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Customer Update - Summer timetable 2023 update

Customer Update - Summer timetable 2023

**Update 23 August 2023: The second phase of the last week of the summer 2023 timetable are now available.  

As outlined in our previous update below (17 August), most timetables will operate as normal; however, some will see amendments to support changes to the annual overhaul plans and the continuing investigations into the issues affecting MV Hebridean Isles.  

In an update to the details from our customer update on 17 August:  

  • Colintraive - Rhubodach; Ardrossan - Brodick; Mallaig - Armadale, will all be online and open for bookings by 2pm on Wednesday 23 August.  

  • Mallaig-Small Isles will also be available for booking on 23 August by 2pm - earlier than previously communicated.  

  • Kennacraig-Islay will open for booking on 23 August by 2pm for the period 25 August to 24 September. We are currently updating our system to reflect the move to a single vessel service, and as a result, bookings for the dates beyond 25 September to 22 October, will open on 6 September. ***Update 4 September 2023 - Bookings and timetables are now available for this period, earlier than anticipated. 

  • Oban-Colonsay-Port Askaig-Kennacraig will open by 2pm on Wednesday 23 August and Oban-Colonsay sailings will be reinstated on Saturday 30 September, 7 October, 14 October and 21 October (however sailings to Colonsay services on Wednesday 27 September, 4 October, 11 October, 18 October will remain cancelled.) 

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Customer Update 17 August 2023 

Bookings for the last week of the summer 2023 timetable (16 - 22 October inclusive) will open in two phases, with phase one now available and the remaining routes opening on Wednesday 23 August. We are opening bookings in two phases as we need to manage the extended absence of MV Hebridean Isles, move a considerable number of customer bookings, while dealing with the complexities CMAL's planned port closure of the Port Ellen Terminal development.    

Most timetables will operate as normal; however, some will see amendments to earlier periods to support changes to the annual overhaul plans and the continuing investigations into the issues affecting MV Hebridean Isles. Also, the *Mallaig - Small Isles timetables may be delayed beyond Wednesday 23 August until Friday 25 August. Thank you to our customers for your patience while we complete this work.  

Below we have detailed which routes are in which phased release, and also the changes some timetables will see as we move into the overhaul period.  

Phase one routes 

The following routes are now available: 

  • Gourock - Dunoon 

  • Gourock - Kilcreggan

  • Tarbert - Portavadie 

  • Wemyss Bay - Rothesay 

  • Claonaig - Lochranza 

  • Largs - Cumbrae 

  • Tayinloan - Gigha 

  • Lochaline - Fishnish 

  • Tobermory - Kilchoan 

  • Oban - Lismore 

  • Gallanach - Kerrera 

  • Oban - Coll - Tiree 

  • Sconser - Raasay 

  • Oban - Castlebay 

  • Mallaig - Lochboisdale 

  • Barra - Eriskay 

  • Uig - Tarbert/Lochmaddy 

  • Berneray - Leverburgh 

  • Stornoway - Ullapool 

Phase two routes 

The following routes will open for bookings on Wednesday 23 August:  

  • Colintraive - Rhubodach 

  • Ardrossan - Brodick 

  • Kennacraig - Islay 

  • Oban - Colonsay - Port Askaig - Kennacraig 

  • Mallaig - Armadale 

  • Mallaig - Small Isles* 

Below, we have detailed the services with changes. We are also in the process of updating the booking system. Please be assured that any customers with an affected booking will be contacted directly by us. We are aware that our lines and channels are very busy now, and we are conscious of wait times - however our teams will be in contact with you as soon as they can.   

Routes with timetable changes  


MV Caledonian Isles and MV Alfred will continue to operate the Ardrossan-Brodick service until 25 September. From 26 September, the route will be operated as a single vessel service by MV Caledonian Isles.  


The Ardrossan-Campbeltown service will now be cancelled for remainder of the summer 2023 season due to vessel deployment and no vessel availability. We are sorry that it has not been possible to operate the service this year. 


Due to MV Hebridean Isles being unavailable for service MV Isle of Arran will remain on Islay service alongside MV Finlaggan until 24 September. A single vessel service, delivered by MV Finlaggan, will operate from 25 September when MV Isle of Arran departs for overhaul. Details will be available on our timetable pages from Wednesday 23 August for customers who wish to travel during this period. We will continue to explore further options on vessel deployment for this service.  

In addition, CMAL recently announced that the development of the Port Ellen Terminal will commence and as a result, the ferry service to and from Port Ellen will be diverted to Port Askaig between 11 September and 17 November. We will continue to operate our Islay services to Port Askaig during the period and we'll update our customers on the details shortly.  

We are also in the process of loading timetables and moving bookings which means that at times, the system will be temporarily unavailable while we transfer bookings. Please be assured any customers who have a booking that is affected will be contacted on any alternative travel options. Our team will also work with commercial customers to support transport of lifeline goods and services.  


Due to a single vessel service operating on the Islay route from 25 September - 22 October, there will be cancellations on Colonsay service on 27 Sept, 30 Sept, 4 Oct, 7 Oct, 11 Oct, 14 Oct, 18 Oct. We are currently exploring further options on vessel deployment. We will keep customers updated should there be any changes.  


A single vessel service will operate on 20,21 and 22 October with MV Loch Fyne while MV Coruisk is deployed to the Clyde after the last sailing on Thursday 19 October. 

Mallaig-Small Isles 

On 7, 14 and 21 October a charter vessel will operate this service, while MV Loch Fyne is deployed elsewhere on the network. *Please note: Mallaig - Small Isles timetables may be delayed beyond Wednesday 23 August, and we will confirm when these are available for booking but anticipate these to be open on Friday 25 August. If this date can be brought forward, we will advise our customers. 


MV Loch Frisa will operate a single vessel service from 19 October.  


MV Isle of Mull will operate the service between Castlebay-Oban from 20 October.  


MV Isle of Lewis will operate the passenger service from 0700 on 21 October. MV Loch Seaforth will depart for overhaul after freight service on 21 October.  

Stornoway-Ullapool freight service 

As MV Hebridean Isles will not be available to support freight service during MV Loch Seaforth's overhaul - options are being explored for amended vessel deployment to provide freight service. 


The Colintraive - Rhubodach last week of summer timetable will be available on Wednesday 23 August, while our team updates the system to reflect the change of vessel during the overhaul period. There will be no change to the current published timetable while the relief vessel is operating. 

Travel advice  

If you are planning to travel on any of the routes outlined above, you'll find full details on our timetable pages from 16 August or 23 August, as detailed in our phased approach. We are also in the process of loading timetables and moving bookings and customers with an affected booking will be contacted directly by us.  

Prior to your journey, please always check our service status pages and our @CalMac_Updates Twitter page which will carry the latest information we have on each service. Please note, the service status pages will be updated for phase two routes from 23 August 2023, alongside the publication of timetables.  

It has been a challenging period for our customers, the communities we serve and island businesses while we continued to manage the challenges of overhaul and vessel availability. Thank you for your continued patience.    

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