Stornoway Pier number three was a hive of activity this afternoon, as Caledonian MacBrayne opened the doors of its new £42 million 'MV Loch Seaforth' ship to the viewing public.

Hundreds of people took up the invitation of the guided tours, between 1pm and 3pm.

The ferry will again be open tonight from 6pm until 8pm.

Of all the members of the public we interviewed after the tours, not one had a negative thing to say about the new ship.

Ellie Cardwell commented: "It looks so clean and so chic inside. I would say it was ten times better than the 'Isle of Lewis', and the crew I spoke to said the same thing. They all love it."


Alex Maciver, of Tolsta, said he was impressed at how 'roomy' the Loch Seaforth was in comparison to the 'Isle of Lewis'.

"I think it will give off a very relaxed atmosphere for travellers," he said.

"I really like the observation seating upstairs. It looks like that will be a popular place to go and relax."

Karen Maciver took the tour with her wee son Logan.

She said: "The new ferry is so nice, it's much, much more impressive than I expected.

"I don't get to travel as much as I would like, but I really look forward to getting to sail on the 'Loch Seaforth'. 

"The observation lounge is really smart, and the views will be incredible."

Angus Maclean, originally from Ness, was slightly more pragmatic. 

"It's very nice," he said.

"But for what it cost, so it should be!"