Ferry out of action for at least two weeks after engine issue

CalMac services to and from Arran were cancelled on Tuesday with engineers working to mend the MV Caledonian Isles.

CalMac Ardrossan ferry services to the Isle of Arran out of action for at least two weeks STV News

The main ferry serving crossings to the Isle of Arran is expected to be out of action for at least two weeks, CalMac has confirmed.

The MV Caledonian Isles developed a fault in its port engine and hit a harbour wall on Sunday, April 17.

Lifeline traffic such as food deliveries are being prioritised as the smaller MV Isle of Arran operates the Caledonian Isles’ timetable.

Anyone needing to attend an urgent medical appointment on the mainland can contact CalMac port staff who will arrange for them to get there and back home through the operator’s urgent medical protocol.

Engineers are working on a “24-hour basis” to repair the vessel and expect to complete works to bring it back into service on May 3, the company said.

All bookings up until May 3 are being cancelled, the ferry operator said, meaning the Ardrossan to Arran ferry will be a turn up and go service for vehicles.

However, customers can book travel as foot passengers on the MV Isle of Arran.

It comes ahead of sunny weather forecast this weekend when the island would expect a boost in visitor numbers as the summer season gets under way.

CalMac said it had no spare large vessels to use so is exploring redeployment and charter options.

The Ardrossan-Campbeltown service, set to restart April 28, has now been postponed until the following week.

“An alternative route to and from Arran is available from Claonaig on the Kintyre peninsula to Lochranza, and we have added a second vessel to this route to offer an on-demand shuttle service as required,” managing director Robbie Drummond said.

“We appreciate the impact this is having on islanders and visitors alike and we are doing all we can to help passengers complete their journeys. We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused by this technical breakdown and can assure them that we are doing all we can to minimise the impact.”

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