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Customer Update - Annual overhaul delays

Customer Update - Annual overhaul delays

Update 16 May 2024

Further update on MV Finlaggan's return to service

Following on from our previous update on 14 May, we want to share the very latest information regarding an additional delay to MV Finlaggan's overhaul. The vessel is now expected to be available for service from Sunday 19 May, 24 hours later than previously communicated.  

Cammel Laird, who are undertaking the overhaul of the vessel, has informed our team that the additional delay is due to issues related to the thermal oil system, which led to delays in the completion of the upgrade to the control and automation system.

Effect on services 

If you have a booking that is affected by this additional delay, our team will be in contact with you with an update via e-mail and text message.  

We have provided an overview on what this additional 24 hour delay will mean for services below, however, full details for the weekend period have been published on our Service Status & Information pages for each individual route. Please do check those pages for the very latest details throughout the period.  

Oban - Craignure  

The Oban - Craignure service will continue to operate with MV Coruisk and MV Loch Frisa until 1200 on Saturday 18 May, with minor amendments to some Saturday morning departure times. MV Isle of Mull will resume service alongside MV Loch Frisa commencing with the 1215 Oban-Craignure sailing on Saturday 18 May. 

To assist with commercial vehicles travelling to/from Mull, MV Clansman will also operate an additional 1630 Oban-Craignure and 1750 Craignure-Oban sailing on Saturday 18 May. 

Kennacraig - Islay 

The Kennacraig - Islay service will continue to operate with MV Lord of the Isles and MV Hebridean Isles up to/including Saturday 18 May. MV Finlaggan is expected to resume service alongside MV Hebridean Isles from Sunday 19 May. 

Mallaig/Oban - Lochboisdale 

We have taken the difficult decision to cancel one return sailing to/from Lochboisdale this weekend, since MV Isle of Mull, which has operated the route during MV Finlaggan's overhaul, is scheduled to return to the Oban-Craignure route from Saturday 18 May. We do recognise that this will have a negative impact on those travelling to/from Lochboisdale and our team will be in contact with you to provide further information.  

This means that on Saturday 18 May, MV Isle of Mull will operate the 0605 departing Lochboisdale as timetabled.  However, the 1300 departing Oban for Lochboisdale on Saturday 18 May has been cancelled. Please note there will be no sailings to/from Mallaig. 

On Sunday 19 May, the 0915 departing Lochboisdale has been cancelled. The 1315 departing Mallaig will now depart from Oban at the earlier time of 1300.  

Oban - Colonsay 

Due to the requirement for MV Hebridean Isles, MV Lord of the Isles and MV Clansman to operate services elsewhere on the network, the difficult decision has been made to cancel all sailings to/from Colonsay on Saturday 18 May, including the Oban, Islay and Kennacraig links. 

Mallaig - Armadale 

The Mallaig-Armadale service will continue to operate a single-vessel timetable, with MV Loch Fyne, up to 0725 on Monday 20 May when the two-vessel summer timetable, with MV Coruisk and MV Loch Fyne, is expected to resume.  

Oban - Castlebay 

Sailings between Oban and Castlebay will be amended up to and including Sunday 19 May and a normal timetable is expected to be in operation from Monday 20 May.  

To find the very latest service information for these routes up to and including Monday 20 May, please visit our Services Status and Information pages, which carry the very latest details we have on every service.  

Customer bookings 

Our team is in the process of contacting customers with reservations which are affected. Also, our booking system is being updated with these latest changes. While this takes place, there may be periods of time when some sailings appear unavailable, however, this is temporary, so please check back.

We also want to make you aware that online bookings & customer accounts will be temporarily unavailable on our website from 9pm Thursday 16 May, for approx. 3 hours, while essential maintenance goes ahead.  

Passenger Rights information 

Customers with existing bookings which are affected by service disruption retain certain rights and entitlements in line with The Merchant Shipping (Passengers' Rights) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.  

