In April 2018, Scottish Ministers announced that Islay would be next in line for a new ferry to replace the MV Hebridean Isles. The new ferry will complement MV Finlaggan, although it will be designed with a clear focus on freight, and sufficient passenger accommodation will be designed to meet anticipated demand.  The vessel tender programme is planned to commence in early 2020, and it is anticipated a shipbuilding contract will be awarded in Autumn 2020.

New questions added to project Q&A

3 November 2020

The project Q&A document has been updated following additional questions submitted via email to CMAL.  You can read the new questions and responses here:

Further questions not covered in the Q&A can be emailed to


Q&A provides project update

8 July 2020

An update in the form of a Q&A document has been created to maintain engagement with the Islay community on the new vessel project:

Further questions not covered in the Q&A can be emailed to

Two community meetings due to take place in Bowmore and Port Ellen at the end of March had to be postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown.  We have so far been unable to rearrange the community engagement meetings, but hope to reschedule them for later in the summer, subject to coronavirus restrictions and safety guidelines.  We are working with local community groups to make this possible and dates and venues will be published soon.


Community meetings postponed

17 March 2020

Community engagement meetings have been postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Following revised guidance from the Scottish and UK Governments this week, we have decided to postpone the meetings, which were due to take place on 23 March at Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle (ICCI) in Bowmore, 24 March at Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen, and 25 March at Jura Village Hall.

The meetings will be rescheduled to later in the year and we will provide an update as soon as new dates are confirmed.


Community meetings

28 February 2020

Two meetings will be held in Islay to engage with communities on the requirements and specification of the new ferry to operate between Kennacraig and Islay.

The meetings will take place on 23 March at Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle (ICCI) in Bowmore and on 24 March at Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen.  The two-hour meetings will start at 5.30pm and include a 30-minute presentation followed by a Q&A session with representatives from CMAL, CalMac and Transport Scotland.

The new Islay ferry is the next major vessel to be ordered for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service.  It will complement the service provided by MV Finlaggan, although it will be developed with a clear focus on freight.


Design consultants appointed

August 2019

In August 2019, we appointed naval architecture consultants, Navalue to support design development.  Navalue specialises in custom ferry design and have significant experience of vessel design, having led on the design of MV Loch Seaforth, which operates on the Stornoway-Ullapool route.


Stakeholder meetings

August 2019

A meeting with stakeholders from the community was held in Islay in August 2019, attended by CMAL, Transport Scotland and CalMac, to present details of the current status of the project.  A copy of the presentation is available to view below.  The stakeholders had the opportunity to ask any questions they had about the new Islay vessel.  We plan to hold further meetings with the extended Islay community in the near future.

You can view the presentation from our community meeting here: