MV Loch Seaforth has moved from dry dock and is ready to begin sea trials tomorrow (Saturday November 9th) at the end of her annual overhaul.

She left dry dock in Birkenhead early yesterday and is now receiving finishing touches in Liverpool before her sea trials begin early tomorrow morning. All being well, she’s then set to return to Stornoway on Sunday.

The ship’s annual refurbishment has over-run its schedule due to the application of a new external coating system intended to improve efficiency and extend the lifespan of the hull coating. Weather conditions delayed the application of this finish.

She’s also had her cooling system enhanced, a number of sewage tanks replaced, and a partial cable rewire during the upgrade work.

MV Isle of Lewis has been running night and day to meet the passenger and freight requirements of the Stornoway Ullapool route. She was today (Friday November 8th) reported to be running half an hour late on the return from Ullapool with a technical issue.

She’ll continue to operate the route on Saturday and Sunday, with Loch Seaforth taking up the route as of the 7am sailing from Stornoway on Monday.

The Isle of Lewis will then reposition to Oban to recommence her service between Oban and Castlebay. She’s due for her own annual upgrade from January 25th next year.

The picture shows the view from the Loch Seaforth deck in Liverpool (Christopher Lonie).