THE names of two new ferries for Islay and Jura have been announced following a public vote.

CMAL, which owns the ferries, has confirmed Isle of Islay and Loch Indaal will be the names of the two vessels currently being built at Cemre Shipyard in Turkey.

The names were chosen from a shortlist with each one having ties to the landscape and history of the islands.

More than 1300 votes were cast, with Isle of Islay being the most popular name, and Loch Indaal and Pioneer in close second and third place. 

Kevin Hobbs, CMAL chief executive, said: “We had an excellent response to our public naming vote, and I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone who got involved.

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“We had a strong list of names to choose from, with Isle of Islay and Loch Indaal coming out on top as clear favourites amongst voters.

“Work is progressing well at Cemre Shipyard on the sister ferries, and we look forward to seeing Isle of Islay and Loch Indaal out on the network serving communities in the not-too-distant future.”

CMAL said it is expecting delivery of the ferries towards the end of 2024 for vessel one and early 2025 for vessel two.

The ferries will have a focus on freight but will have capacity for up to 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles.

This will provide a combined 40% increase in vehicle and freight capacity on the Islay routes and will improve the overall resilience of the wider fleet.

Kevin Stewart, Minister for Transport, said: “It’s great to see the public choose two fitting names for these new ferries, and I very much look forward to seeing the MV Isle of Islay and MV Loch Indaal enter service on the Islay routes.

“These links are some of the busiest services for freight on the Clyde and Hebrides network so the vessels will bring welcome additional capacity, reliability, and resilience for our island communities.

“These new vessels underline the Scottish Government’s commitment to bringing in new ferries and we want to continue to see progress on bringing vessels into service on time and budget.”