It is a wild, rugged, desolate but jewel-like place where few have trodden. But one Western Isles community organisation has brought the dream closer to reality for many in the form of the St Kilda Challenge yacht race.
Jump on board with CalMac for National Ferry Fortnight offers and add a friend free
Have you got on board yet? The ninth annual National Ferry Fortnight runs until May 20 across the UK and CalMac has plenty of tempting offers to get you afloat.
Caledonian MacBrayne makes £1,000 donation to RNLI volunteer lifesavers
Money raised by Caledonian MacBrayne staff for the RNLI has been presented to volunteers at Oban Lifeboat station.
Scottish-led group wins top international honour for innovative maritime safety work
A Scottish-led academic and industry collaboration has won a top international marine award for a revolutionary project to enhance safety at sea procedures.
Ferry tasty - CalMac's onboard cafeterias add new items to their menus for 2017
It's enough to get the taste buds a-tingling, as CalMac introduces the likes of cullen skink pie, smoked salmon bagels and vegetarian haggis nachos to its ever popular menu.
Two Caledonian MacBrayne bridge crews targeted by lasers during critical manoeuvres
Two Caledonian MacBrayne vessels have been targeted during critical docking manoeuvres by a powerful laser beam.
It's child's play as CalMac's Armadale port staff start kids' fun zone at the ferry office
Port staff at Caledonian MacBrayne's office in Armadale on the Isle of Skye have created a special fun zone for children.
Second award in one week for CalMac's support to tourism on Scotland's west coast
For the second time in a week, CalMac has stepped forward to pick up a top award recognising its support to Scotland's west coast tourism.
CalMac's first campaign aimed at millennials wins prestigious Travel Marketing Award
Caledonian MacBrayne, together with The Lane Agency, has won the digital marketing campaign of the year category at The Travel Marketing Awards.
Two awards nods for CalMac, recognising support to rural communities and economies
Caledonian MacBrayne has been shortlisted for two major awards recognising its role in supporting rural economies across Scotland's west coast.
CalMac apprentices celebrate a year of firsts as part of the Scottish Apprenticeship Week
A group of three of CalMac's current 19 apprentices, came together this week to celebrate a year of notable milestones for the company's training programmes.
CalMac's annual passenger carrying figures exceed five million for first time in 20 years
Caledonian MacBrayne's official carrying statistics for 2016 reveal that the west coast of Scotland ferry company passed five million passengers for the first time since 1997.
Martin Dorchester announces that he will remain as CEO for David MacBrayne Group
As Caledonian MacBrayne's managing director and chief executive officer for the David MacBrayne Group, Martin Dorchester has announced that he will remain in post.
Plain sailing for Gourock primary students, as CalMac experts make an educational visit
A group of around 50 primary 7 students at St Ninian's Primary School in Gourock have been treated to a morning of life on the ocean waves - without even leaving the classroom.
CalMac launches 2018 planner for coach and tour operators, with new route packages
It's seldom too early to plan and, with that in mind, CalMac has launched its 2018 Travel Trade Product Planner aimed at helping coach and tour operators to discover the beauty of Scotland's west coast.
Bernera services manager hangs up his uniform after half a century with CalMac
An onboard services manager from Lewis, who has served with CalMac for almost half a century, has hung up his uniform for the last time.
LOCHBOISDALE-MALLAIG SERVICE SUSPENDED FOR SHIP REPAIRS
Ferry passengers intending to travel between Lochboisdale and Mallaig next week (w/c January 23) are being advised that the service is being suspended for a short period due to essential maintenance on MV Lord of the Isles.
New super model makes her home on North Uist and becomes muse sensation for pupils
A new super model has floated into Lochmaddy on North Uist, dressed in black and white with a hint of red - and she intends to stick around for a while.
CalMac unveil summer timetables for 2017 - increased capacity on Mallaig - Armadale service
Ferry operator CalMac Ferries Ltd has announced that its Summer 2017 timetable will be online and available for booking from 12 noon tomorrow ( Jan 10, 2017).
