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Displaying items by tag: ArdrossanCampbeltown

#KintyreService – Operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) during 2016 carried more than 5m passengers, began crossings mid-week on the seasonal Ardrossan-Campbeltown route, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Calmac the largest UK ferry operator achieved the 5m figure which was their busiest in more than two decades. A fleet of 32 serve a network of 20 routes stretching 200 miles from the Mull of Kintyre in the south and as far north to the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides.

This will be the second year that Calmac are to operate the Kintyre service on a permanent basis following a three-year pilot period served by Isle of Arran. The 446 passenger, 68 car and 8 lorry capacity vessel returned to the route on Thursday. The southernmost route provides a tourist 'gateway' to the Kintyre Peninsula and a considerable saving on mileage.

In addition Isle of Arran, the oldest of the larger ferry fleet dating to 1984 and based out of Ardrossan is to boost capacity on the busier Forth of Clyde route to Arran. The Ardrossan-Brodick service is maintained year-round by Caledonian Isles that caters for 1,000 passengers, 120 cars and 10 lorries.

As previously reported on Afloat, Campeltown is also where the ‘passenger’ only Kintyre Express service began in Easter seasonal sailings too but to Northern Ireland using Ballycastle. These RIB craft operated crossings to and from the Antrim harbour are also where the Rathlin Ferry Co currently employ Canna, a former Calmac ferry.

The ‘Island’ class Canna dating to 1976, shares the route along with passenger only Rathlin Express, though the car ferry is to be replaced by newbuild Spirit of Rathlin. According to the operator's website, the new car ferry is expected to enter service in a couple of weeks.

Published in Ferry

#RouteConfirmed – The Ardrossan-Campbeltown summer-only ferry route as reported on Afloat since the service was launched in south-west Scotland in 2013 and on a trial pilot basis will be made 'permanent', writes Jehan Ashmore.

There were calls by campaigners to have the service as part of the permanent summer ferry route network by CalMac, a state run company under Transport Scotland.

Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay made the announcement last month following the successful pilot service, which ran between Ayrshire and the Mull of Kintyre over the past three summers. Mr Mackay said: “I’m very pleased to announce the ferry link between Ardrossan and Campbeltown will become a permanent feature of the CalMac summer timetable.

“The pilot service proved incredibly popular and I’m sure this announcement will be welcomed by passengers and the communities at either side of the route.

The service when launched on the Firth of Clyde was designed to stimulate tourism between these regions and became the first new route by CalMac in almost twenty years. Route ferry Isle of Arran (1984/3,296grt) in total transported an average of over 10,000 passengers and 2,000 cars per year with last year’s season concluding at the end of September.

In addition the veteran vessel provided an extension of summer relief duties between Ardrossan to Brodick (Isle of Arann). The year-round route is also served by Caledonian Isles (1993/5,221grt).

The new permanent ‘Mull of Kintyre’ service will be part of an enhanced summer timetable for CalMac services. Operations for the 2016 season will begin with Ardrossan-Campbeltown sailings on 28 April. The season runs throughout the summer and up to 25 September.

Published in Ferry

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