached by bus or train. The train times we show in our timetables are for guidance only and you should always check with the other travel provider if you're concerned about missing a connection. CalMac doesn't accept any liability for the costs of any accommodation or additional travel you incur following a missed connection.
 


Useful transport information


Traveline Public Transport Information  or call 0871 200 22 33 
Scottish Citylink Coaches  or call 0871 266 3333
ScotRail  or call 0845 748 4950
Argyll and Bute Council  or call 01546 604360
Highland Council or call either 01463 702457 or 01463 702458
Comhairlie nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) or call 01851 709592
HITRANS Regional Transport Partnership  or call 01667 460464
British Transport Police or call 0800 40 50 40
Traffic Scotland


Where can I find more information about the ports?

You can find the full details of each port - including facilities, parking, and contact details - on our Port pages.
 


What are the sat nav codes for your port offices?

To help you plan your journey using sat nav or GPS equipment, these are the postcodes for our port offices:

PortPostcode Port Postcode
     
ArdmhorHS9 5YB ArdrossanKA22 8ED
ArmadaleIV45 8RS BernerayHS6 5BD
BrodickKA27 8AY CampbeltownPA28 6ED
CannaPH44 4RS CastlebayHS9 5XD
ClaonaigPA31 8RL ColintraivePA22 3AP
CollPA78 6SY ColonsayPA61 7YW
CraignurePA65 6AY CumbraeKA28 0HQ
EiggPH42 4RL EriskayHS8 5JN
FionnphortPA66 6BL FishnishPA65 6BA
GighaPA41 7AB GourockPA19 1QP
IonaPA76 6SJ KilchoanPA36 4LH
KennacraigPA29 6YF LargsKA30 8BG
LeverburghHS5 3UB LismorePA34 5UJ
LochalinePA34 5XT LochboisdaleHS8 5TH
LochmaddyHS6 5AA LochranzaKA27 8HL
MallaigPH41 4QD MuckPH41 2RP
ObanPA34 4DB Port AskaigPA46 7RB
Port EllenPA42 7DW PortavadiePA21 2DA
RaasayIV48 8TD RhubodachPA20 0QL
RothesayPA20 9AQ RumPH43 4RR
SconserIV48 8TD StornowayHS1 2AE
Tarbert (Harris)HS3 3DG Tarbert (Loch Fyne)PA29 6UF
TayinloanPA29 6XG TireePA77 6TN
TobermoryPA75 6NU Uig*IV51 9XX
UllapoolIV26 2UR Wemyss BayPA18 6AR

 

* sat nav may show route via bookable Mallaig to Armadale ferry service. Select 'no tolls' for Skye Bridge route.
 


I have a question that's not answered here. What should I do?

Call us on 0800 066 5000 or +44 1475 650397 (for international customers), or email enquiries@calmac.co.uk. We'll get back to you as soon as we can.


 

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