Caledonian MacBrayne ferry info as Storm Barbara makes her formidable presence felt
With the well-forecast arrival of Storm Barbara, Caledonian MacBrayne ferries are experiencing widespread disruption across the 200-mile network today (Friday December 23).
Christmas message from Martin Dorchester, Chief Executive Officer, David MacBrayne Ltd
It is that time of year when we turn our attention to family and friends in anticipation of the fun and relaxation of the festive season.
CalMac launches annual photo competition for 2018 calendar
Time waits for no man, woman or ferry and, although we have yet to wave 2016 goodbye, CalMac has now opened its popular photographic competition for its 2018 calendar.
Caledonian MacBrayne leads the UK with first maritime hospitality apprenticeship
A group of eight students is making history alongside CalMac with a brand new apprenticeship programme - the first of its type in the UK.
Caledonian MacBrayne's new look online ticketing system gets ready to go live
Operator of the UK's largest ferry network, Caledonian MacBrayne, is refreshing its online ticketing to make it easier to use.
UK's largest ferry operator to feature as part of BBC's new Storm Heroes programme
A brand new BBC ALBA series called Storm Heroes - Gaisgich na Stoirme in Gaelic - will begin on Tuesday (November 15) with Caledonian MacBrayne playing a feature role.
Timetable amendments to ease disruption to Rothesay
Ferry operator CalMac is running an amended timetable to the Isle of Bute to try and minimise disruption caused by the withdrawal of one of the island's two vessels.
Caledonian MacBrayne named as the Living Wage Foundation's Scottish Champion 2016
West coast ferry operator CalMac has been named today (Monday October 31) as Scottish Living Wage Champion for 2016.
CalMac's greatest fan, globe-trotting tales, good food for all - welcome to Caledonian MacBrayne's travel and tourism conference
•Record-breaking adventurer Mark Beaumont tells tourism and travel industry leaders that he continues 'to think that Scotland is the world's best adventure playground' •More than 100 people assemble in Glasgow to look at the future of the industry at the CalMac Travel and Tourism Conference 2016, held in Glasgow •Proceedings are opened and led throughout the day by self-confessed CalMac fan broadcaster, journalist and author Muriel Gray •Shirley Spear of internationally-acclaimed restaurant The Three Chimneys explains her aspirations to make Scotland a Good Food Nation
CalMac at home on the sea - pushing the boat out with Skipinnish for unique film
In an innovative film exploring its enduring role at the heart of Scotland's west coast, CalMac launches Your West Coast campaign today (Thursday October 20) - a collaboration with well-known band Skipinnish.
UK awards recognise Caledonian MacBrayne efforts in 2015 with special commendations
West coast ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has picked up two highly commended accolades at the National Transport Awards (NTA).
MV Hebrides leaves dry dock and successfully completes sea trials
Caledonian MacBrayne ferry MV Hebrides left dry dock in Greenock and successfully completed sea trials today (Saturday October 15); she is now journeying north to Oban.
And the winner is... CalMac shortlisted for two prestigious National Transport Awards
Operator of the UK's largest ferry network, Caledonian MacBrayne, has been shortlisted in two categories for prestigious UK-wide awards.
CalMac training comes closer to home for apprentices
A new link up with City of Glasgow College means all ferry operator CalMac's engineering and deck apprentices will now be trained in Scotland.
MV Hebrides leaves Lochmaddy harbour bound for the Clyde
Caledonian MacBrayne's ferry MV Hebrides, which was involved in an incident on North Uist on Sunday (September 25), successfully sailed from Lochmaddy harbour shortly after 1515 today (Thursday September 29).
MV Hebrides update and latest contingency plans
Caledonian MacBrayne can confirm that, weather permitting, MV Hebrides will move from her current location at the pier in Lochmaddy, North Uist tomorrow (Thursday September 29) and begin her journey to Greenock. She will enter dry dock at the end of the week.
Update following yesterday's incident with MV Hebrides in Lochmaddy
Caledonian MacBrayne is continuing to form contingency plans in the wake of an incident involving MV Hebrides at Lochmaddy on North Uist yesterday (Sunday September 25).