Customers are advised that this disruption is due to operational reasons, caused by a delay to a planned vessel overhaul, and therefore the following Passenger Rights criteria apply (within the parameters detailed at the Passenger Rights section of our website

  • Snacks, meals and refreshments 

  • Overnight accommodation 

  • Additional mileage incurred 

Find out what you may be entitled to in the event of a disruption or cancellation to your sailing at the Passenger Rights section of our website, which also includes a link to our online claim form. 

Next steps 

News of an additional delay, which follows closely from our previous update, will present further disappointment for the communities affected. Our focus remains on minimising the effect on our customers wherever possible, while also listening to the needs of individual islands and communities across our network. 

We apologise to all customers who are affected. Our team is working closely with the shipyard and has stressed the impact of this further delay to them. Work will continue around the clock to keep to this revised timeline. Thank you for your continuing patience.   


Update 14 May 2024 

MV Finlaggan delay in return to service

Following on from our previous update on 6 May, we want to share the latest information regarding the delay to MV Finlaggan's overhaul period with customers. The vessel is now expected to return to service on Saturday 18 May, three days later than previously communicated. 

The vessel deployment plan and timetables that are currently in place to cover for MV Finlaggan's overhaul will remain in operation until her scheduled return on 18 May.  

Full details for each service, listed below, are available on our service status and information pages

Customer reservations 

If you have a booking that is affected, our team will be in contact with you shortly. We are working through reservations in date order.  

If you are planning to make a reservation on any of the routes above for the period up to 17 May, our booking system is currently being updated, and at times some sailings may seem unavailable while this work is underway. Please do check back as this is temporary.   

Next steps  

This news will be disappointing for those communities affected, and we apologise to you. Our team has had a regular presence at the shipyard where the overhaul is taking place and has stressed the impact delays like this have on customers and communities.  

Our focus remains on ensuring vessels are returned to services as quickly as possible, minimising the effect on customers and listening to the needs of islands and communities. With that in mind, we continue to explore options to add capacity to services to Mull, while supporting the delivery of essential fuel supplies to Uist and Barra.  


Update 6 May 2024

Update on MV Finlaggan's annual overhaul

We want to let our customers know that there will be a four-day extension to MV Finlaggan's overhaul period at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Merseyside.  

The extension is required to complete project work and is unfortunately outside the control of Caledonian MacBrayne, however, we're working closely with the yard to ensure works are completed as quickly as possible. We have stressed our disappointment to them and highlighted the effect it has on our customers and services.  

Effect on services  

The current service and vessel deployment plan will remain in place until MV Finlaggan returns to service, which is currently scheduled for 15 May 2024. Full details on the services and timetables this is relevant to is published on our service status and information pages:  

  • Islay-Kennacraig  

  • Oban-Colonsay 

  • Mallaig-Armadale 

  • Mallaig-Lochboisdale 

  • Oban-Castlebay 

  • Oban-Craignure  

Customer reservations  

If you have a booking that's affected by this extension, our team is currently working through bookings affected and will be in contact with you directly You don't need to contact us.  

If you are planning to make a booking for any of these routes for the period to 14 May, please be aware our system is being updated, and while this happens, it may seem like some sailings are unavailable. Please do check back as this is temporary.  

Next steps  

We know this news will be disappointing for the communities affected, and we want to reassure you that we will work closely with all parties managing the project to ensure they complete the works as quickly as they can. Thank you for the patience you show our team while they work hard to minimise the effect on you and our services to you.  

Update 05 March 2024

A further update is available for customers with regards to timetable and deployment plans for the summer period via our latest customer update - 5 March..

Updated 29 February 2024  

We wanted to provide customers with the latest information on how we are planning to support services and provide certainty following news of the scale of repairs required to MV Caledonian Isles which we shared last week.  

MV Caledonian Isles usually serves the Ardrossan-Brodick route, however, given we have limited deployment options, and the fleet is stretched to the limit, the loss of the vessel for this length of time at this time of year will affect the wider network.   

Community and customer input 

We have consulted with communities across the network this week to gather feedback on potential redeployment options. This will play an important role in reshaping our plans with limited deployment options that are available to us.  

