Caledonian MacBrayne

Calmac website search form

Explore the

West coast

Buy your tickets now

Use My Account to get there faster

Widget Pins

Journey Planner

Access to ferry, bus and rail travel information
Public Transport Journey Planner

Press Releases

23/12/2015

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.

In the face of severe weather warnings ferry operator CalMac is radically altering some sailings in an effort to get people home for Christmas.

The company has put together an action plan using weather windows that should enable people travelling to the southern outer Hebrides, Tiree and Coll to get there in time for the Yuletide celebrations and get vital supplies out to shops.

The revised timetable means the MV Lord of the Isles will depart from Lochboisdale at 0400 on Christmas Eve arriving at Oban 1000 leaving 1030, arriving Tiree at 1400 and Coll at 1505 before repositioning to Lochboisdale to pick up the scheduled Boxing Day service.

For passengers heading out to the outer isles the MV Clansman will leave Oban at 0500 on Christmas Eve calling at Lochboisdale 0950, Castlebay on Barra at 1130 before heading down to Tiree arriving at 1425 and then on to Coll before docking Oban again at 1820.

CalMac's director of operations Drew Collier said:

"We have pulled out all the stops to ensure people travelling to these destinations can get home to their friends and family in time for the celebrations. Storm Eva brings significant weather challenges for us over the next few days and makes operating any sort of service difficult, but we are committed to getting our customers where they want to go and will look at all options to achieve this.

"However, weather does change and I would urge everyone planning to travel on these revised services, and to all our destinations, to continue to monitor our website and social media platforms for the very latest information before they set off."

CalMac is also laying on an extra Arran service at 2030 on Christmas Eve.

 

Comments

6 Comments Add comment
Bringing smiles to the Isles
Posted by: Calmac enthusiast | 24 December 2015, 06:20AM
People moan about Cal-Mac all the time, they're not perfect by a long chalk, but one things for sure, the ferry services they provide as a public service are second to none!! Cal-Mac moaners should watch out because if Serco get the contract then you really will be in for a rough ride, when the only people you answer to is your shareholders and the bottom line then things will get really bad!!! Cal-Mac do a sterling job under sometimes the most difficult of conditions, give them a break and support them at every turn!!!
Disruption to services
Posted by: Gordon Chalmers | 23 December 2015, 23:45PM
Anyone who thinks running a ferry service in the sort of weather we're experiencing is going to keep everyone happy must live underground. The company is doing it's damndest to help the communities it serves in some of the worst weather I've seen on a Christmas week.
Disruption to services
Posted by: Gordon Chalmers | 23 December 2015, 23:44PM
Anyone who thinks running a ferry service in the sort of weather we're experiencing is going to keep everyone happy must live underground. The company is doing it's damndest to help the communities it serves in some of the worst weather I've seen on a Christmas week.
Islay Ferries
Posted by: HBrown | 23 December 2015, 22:33PM
The 13.00 hrs ferry and all further ferries to Islay were cancelled at 10 this morning to late for passengers who had already left on the bus to kennacraig. There was no adverse weather until 18.00 hrs as all weather sites advised. Why were the ferries cancelled so late in the morning and why on earth could the lunchtime departure from kennacraig not stand? Especially at this time of year.
Half hearted
Posted by: Disgruntled Service User | 23 December 2015, 19:19PM
It's not only Arran that has an unreliable service, Bute also. We don't even figure in this contingency plan. Ferry times are mad, don't ever take account of people who commute with stupid departure times. Then we are on a curfew from 7pm all year round, last ferry leaves the Island at this time. We are treated like they do us a favour, they forget this is a public service.
Cancellations
Posted by: Mrs Mary Paterson | 23 December 2015, 16:18PM
My husband has just arrived at Ardrossan from his work in Manchester to wait for his 6pm booking home to Arran for Xmas to be told there are no more boats today!! Why did no-one advise people that the only could be the 3.15., and also to be told that today's traffic is not prioritised tomorrow morning. Arran has one of the worst ferry services in Scotland it is not reliable and seems to spend most of the winter on amber alert. Time to think of alternative berths, Ardrossan is not reliable enough. Please Calmac think about your customers, particularly people who live on Arran.
Close Don't show again