CalMac confirms additional sailings to help ease disruption
Caledonian MacBrayne has confirmed additional sailings to help ease disruption after the incident involving MV Hebrides this morning (1105, Sunday September 25).
Ferry improvements bring economic boost for islands
Businesses in the Western Isles are reporting an economic boost driven by increased ferry capacity and dedicated services.
CalMac unveils plans for "new era" in west coast ferry services
Award-winning ferry operator CalMac Ferries Ltd has gone public for the first time with its ambitious plans to transform west coast ferry services in a new contract beginning on 1 October 2016 for up to eight years.
CalMac extends summer Go Days Out trips and teams up with ScotRail for Rail & Sail
Summer has just been extended - it's official.
CALMAC SIGNS FERRY AND HARBOUR SERVICES CONTRACTS
Award-winning ferry operator CalMac Ferries Ltd (CalMac) is pleased to confirm that it has signed the formal contracts with Transport Scotland and Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) to operate ferries and harbours on the west coast of Scotland.
Ferry urgent! Less than 40 days left to make young ferry fan's Lego dream come true
Young Luke Ball from Kilmarnock has a dream - but he has less than 40 days left to make it a reality.
Let them eat cake - CalMac staff in Mallaig bake up a super-sweet £500 for MS Society
Two kind-hearted CalMac staff at Mallaig have raised £500 for the MS Society Scotland with a stall of delicious home-baking available for passengers at the port office.
Two school pupils given innovative, new engineering work placement by CalMac
Two students from Inverclyde have been given an opportunity to gain valuable engineering skills thanks to a new initiative working with schools in the area.
Ship shape on the beach! Kind-hearted staff at CalMac set about cleaning up Lunderston
A group of community-spirited Caledonian MacBrayne staff has stepped forward to carry out a clean-up in Lunderston Bay in Inverclyde.
A right royal appointment! Lochmaddy port assistant invited to meeting with The Queen
A Caledonian MacBrayne port assistant was invited to join HM The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at an exclusive gathering.
MV Hebridean Isles returns to Islay
Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) has confirmed that repairs to the MV Hebridean Isles have been completed and she currently en route to Islay. She is due to arrive later today (Tuesday, August 9) and will enter service as soon as practicable.
CalMac charters replacement vessel to increase Islay capacity
Ferry operator CalMac has chartered a freight vessel for the next six days to increase capacity on the Islay service.
Greenock's Demi takes top award for saving the big day
Seven newly wed couples had CalMac employee Demi Wylie to thank for saving their big day and she's now been recognised for her efforts at the Scottish Transport Awards.
CalMac hails success of P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea
More than 25,000 people packed the esplanade at Greenock over the weekend to support the inaugural P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea.
CalMac port office in Tarbert, Harris, gets new community defibrillator from charity
Staff at CalMac's port in Tarbert, Isle of Harris, have been trained to use a newly donated community defibrillator.
Inaugural St Kilda Challenge hailed as great success as Moonstruck Too takes victory
After 100 nautical miles and almost exactly 23 hours at sea, Moonstruck Too, Gordon Lawson's J122, took victory at the inaugural St Kilda Challenge.
And they're off! Racers and cruisers head for UK's remotest outpost in St Kilda Challenge
At 9.30am today (Friday June 10), 27 yachts left the Sound of Harris in Scotland's Outer Hebrides with their sights set firmly on the St Kilda archipelago - a return journey of some 100 nautical miles.
Eyes west! Thirty yachts arrive at Lochmaddy to take part in inaugural St Kilda Challenge
A fleet of 30 yachts has arrived at the North Uist village of Lochmaddy in Scotland's Outer Hebrides in advance of the inaugural St Kilda Challenge.
Three shortlistings for CalMac teams at the Scottish Transport Awards in Glasgow
Teams at Caledonian MacBrayne have been rewarded for their efforts with three shortlisted nominations for the Scottish Transport Awards.