Amended timetables and vessel deployment  

With this feedback in hand, and work on deployment plans ongoing, we now expect to publish amended timetables for the summer timetable period (from 29 March onwards) on Tuesday 5 March. We will then provide information and guidance to you on when our booking system will be updated, and what to expect should your booking be affected.  

We've shared below the information we have on specific services below 

Arran services  

A single vessel service, operated by MV Isle of Arran will continue to serve the Ardrossan- Brodick route until 28 March 2024.  

MV Alfred is due to complete overhaul we will confirm deployment plans once we have confirmation of her availability for service.  

Islay services  

MV Finlaggan, which is currently serving the route to/from Islay will not leave for scheduled overhaul as planned and will remain on the Kennacraig-Islay route for the time being.  

We will confirm the date of MV Finlaggan's departure for overhaul by Friday 8 March 2024.  

To provide further capacity and certainty during cattle sales periods, MV Hebridean Isles will join MV Finlaggan in serving the route to/from Islay from Friday 8 March up to the end of the winter timetable period on 28 March 2024, inclusive.  

An amended timetable up to the 28 March inclusive will be published on 4 March.  

We understand customers will be concerned at this time and we would like to thank you for the patience you are showing our team - they are working hard to minimise the impact with what we have available to us.  

We will continue to keep you updated throughout this period via our Service Status and Information pages which carries the very latest information on sailings, with broader details available on our customer updates section of our website.  

Update 22 February 2024 

Update on overhaul plan and timeline 

Our team is currently working on vessel deployment plans for the network over the coming weeks, following clarification received on 21 February 2024 from the dry dock operator that MV Caledonian Isles which normally operates the Ardrossan-Brodick route will require to undertake significant steel repairs. It is estimated this will take an additional 16 weeks, approximately, which is subject to change.  

We will update customers on how this will affect various routes across the network by Monday 4 March.  Amended timetables will be published at this point too.  

We understand that customers and communities will be concerned. Our team is currently assessing and evaluating the best deployment options with the vessels that are available to us during this period - and at all times our decisions will be focused on doing all we can to support services and minimise the effect. Given the circumstances, we will do the best we can, but want to be clear there will be a knock-on effect on other routes across the network.  

As background and per previous updates, MV Caledonian Isles entered overhaul on 4 January in Greenock. During this work, it was identified there was more steel renewal required beyond what was originally planned, and the vessel was moved to Cammel Laird. Work has begun at the yard on a full assessment on the scope of repairs and we expect to receive this report shortly.  

As always, we will keep customers updated throughout this period. You can stay up to date with the latest information on our services via our Service Status and Information pages which carries the very latest information on sailings, with broader details available on our customer updates section of our website.  

Update 21 February 2024 

As a result of a delay to the return of MV Clansman, amended timetables will continue through to Friday 23 February (inclusive), with some potential additional amendments possible for Saturday 24 February. We'll continue to keep you updated as we move through the overhaul schedule. View our latest update.  

Update 23 January 2024

We've shared a latest customer update with customers regarding those routes which we expect to be affected be delays to the return of vessels from overhaul. This update builds on the information below. 

Given this and current weather conditions and the delay to the return of vessels from overhaul, please continue to check our service status and information pages for the very latest detail on this route. 

Update: 18 January 2024

We have identified increased work scope on MV Caledonian Isles, MV Isle of Mull and MV Coruisk during annual overhaul periods. This has extended the period that they will be unavailable for service and we are reviewing vessel deployment on some routes across the network.

Please be assured that we are liaising with our partners to establish a schedule for repairs to be completed, and expect to be able to share a timeline next week. 

We will contact customers with affected bookings, and would like to thank customers for their patience throughout this period of disruption.

As always, for the latest information on each route, we encourage customers to check our Service Status and Information pages which carry the very latest information we have available.  

Update 16 February 2024 

A further update has been published for customers regarding how services will be affected by vessel redeployment as a result of the extended delay of MV Clansman from dry dock while MV Alfred departs for overhaul. View our latest update.

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