Photo Credit: Mark Nicolson

The Mallaig-Lochboisdale new vessel project will replace the existing vessel, MV Lord of the Isles, aiming to increase the resilience and reliability of the service whilst reducing emissions.

Updated Q&A Document—February 2024

21 February 2024

Front page of Q&A document

An updated Q&A document is now available:

View now (PDF) ›

Questions and comments regarding the project can be emailed to

Public event storyboards

23 November 2023

CMAL storyboards set up in hall for public event

The storyboards shown at the recent MLNV events for Lochboisdale and Mallaig are now available to view below:

View now (PDF) ›

Communities are invited to provide their feedback via the online form, which will close for responses on 30th November 2023.

Communities invited to share views on new Mallaig–Lochboisdale ferry

7 November 2023

CMAL is hosting two public engagement sessions in Lochboisdale and Mallaig in November, to update communities on plans to replace the current ferry, MV Lord of the Isles.

Local people are being invited to attend public engagement events, which will be held in partnership with Transport Scotland and CalMac, at the following times and locations:

Event Date Venue Event Time
Monday 13 November 2023 Cnoc Soilleir
Isle of South Uist
Wednesday 15 November 2023 Mallaig and Morar Community Centre
West Bay
PH41 4PX

Attendees will hear more about the project, which is currently at the vessel design and development stage, and will have the opportunity to feedback and ask questions about the proposals… Read more in our news post ›

Design consultant appointed

16 January 2022

Naval architecture consultant LMG Marin has been appointed to support the design development for the replacement vessel for MV Lord of the Isles. The new vessel will increase resilience on the Mallaig-Lochboisdale route.

LMG Marin specialises in custom ferry design and has significant experience of vessel design with low emission concepts. The team will work with CMAL to investigate and evaluate the feasibility of designing a lower emission ferry to be in line with the Scottish Government climate change commitments.

The vessel replacement project will include ongoing engagement with relevant stakeholders and communities to provide updates and ensure the needs of users are reflected where practical and affordable in the design and construction phases.

Presentation and Q&A from virtual community meeting

29 March 2022

We held a virtual community meeting on Wednesday 16th March to share details of both the new Mallaig-Lochboisdale vessel project and Gasay infrastructure project.  A recording of the online meeting is available to view:

A Q&A document from the community meeting can be found here: Mallaig-Lochboisdale vessel project Q&A March 2022

Questions and comments regarding the project can be emailed to

Webinar to share details of project

8 March 2022

We are hosting an online webinar to share details of the new Mallaig-Lochboisdale vessel project and Gasay infrastructure project

The webinar will take place on Wednesday 16th March between 19:00 and 20:00, and anyone with an interest in the projects is welcome to join.

You can join via this link – please note you will be held in a waiting room until the presentation starts.

This will be the first public meeting for these projects. Details of the work carried out so far will be shared, and how the projects will develop in the coming months as they move towards further public consultation and detailed design.

Representatives of CMAL, ferry operator CalMac, Transport Scotland, and Mallaig Harbour Authority will attend to discuss details of the projects. A copy of the presentation, the recording and the Q&A document will be available here after the event.

Stakeholder and community engagement

A communications and engagement plan for the project is being produced to ensure the needs of users and communities are identified and responded to and met, as far as practical and affordable, during the design and construction phases and operation of the vessel once delivered.

Low emission vessel

In line with Scottish Government climate change commitments, the project will aim to deliver a lower emissions vessel utilising the latest proven technologies.

Feasibility studies will be undertaken to understand the ability to install the necessary power and equipment to accommodate energy storage systems and shore power and the cost of these upgrades.

Best practice and continuous improvement

The project will take note of lessons learned from other vessel delivery projects, including the new Islay ferries project, as well as the 2017 Audit Scotland report into Scottish ferry services, and the recently published report of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee inquiry into the procurement and construction of ferries in Scotland.

A first independent assurance review of the project has been undertaken. Formal Gateway Reviews will be undertaken at key milestones during the course of the project.

Contact the project team

Questions and comments regarding the project can be emailed to