CALMAC STATEMENT ON MALLAIG-ARMADALE ROUTE
Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) has confirmed it intends making no further changes to the Mallaig-Armadale service this summer but has agreed, after listening to community concerns, that it will review vessel deployment for summer 2017 in consultation with affected communities.
Caledonian MacBrayne's free public access wi-fi rollout progressing across network
Almost half of the 200-mile long Caledonian MacBrayne network is now live with free public access wi-fi - and the remainder will be completed in early July.
Finlaggan on full service for Islay whisky festival
The MV Finlaggan's mezzanine vehicle deck is now back in full working order in time for the Islay Festival of Music and Malt, ferry operator CalMac has confirmed.
Buying, selling and serving local gives CalMac a nod at the Scottish Food and Drink Awards
An unwavering commitment to buying, serving and selling local produce on board a fleet of ferries has won a nomination at Scotland's Food and Drink Awards.
Stornoway and Ullapool route will be first to pilot changes to CalMac's ticketing system
Passengers on CalMac's Ullapool to Stornoway route will be the first to trial new enhancements to the company's ticketing system.
CalMac commissioned report looks at next 25 years' Argyll and Clyde marine economy
The independent report commissioned by CalMac was co-authored and compiled by MacArthur Green environmental consultants and academic specialists at University of the West of Scotland...
Renewed global customer service standards secured
CalMac, the UK's largest ferry, operator has successfully renewed its Global Standard Accreditation for customer care in the face of a 37% increase in calls over the past year. The company's 46 strong customer operations team was again given the much coveted quality assurance mark by the Contact Centre Association (CCA) for its helpfulness and professionalism.
CalMac goes Gaelic with social media
Staff at CalMac's customer operations centre are on a crash learning course to reach out to more Gaelic speakers through social media. Six volunteers from the customer team in Gourock are going through a Gaelic beginners course to enable them to start posting service update tweets bilingually.
CalMac backing brings national science workshops to remote areas for the first time
Primary school children across some of Scotland's remotest west coast areas will benefit from a touring science education programme for the first time.
CalMac's Small Isles ferry becomes the latest in the fleet to achieve Taste Our Best status
A ferry serving Scotland's Small Isles has become the 11th in Caledonian MacBrayne's fleet to achieve the national Taste Our Best status.
CalMac enlists the unlikely help of the 'Eejits' to show millennials what they're missing
Caledonian MacBrayne's brand new campaign for summer 2016 has firmly stuck on a fun badge to challenge the doubting millennial visitor to head for the isles. Hold on to your (woolly) hats!
New disruption warnings keep customers better informed
Ferry operator CalMac is changing the way it alerts customers to disrupted services following feedback from passengers. An additional service status of yellow is being added to the existing green, amber and red categories on their website to give passengers clearer information about potential disruption.
CalMac announces new single dive support contract
Shearwater Marine Services Ltd has been appointed as the lead contractor to provide diving support services to ferry operator CalMac. The company, based in Dunoon, will now be responsible for all diving support to CalMac's 31 strong fleet and harbour operations after winning the competitive tender competition.
Bus link agreed for new Lochboisdale Mallaig service
Ferry operator CalMac has signed a deal with Fort William based Shiel Buses to provide onward links for foot passengers using the new Lochboisdale to Mallaig service.
Caledonian MacBrayne makes positive steps towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Caledonian MacBrayne is on track to meet its own greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
CalMac lends backing to inaugural P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea at Inverclyde
Operator of the UK's largest ferry network, Caledonian MacBrayne has committed support to the first ever P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea.
Port Ellen temporary closure
Essential repair work at Port Ellen Ferry Terminal will require ferry operator CalMac to divert all Islay services to Port Askaig for a period of around three weeks. The port's linkspan is being replaced, along with cylinders and pipework being upgraded by owner, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), requiring closure from April 18.
Tune in to CalMac Culture Music 2016
Ferry operator CalMac is again looking for the best in new Scottish talent to play a set at some of the country's biggest summer music festivals. Now in its third year CalMac Culture Music for up and coming singers and bands is now open for entries. Finalists will battle it out on the iconic stage at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow on March 31 for a chance to take the stage at one of nine festivals taking place across the west coast.
