MV Loch Indaal was launched today (Saturday 8 June) at Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Yalova, Turkey.

The vessel is the second of four ferries being built at the yard and will serve Islay and Jura alongside sister vessel, MV Isle of Islay, which was launched in March.

The launch marks continued progress in Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited’s (CMAL) commitment to delivering new ferries to serve the Scottish islands.

Representatives of CMAL and key project stakeholders were in attendance to witness Elaine Anderson, wife of CMAL’s Director of Vessels, Jim Anderson, officially launch the ferry.

Scheduled for delivery in February 2025, MV Loch Indaal will significantly boost capacity on the Islay routes, with the ability to accommodate up to 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles. This addition will increase vehicle and freight capacity by 40% on the Islay routes, strengthening the overall fleet’s resilience.

The vessel will now undergo further outfitting and preparations in the water before comprehensive sea trials take place. Once complete, the vessel will be handed over to owners, CMAL.

Upon its arrival from Turkey, MV Loch Indaal will undergo crew familiarisation and local operational trials before entering service.

An official naming ceremony will take place on Islay early next year, where stakeholders and community representatives will be invited to board and tour the vessel to celebrate its arrival before it officially joins the fleet.

Kevin Hobbs, Chief Executive Officer at CMAL, said: “The successful launch of MV Loch Indaal represents another major achievement in our shipyard construction program. Following the launches of MV Isle of Islay and MV Glen Rosa earlier this year, it is wonderful to see another vessel in the water.

“We look forward to the ferry’s completion and delivery, and to seeing the positive impact she will have on our communities as she enters service next year.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, said: “This is another important milestone in the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering six new major vessels into service by 2026.

“I have no doubt the communities and businesses on Islay and Jura are looking forward to a more resilient and modern ferry service, with further vessels set to bring similar improvements to other parts of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network.”

Duncan Mackison, interim Chief Executive of CalMac, said: “We welcome the launch of MV Loch Indaal and are looking forward to the vessel joining the CalMac fleet. Her addition will increase resilience and will also significantly increase the number of passengers and vehicles we can carry on the Islay route.

“With six new major vessels due to join the fleet by 2026 and significant infrastructure upgrades at numerous ports and harbours underway or planned, we are confident that lifeline ferry services for Islay and across the network will continue to improve.”

The first vessel for Islay and Jura, MV Isle of Islay, is due to arrive in Scotland at the end of the year, with MV Loch Indaal scheduled for arrival in February 2025.

Avatar photo
George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Barry Larking
Barry Larking (@guest_825183)
1 month ago

A story rich in irony.

Jon (@guest_825259)
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

And maybe stealery.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_825192)
1 month ago

This is in SNP Turkey is it? 🍗

Mike (@guest_825216)
1 month ago

For a nation with such a long sea faring history, it is slightly embarrassing that craft such as these (for a pretty much nationalised company) are built abroad.

Even if the build was part subsidized to make a UK yard competitive. I appreciate that companies didn’t necessarily want to bid, but with some subsidy this could have been a great opportunity to rebuild somecapacity – perhaps helping H&W on its re skilling journey.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_825611)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Exactly. Shipbuilding contracts need an overhaul to take into account the benefits of using a U.K. yard.

Brom (@guest_825276)
1 month ago

Im noticing Nick Cole and his cohort are a little less active on this thread lol

Jacko (@guest_825461)
1 month ago
Reply to  Brom

Probably got the hump because they can’t blame Westminster for this one👍

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_825614)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

I can blame Westminster for not setting up a system that lets the benefits of building in the U.K. get back to the department that awards the contract.
Just now what is the incentive for the Scottish government to pay extra for a U.K. built ship? They don’t see the extra tax money or the other benefits.
Need to move away from the blame game into the solution game.

Jon (@guest_825630)
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

MOD uses the ill-defined metric of social value to take the place of financial transfer, and wraps up what should be a hard benefit into something squidgy. I don’t know if the devolved authorities have a similar concept and if so how they handle it.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking (@guest_825532)
1 month ago
Reply to  Brom

Strange. Very quick usually on anything that impacts on national sovereignty. There must be some missing factor.

Sir R
Sir R (@guest_825403)
1 month ago

Needs at least 2 30mm cannons.

Sir R
Sir R (@guest_825404)
1 month ago

Needs at least 2 30mm cannons and 1 phalanx.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_825610)
1 month ago

Great news. The ferries are needed ASAP. I wonder if the Turkish yard could partner with a U.K. yard for future ferries. The government need to work out how much extra can be spent building a ferry in the U.K. before it actually costs more money. Taking into account tax take, benefit to U.K. employers etc etc. Not much incentive for the Scottish government to use a U.K. yard as they won’t see much or any of the money put back to the treasury. The Scottish government will just have to pay more for the same ship. It should be… Read more »

Charles Verrier
Charles Verrier (@guest_825636)
1 month ago

What’s the defence angle on this story?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_825749)
1 month ago

It’s a ship. U.K. ships can be taken from trade when needed for the military.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_826451)
1 month ago

Does it come with CIWS?