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11/11/2014

Transport Minister visits MV Loch Seaforth

TRANSPORT MINISTER VISITS MV LOCH SEAFORTH Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP, today (Tuesday, November 11) paid a visit to the newest ship in the CalMac fleet, MV Loch Seaforth, which arrived in Scotland from Germany on Friday.

Mr Brown met the Master and crew and had a short private tour of the ship, which is berthed in Inchgreen dry dock, Port Glasgow.

Mr Brown said: "I was delighted to get a chance to see the new MV Loch Seaforth up close and get a taste of what her passengers have to look forward to. The sight of the largest vessel in the CalMac fleet coming down the Clyde last week was a welcome one, and whilst some cosmetic work still has to be done to the interior of the ship, we are another step closer to seeing her enter service.

"The MV Loch Seaforth will offer passengers on the Stornoway-Ullapool route a faster, quieter and more reliable service and has been designed to accommodate a growth in travellers on the route. I look forward to the MV Loch Seaforth offering an improved service for the Western Isles, alongside the planned harbour upgrades at Stornoway and Ullapool."

There are a number of activities planned for her prior to entering service, including completing work on the passenger areas, addressing some outstanding technical matters from build, further Class & MCA inspections and carrying out sea trials and crew familiarisation exercises.

Martin Dorchester, Managing Director of CalMac, said: "Bringing the MV Loch Seaforth back to Scotland from the yard in Germany where she was built was an important milestone and once we are fully satisfied that everything is in order, and subject to the completion of the Stornoway Harbour works, will be making arrangements to take her to the Western Isles and, in due course, bring her into service on the Stornoway-Ullapool route."

Ends.

Notes to Editors
1) Photographs of the Minister's visit are available from Chris Watt Photography (07887 554193 or info@chriswatt.com)
2) MV Loch Seaforth was built at Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft MBH and Co KG - Flensburg, Germany at a cost of £41.8m. Financing was provided by Lloyds Bank's Corporate Asset Finance team. She is being leased to CalMac Ferries Ltd by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd which own the fleet operated by CalMac and was responsible for the procurement and build of the new ship.
3) She is capable of operating round the clock and has a capacity of up to 700 passengers and 143 cars or 20 commercial vehicles.
4) Further information about Caledonian MacBrayne is available at www.calmac.co.uk 
5) Caledonian MacBrayne and CalMac are trading names of CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL). These names are used under licence from Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL). The lion rampant device is used by CFL with the permission of CMAL.

For further information contact:
Sarah O'Loughlin, or David Cannon
Transport Scotland Press Office Public Affairs Manager, CalMac Ferries Ltd
(0141 272 7198 or 07920 477564) (01475 650371 or 07595 092332)

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