Horsing around over for Twilight Sparkle as CalMac staff rein her in to return to Alice
Kind-hearted CalMac staff have helped to reunite a little girl with her favourite toy pony.
Safety evacuation system upgrade for MV Loch Portain
A new-state-of-the-art lifesaving system is being fitted to the MV Loch Portain during its annual refit this year. The new Maritime Evacuation System (MES) will be obvious to regular passengers as it is being relocated from the vehicle deck to the passenger deck. The new equipment will significantly speed up the vessel's evacuation in the event of an emergency.
CalMac picks up first ever Creative Business prize at Arts and Business Scotland Awards
The UK's largest ferry network operator, Caledonian MacBrayne, has picked up the inaugural Creative Business Award at the Arts and Business Scotland Awards.
Storm Henry - advice for customers
With the arrival of Storm Henry, adverse weather conditions are predicted to affect Scotland's west coast and Caledonian MacBrayne is advising passengers to check ahead on the company's website, social media feeds or app for disruptions across the network.
CalMac pulls out all the stops to get services through to west coast communities - but disruptions persist
As the tail end of Storm Gertrude persists, bringing difficult conditions to Scotland's west coast, services across Caledonian MacBrayne's 200-mile long network continue to be disrupted and passengers are, once again, advised to check ahead.
New CalMac summer timetable brings benefits across West Coast
Improved ferry services across the west coast for this summer have now been finalised between Transport Scotland, local communities and ferry operator CalMac.
CalMac runs 75% of services in face of Storm Frank
Through flexible timetabling and responsive crewing, ferry operator CalMac managed to run around 75% of services to keep islands and isolated communities connected during Storm Frank.
CalMac meets weather challenge with emergency timetable
In the face of severe weather warnings ferry operator CalMac is radically altering some sailings in an effort to get people home for Christmas.
MV Coruisk start date confirmed for Gourock-Dunoon
CalMac ferry MV Coruisk will again provide extra cover on the Gourock-Dunoon crossing this winter. The vessel will be deployed on December 28 until the end of March 2016.
CalMac is first ferry company to pick up Contact Centre Association global award
CalMac Ferries' customer services staff have picked up the Contact Centre Association's global accreditation at a ceremony in Glasgow - the first ferry company ever to achieve the standard.
CalMac Culture Screen winner's prize film goes live on Caledonian MacBrayne website
A budding amateur film maker from Oban, who won the first CalMac Culture Screen competition, has premiered his short movie in Glasgow, to great acclaim.
Caledonian MacBrayne issues safety warning over swimming at the Armadale ferry port
Members of the public have been asked not to swim or dive at Armadale Ferry Terminal on the isle of Skye by Caledonian MacBrayne staff.
Tasty! Shopping locally nets nomination for CalMac at Scottish Food and Drink Awards
Caledonian MacBrayne's commitment to sourcing and serving Scottish produce has been recognised with a nomination at the Scottish Food and Drink Awards.
Inverness and Thurso band Gabbro picks up festival slot at CalMac Culture Music finals
A five-piece band, with members from both Inverness and Thurso, has taken one of CalMac Culture Music's hotly-contested festival slots.
CalMac's MV Argyle hosts Les Gitanes with Jazz on the Ferry wowing passengers
Passengers on Caledonian MacBrayne's Wemyss Bay to Rothesay ferries have been treated to a series of special musical performances.
CalMac's MV Finlaggan wins international safety award
UK's busiest malt whisky ferry wins an International Safety Award with merit. Caledonian MacBrayne's MV Finlaggan ferry has won an International Safety Award with merit from the British Safety Council.
New timetables go live for extra Stornoway-Ullapool sailings
Details of the four new additional sailings linking Stornoway and Ullapool over the summer have now been published by ferry operator CalMac. The two extra return journeys on Fridays and Saturdays will run from Friday, June 26 to Saturday, August 29 and will provide a significant boost for tourists getting to and from the the island.
