CalMac has tweaked its annual overhaul programme, meaning that the Isle of Barra will lose its regular ferry slightly later – and for slightly longer – than originally scheduled.
MV Isle of Lewis is set to leave for dry dock in Aberdeen on Wednesday 27 January, instead of at the beginning of that week as originally scheduled.
A revised timetable will be in place from 29 January when the MV Hebridean Isles takes up service on the Castlebay-Oban route.
The Isle of Lewis will be in dry dock between 29 January and 15 February, during which time she is to have improved fast rescue craft and cranes fitted, as well as a new disabled-accessible bathroom and changing facilities.
She’ll return to service on 17 February, subject to any delays caused by weather or issues within the overhaul programme.
CalMac’s director of operations Robert Morrison said: “Organising time for each vessel to enter dry dock while keeping services running is a real challenge for us that requires detailed planning. When the weather is taken into account this can be real test keeping communities connected.
“While we recognise the annual overhaul replacement vessel deployments might not fully meet the aspirations of communities served, we are tightly constrained by the availability of vessels and need to work within the resources we have available.
“Where we can, we try to provide as seamless a service as possible during this period, matching suitable vessels to cover routes to keep inconvenience to a minimum. We appreciate the travelling public's patience during this time.”
The full revised timetable for the Castlebay Oban service between 29 January and 17 February is detailed at https://www.calmac.co.uk/service-status?route=20