Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited owns ferries, ports and harbours and infrastructure necessary for vital ferry services serving the west coast of Scotland and the Clyde Estuary, and the Northern Isles.
We are wholly owned by the Scottish Government with Scottish Ministers the sole shareholders.
The Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited Board has an executive management team and supporting staff at headquarters in Port Glasgow.
We aim to provide efficient, cost-effective and safe ferries, harbours and port infrastructure for operators, communities and users in and around Scotland.
- Maintaining, improving and enhancing assets such as vessels and the land and property around piers and harbours
- Seeking extra investment to invest in ferries and harbour facilities, making a real difference for people and businesses using these life line services
- Working with stakeholders within Scotland and the wider maritime community to be acknowledged as the principal provider of the most cost-effective yet innovative ferries and port infrastructure to the benefit of the communities we serve.
Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd previously provided the majority of Clyde and Hebrides ferry services and owned the associated vessels and a number of the harbour facilities. The company was wholly owned by Scottish Ministers with these services requiring an annual revenue deficit grant from the Scottish Executive to maintain lifeline service levels.
In order to comply with European guidelines on State Aids in Maritime Transport, an open public tender was deemed necessary in respect of these ferry services. The then Scottish Executive tendered the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) as a single bundle, with the exception of the Gourock-Dunoon service.
In recognition of the uniqueness of the fleet and in order to ensure a level playing field for all bidders, on 1 October 2006 Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd was split into two companies:
- An asset-owning company, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd
- A new operating company, CalMac Ferries Ltd
This was done by Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd transferring its operations, but not its assets, to CalMac Ferries Ltd. Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd, now CMAL, continues to own the vessels and land-based assets (ports, harbours, etc) and makes them available to an operator through an open tendering process.
Since 1st October 2007, CalMac Ferries Limited (CFL) has operated the services, having won the first and second tendering processes. The original six-year contract was extended in 2013 and following a competitive procurement process in 2015 and 2016, CFL was awarded the contract for a further eight years until 2024. Under the terms of the tender CFL is bound to use the vessels of CMAL.
In April 2018, using loan funding from the Scottish Government, CMAL purchased three passenger ferries serving the Northern Isles. The deal secured the vessels MV Hamnavoe, MV Hrossey and MV Hjaltland for Orkney and Shetland routes and will deliver long-term savings to the public purse. Serco NorthLink Ferries will operate the services under contract until 30 June 2026.