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Cumbrae Community Guide

Cumbrae Community Guide 

In this guide, we'll explain the changes on what this means for customers who use the Largs-Cumbrae ferry service and read our responses to your most commonly asked questions.

How to purchase a ticket on this route  

For customers who would prefer to continue to purchase their tickets from the Largs office, this option will still be available upon the launch of the new system.  

In addition to the Largs office, customers will be able to pre-purchase tickets online, in advance of travel, should they wish to do so - it is an additional option, and not obligatory. 

From Cumbrae, if required, you'll be able to purchase a single ticket:  

  • At the slipway from our shoreside staff. Please note that at certain times, if you are sailing early or late when our shoreside staff are not on duty, you will require to purchase a single ticket on board from our vessel staff.

  • Online, at any time you like, through our website.

From Largs, you'll be able to purchase a return or single ticket:  

  • At the port from our staff.

  • Online, at any time you like, through our website.

eTickets and purchasing tickets online  

If you do decide to pre-purchase tickets online, you will immediately receive an eTicket direct to your email inbox. Each eTicket has a QR code (meaning that you don't need to print at home or collect tickets at the port). eTickets will be scannable direct from your portable device.  

Ticket validity  

When you pre-purchase a ticket for Largs-Cumbrae (unless stated otherwise), you'll be purchasing an 'open' ticket valid for the season in which you've acquired it, regardless of the sailing departure time shown on ticket. At the end of the season, we recommend purchasing a single, rather than a return, if you plan to return in a different season. This year, the last day of summer timetable is 22 October 2023. 

Two portion ticket  

Two portion tickets are now in operation on the Cumbrae-Largs route. This simply means you'll need to show a ticket for each leg of your journey.  We have also began collecting tickets upon boarding in Cumbrae in preparation for eBooking going live. This will be how we operate going forward.  This change ensures a standardised customer experience across all our routes. 

10 Journey tickets  

10 journey tickets will be available for every Turn up and Go route, including Largs-Cumbrae. They can be purchased either from the Port office in Largs in paper form, or online in eTicket form, and will be accessible through your online account.  


We have been working in partnership with SPT to make changes to their concessionary travel scheme. You'll be able to purchase SPT concessions digitally when the new platform launches (a new addition which responds to the feedback we've had from the community on Cumbrae). Blue Badge concessions will also be available online. Any relevant discounts will be automatically applied when purchased online, meaning you no longer need to do this at the ticket office or via our staff (unless you choose to do so). You still need to carry your concession card or equivalent to present to staff at the point your ticket is scanned, in line with the providers' terms and conditions. Inability to produce a valid concession card when asked could result in refusal to travel. 

Simplifying transactions   

The new ticketing platform offers more opportunity to simplify your transactions and make booking and travelling with us easier. For instance:     

Multiple vehicles and multiple journeys  

Those customers travelling as a group can purchase more than one vehicle to at a time, and those who wish to purchase more than one route can add multiple routes to the one transaction. 

Travelling with pets, bikes and/or equipment  

Across every route, customers will be able to book a pet, bike and/or equipment ticket when arranging your own travel. These tickets are completely free to purchase. 

If you would like to purchase 10 journey tickets and you're likely to want to travel with your pet/bike/equipment, simply speak to the port staff to get a free non-value ticket for your pet/bike/equipment at the time of purchase. This must be at time of purchase of a subscription and not added retrospectively. 

The process of adding a bike/pet to a transaction is very quick, and additional support will be available on our website to support you. 

Your online account  

You'll be able to create an account with us, or if you already have one, you'll be sent a prompt to update your password when the new system goes live. Customers can also save travel companion details, vehicle details and favourite routes to online accounts - saving the details you need for your next journey with us.   

Our responses to your most commonly asked questions  

Caledonian MacBrayne visited Cumbrae for a public drop-in session regarding the new ticketing platform, the questions below cover the most common queries asked. 

Q: I'm a Cumbrae resident, and I've not been off the island since the introduction of the two-part ticket / or I have been using old multi-journey tickets and don't have a return voucher - do I have to pay twice?  

A: No. We have extended the grace period for tickets purchased prior to 16 May until 30 June 2023. No one will have to pay twice for the same journey.  

Q: Will all ticket sale outlets still take cash, including the Cumbrae Slip and sales on the vessel for the early / late services?

A: Yes, cash will be accepted if an alternative payment method is not available. 

Q: If there are any issues with the launch, can you confirm you will still run services?  

A: Yes, services will continue to operate. We have manual processes that kick in to support us should any issues occur. 

Q: How are your processes (and staff) set up to avoid delaying customers travelling when summer demand is busy and connecting services arrive for transportation?  

A: We have a check-in policy for this route (10 minutes prior to departure). As long as our customers adhere to this policy, there shouldn't be a problem. 

Q: Will there be a new App? 

A: Yes. It launches later this year. Further details on the App will be available to view via our website once ready. 

Q: Is it possible to buy tickets for the ferry somewhere else on the island?  

A: No, this is not within the scope of the project at this time. 

Q: Where will the queue be to buy tickets on the Cumbrae side? 

A:  Foot passengers can purchase at pedestrian route, vehicle drivers can purchase from head of slipway, or all customers can self-serve online. 

Q: Can we buy singles and returns in either direction? 

A: Single and return tickets will be available via staff at the Largs port, online, or by phoning our contact centre, however you will only be able to buy single tickets at the Cumbrae slip and on the vessel. 

Q: Can you tell me more about why tickets now have validity dates?  

A: This is part of standard system functionality. This is standard across the transport industry. 

Q: Will there be priority for anyone? (e.g., livestock, NHS, hospital appointments etc?) 

A: As is currently the case, only emergencies are prioritised, however our staff will try and accommodate specific situations when and where possible, dependant on circumstances at the time. 

Q: If I buy a ticket at the end of the Summer/Winter timetable, given validity period will be until the end of the timetable, what's the best thing to do? 

A: The best thing to do is to buy single tickets for the journey you are taking at this point in the timetable. The last day of summer timetable this year is 22 October 2023. 

We're here to support you  

Should you have any questions or challenges, we are here to help you deal with them as quickly as possible. We will continue to review as we progress in collaboration with the Cumbrae community and regular travellers to ensure our customers' needs are met. Please don't hesitate to speak with a member of our team in person or contact our Customer Engagement team on 0800 066 5000 , or email via


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