crossings&cruises...
Main Crossings Mallaig - Rum - Eigg - Muck - Canna
Mallaig - Rum - Eigg - Muck - Canna
Mainland - Rum - Eigg - Muck - Canna
Crossing Time:
7 Hours (Round Trip)
Regular Ship:
Lochnevis

SHIP TIMELINE:

Pre 1979: Loch Arkaig
1979 - 1999: Lochmor
2000: Lochmor / Lochnevis
2001 - Present: Lochnevis
Additional Ships:
Arran / Coll / Pioneer / Raasay / Loch Bhrusda and various chartered vessels.
 

JUMP ON A VIRTUAL CROSSING
 Terminal Facilities:
Mallaig: Linkspan fitted in 1994 at main ferry berth. Train station located close by. Vehicle marshalling area and office facilities located adjacent to the town centre.

Rum: Newly completed purpose-built terminal to allow transfer of passengers and goods from ship to shore without the aid of a flitboat.

Eigg: Newly completed purpose-built terminal to allow transfer of passengers and goods from ship to shore without the aid of a flitboat. The slipway is located at the end of a long causeway set out into a bay on the south of the island. A local tractor is used to offload the crates of supplies brought in by the ferry.

Muck: Newly completed purpose-built terminal to allow transfer of passengers and goods from ship to shore without the aid of a flitboat.

Canna: The island always had its own pier and slipway, although the slipway is only suitable for the Island Class vessels. Goods are loaded and unloaded from Lochnevis by means of her crane. A new pier and slipway has also been completed allowing Lochnevis and other Loch Class vessels to load vehicles.
 
 Route History:
In the days before the car ferry, the Small Isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna (three of which provided the names for small car ferries) were served by traditional mail steamer; the Loch Arkaig. Towards the end of the 1970s it was clear that a new vessel was needed, and given the specific requirements of the route, considerable consultation was sought with islanders themselves.
It was a good thing that the new ferry was ordered when she was and she arrived not a day too soon for the Loch Arkaig had suffered the undignified mishap of sinking at her berth at Mallaig earlier on in 1979. Between this unfortunate incident and the new Lochmor arriving, the Small Isles, as they are known, were served by vessels ranging from the former Clyde ferry Arran to the tiny bow-loading Coll of 1973.

When the new Lochmor did eventually put in an appearance she was something quite different to the rest of the fleet - designed specifically with the cargo requirements of her route in mind, as opposed to car-carrying.

The Lochmor was a reliable member of the fleet and remained in charge of the Small Isles duties for two decades before finally being replaced by the much larger Lochnevis in November 2000.

The new ferry was a unique design. Her car deck could hold up to 14 cars and this was accessed by means of a huge stern ramp - quite unlike anything seen before in the fleet. The reason for this large ramp was that she was designed to be able to load directly from any linkspan or slipway on her travels without the risk of grounding and damaging her propellers.

Picture: SoC Crew
Lochmor entering Mallaig harbour

Picture: SoC Crew
Lochnevis leaving Muck for Eigg
 


Raasay heading out of Mallaig

The Lochnevis has seen a little more variety than her predecessor since her introduction. Not only does she handle all the Small Isles sailings but also in winter, thanks to her being able to carry vehicles, she operates a reduced-capacity service to Armadale on Skye; one in the early morning before her Small Isles duties and then one in the early evening upon her return.

During the couple of weeks a year when she is off duty in dry-dock she has previously been relieved by the Pioneer, however with the latter vessel's recent unfortunate disposal, this duty has fallen to a number of smaller vessels over the last couple of years including the Raasay and smaller chartered vessels such as the Ullin of Staffa, operating on a special timetable.

Images from Ships of CalMac Collection


All material on this site Ships of CalMac 2001 - 2017, unless otherwise stated.
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