In October 2022, The Scottish Government prioritised additional funding to enable CMAL to accelerate plans for replacement vessels.
The two new vessels will be built to the same specification as the existing ferries under construction for Islay. This will speed up the replacement of the major vessel fleet and provide a more standardised vessel type that can be used on a variety of different routes. It’s expected the contract will be awarded before the end of the year. The overall project costs are likely to be around £115 million, including allowance for minor port improvements and management costs.
Name the new vessels for the Little Minch
30 November 2023
CMAL has launched a public vote to help choose the names for two new ferries to serve the Little Minch routes.
Little Minch ferries reach major construction milestones
20 September 2023
Two new CMAL ferries being built for the Little Minch routes have met milestones.
The keel was laid for the first vessel, while the first steel was cut for its sister ship. The ferries, which are being built at Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Turkey, are expected to be delivered in June and October 2025… Read more ›
Update on the New Ferries for Little Minch
19 May 2023
On 24th May 2023, steel cutting will mark the official commencement of the construction of the first of the Little Minch vessels. Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Turkey, which is building two new vessels for Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), will hold a steel-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion. The second vessel’s steel-cutting date is yet to be confirmed but will likely occur in September 2023.
The new 94.8-metre vehicle passenger ferries will be designed and built to the same specification as the two new vessels for Islay but with raised aft mooring decks to accommodate the higher pier heights at Lochmaddy, Uig and Tarbert. The vessels will each have a capacity for up to 450 passengers and 100 cars or 14 commercial vehicles—increasing vehicle and freight capacity on the Little Minch routes and improving the overall resilience of the wider fleet. The new ferries have been designed with carbon reduction in mind and are expected to deliver significant reductions in emissions.
The below presentation, presented to communities in November 2022, covers some of the key design aspects of the vessel.
The planned delivery dates for the first and second vessels to CMAL are June 2025 and October 2025, respectively. The ferries will then be transited back from Turkey and undergo crew familiarisation and local operational trials before entering service.
CMAL will provide further updates to communities as the construction of these vessels progresses, including images of their interiors and the plans for their naming.
Contract finalised for two new ferries for the Little Minch
3 February 2023
CMAL has confirmed the signing of the Bank Refund Guarantee (BRG) for two new vessels for the Little Minch routes between Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert (Harris).
Work to build the ferries will now begin at Cemre Marin Endustri A.S shipyard in Turkey, with an expected delivery date for both in June and October 2025 respectively.
They will be built to the same specification as the vessels for Islay, which are already under construction at Cemre. Both are currently ahead of schedule.
Read the full news release here.
11 January 2023
Today at Cemre shipyard in Turkey, CMAL signed the contract to build two new ferries to support the communities at Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert (Harris).
We now enter into a 20-day period during which time the shipyard needs to put the Bank Refund Guarantee in place. As is standard industry practice, the shipyard must provide a signed contract to their banking partner to gain credit committee approval. The contract is not finalised until the guarantee is confirmed.
Presentation slides and Q&A from public meetings
19 December 2022
Following the public meetings in Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert in November, the presentation slides are available to view here:
A Q&A document has been compiled to provide answers to questions and feedback from communities with regards to the new vessel for the Little Minch. The document can be found here:
If you have any additional queries or feedback, please feel free to contact us at our dedicated project mailbox: NVLM@cmassets.co.uk
14 November 2022
Public meetings have been arranged to engage with local communities at Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert (Harris) regarding the two new vessels being procured for the Little Minch.
The meetings will include a presentation from Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) regarding the vessel type, cargo configuration, passenger areas, accessibility and overall vessel configuration. There will then be a Q&A session.
Communities are invited to attend their local meeting:
Tuesday 22 November: 6pm–8pm, Uig Village Hall
Wednesday 23 November: 6pm–8pm, Lochmaddy Village Hall
Thursday 24 November: 6pm–8pm, Tarbert Village Hall
There will be further engagement with communities regarding timetables and scheduling at a later date.