Ullapool Harbour improvements bring temporary diversion
Improvements to Ullapool Harbour's linkspan will mean the closure of the port to vehicular traffic from April 20 to May 18. There will be a temporary service introduced from Stornoway to Uig to allow continued traffic to flow between Lewis and the mainland.
Fares harmonised for duration of Ullapool upgrade work
Transport Scotland have decided to harmonise fares on the temporary Stornoway-Uig crossing with the Tarbert-Uig route for the duration of the upgrade work at Ullapool harbour.
Crest of a wave! CalMac proud to be first the ferry operator to receive VisitScotland 'Taste Our Best' accreditation
Caledonian MacBrayne has become the first ferry company to take VisitScotland's 'Taste Our Best' seal of approval to the high seas.
Tune up, tune in - CalMac Culture's search for new music talent launches for 2015
Two rising music stars were discovered last year when the UK's largest ferry network operator launched the CalMac Culture Music competition.
Caledonian MacBrayne prepares for digital transformation roll-out during 2015
Caledonian MacBrayne told a conference today (January 23) how it is among the leading UK transport operators in digital infrastructure transformation.
Caledonian Macbrayne confirms sponsorship of Bee's Knees customer focus award
Caledonian MacBrayne has confirmed sponsorship of the Excellence in Customer Focus Award for Greenock Chamber of Commerce's Bee's Knees Awards.
CalMac congratulates those shortlisted for RYA Scotland's awards in Glasgow
The operator of the UK's largest ferry network, headquartered in Inverclyde at Gourock, has long invested in talented youth, including its own cadets scheme, and was proud to put its name to three awards recognising some of the country's current and rising stars.
CalMac update on plans for MV Loch Seaforth and Ullapool linkspan works
Following the meeting of the Stornoway-Ullapool Taskforce set up by Transport Minister Derek Mackay last week, senior managers at ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) have been refining their plans for services during the Ullapool linkspan works and deployment of the MV Loch Seaforth.
New date set for Ullapool harbour linkspan closure
Ullapool linkspan was due to close to vehicular traffic for a period of six weeks from February 22 to allow the new replacement linkspan to be fitted. However, delays to the Stornoway upgrade, necessary for the new MV Loch Seaforth to come onto the Stornoway-Ullapool service means that the closure has had to be postponed until April 20.
CalMac warns of possible severe weather disruptions
Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) is warning ferry travellers that forecasters are predicting strong winds to affect many parts of its network at the end of the week and over the weekend, bringing the possibility of major disruptions to ferry services at times.
MV Coruisk in service as harbour improvements continue
MV CORUISK IN SERVICE AS HARBOUR IMPROVEMENTS CONTINUE
Investment for Ullapool harbour set to enhance ferry services
INVESTMENT FOR ULLAPOOL HARBOUR SET TO ENHANCE FERRY SERVICES Ferry operator CalMac has published details of its services from Stornoway when Ullapool linkspan is closed to vehicle traffic from the end of February 2015 due to replacement work .
CalMac chief praises first Scottish Rural Parliament
Martin Dorchester, Managing Director of award-winning ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne ( CalMac) has praised the organisers and participants of the first Scottish Rural Parliament held in Oban last week.
CalMac commended at Digital Marketing Awards
Switched on CalMac commended at digital marketing awards An innovative digital campaign by ferry operator CalMac has secured them a top berth at the The Herald Digital Awards. The company was commended in the Public Sector category for its campaigncomehomewithcalmac.co.uk which ran over the summer season.
New investment for Wemyss Bay harbour
The ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac), has issued details of their plans to manage any disruption ahead of the publishing of the tender for the works by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), the port owners and organisation responsible for its upkeep.
CalMac statement on meetings in Stornoway
Senior representatives of CalMac, including Managing Director Martin Dorchester and Chairman David McGibbon are in Stornoway today, to meet a variety of community representatives and discuss the proposed deployment of the MV Loch Seaforth and other issues associated with the Stornoway-Ullapool service.