Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has awarded a contract to BMT to provide consultancy services for the concept design of a new passenger ferry for the Gourock, Dunoon and Kilcreggan routes.

The new ferry will be designed to replace the vessels currently operated on the routes by CalMac.

This project should not be confused with the troubled MV Glen Sannox.

Troubled ferry MV Glen Sannox enters dry dock for repair

The contract is part of the Gourock Harbour Infrastructure & Vessels Project, which is a partnership between Transport Scotland, CMAL, CalMac and Argyll and Bute Council.

“The project covers the redevelopment of Gourock Ferry Terminal and works to the harbour infrastructures at Dunoon and Kilcreggan, as well as the delivery of new passenger-only vessels.  When complete, it will provide a modern, reliable and resilient lifeline passenger ferry service between the terminals at Gourock, Dunoon and Kilcreggan.”

With a strong focus on reducing the environmental footprint, BMT and CMAL say they will investigate and evaluate the application of energy efficiency solutions to make the new vessel design more sustainable while still offering the high level of safety and reliability expected from a lifeline ferry service.

Andy Crossan, senior technical manager and projects director at CMAL, said:

“BMT has a strong track record of advanced vessel design, knowledge and experience, and has a thorough understanding of the challenges and the opportunities offered by the port infrastructure redevelopment.  The contract award is an important milestone in the new vessel project, which will provide much-needed investment in the ferry service for the local community and the overall vessel fleet.”

Sylvain Julien, director of naval architecture at BMT, said:

“BMT is committed to leading the way in designing vessels that lower the environmental impact, and we welcome the opportunity to work with CMAL to work towards increased sustainability by leveraging our deep understanding of advanced ferry design and operation.”

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Considering this is ostensively a military site, will this ferry be fitted with a phalanx?

Paul C

Maybe the cunning plan is to order a couple of these to replace the Albions? I can see it now: ‘New cutting edge multi-role amphibious platforms to enhance the global capabilities of our growing Royal Navy and support the UK shipbuilding industry’. The USN has the Harpers Ferry class LSD and the RN gets the CalMac Ferry class!


I once sailed on a CalMac Ferry out of Uig, and a member of the crew told me the ship was equipped with a network of water pipes to wash off radiation after a nuclear strike. It turned out to be an adaptable vessel and to be used by the Home Office in times of nuclear war? So if true, we both might be closer to the truth than intended?

Andy P

Maybe talking utter bollox (so forgive me) but I have it in my head that there were some ‘secret bunkers’ not on the mainland that could be the seat of government and that the ferries would be used to take the important types to them/it. Would make sense to have a pre-wetting system then.

Daniele Mandelli

Nope, you’re spot on Andy.

That was discussed on this very site not so long ago.

I don’t recall that there were bunkers off shore on the islands, the ferries themselves were the hosts for relocation I recall.

Bit like the wartime role of RY Britannia.

Andy P

Cheers Daniele, I probably did hear about it on here and made up the Doctor Evil ‘secret bunkers’. Nothing wrong with a few bells and whistles on a story. 😉