Ferry News January-February 2024

Following the discovery of extensive steelwork corrosion while in the adjacent Garvel Dry Dock, Caledonian Isles squeezes past Coruisk into the James Watt Dock on 25 January 2024 to await the decision on a plan of action for repairs

The latest edition of Scottish Ferry News covers all known movements by members of the CalMac fleet in January and February 2024.

Scottish Ferry News is available here. Like previous editions, it is available only to paid-up CRSC members.

John Newth provides CRSC with regular Ferry News updates

If you wish to read this authoritative update on Clyde and West Highland ferry movements, and have not yet joined CRSC (introductory membership for the first year with full benefits: £15), click here.

Scottish Ferry News is an invaluable resource for enthusiasts and professionals who wish to track where vessels have been, what overhauls took place and which routes were affected by weather disruptions and vessel substitutions.

We are grateful to John Newth, compiler of Scottish Ferry News, for monitoring the increasingly complex world of CalMac ship movements in the depths of winter.


The new edition of CRSC’s Scottish Ferry News records that the two oldest ‘big ferries’ in the fleet, Hebridean Isles and Isle of Arran, delivered lifeline services to islands they were originally built to serve four decades ago (respectively Uist and Arran), with one or other of them also deputising at Barra, Colonsay, Islay and Mull.

We also note the annual overhauls of AlfredClansman and Hebrides (Birkenhead), Argyll Flyer and Isle of Cumbrae (Ardmaleish), Isle of Lewis and Isle of Mull (Aberdeen), Coruisk, Loch Bhrusda and Loch Portain (Greenock), and Loch Shira (Troon); also Caledonian Isles (Greenock/Birkenhead), which came off service on 3 January and will not be available again until June at the earliest.

In terms of roster, the most stable vessels were Chieftain (Kilcreggan), Finlaggan (Islay), Hallaig (Raasay), Loch Alainn (Sound of Barra), Loch Buie (Iona), Loch Frisa (Mull), Loch Striven (Lismore) and Loch Tarbert (Kilchoan).

Isle of Arran at Troon on 14 February 2024 during a period of easterly winds that prevented her from using Ardrossan

Otherwise, apart from occasional weather disruptions and essential maintenance stoppages, most of the heavily stretched CalMac fleet kept going with remarkable dependability.

The above details are just a ‘taster’. There is a lot of fascinating information in Scottish Ferry News, clearly and precisely laid out  — all of it awaiting your inspection and dissection.

CRSC is proud of the role it plays for all ship enthusiasts, but its primary responsibility is to paid-up Club members. If you are not yet a member, please take advantage of our £15 introductory membership offer here. If you are a member and are having problems with your password, email info@crsc.org.uk

Click here for CalMac service status and timetables (and keep re-checking!).

Ali Cat enters Kip Marina on 9 January

Loch Fyne at Cumbrae Slip on 2 February

Glen Sannox (right), undergoing trials on 16 February, crosses paths with Hebridean Princess off the Cloch

Have you joined CRSC? If not, you’re missing out: we are a group of ship enthusiasts with an active programme of excursions, talks, publications, online presentations and much else. Sign up here and take advantage of all the benefits.

Published on 20 March 2024