Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has formally named its new ship to
service the Isle of Bute at a ceremony at Rothesay. MV Bute arrived on the
Clyde earlier this week. After successfully completing familiarisation
work, she was formally named MV Bute by Mrs. Marjorie Bulloch from
Rothesay, wife of the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Argyll, Lyn Bulloch.
Funding of up to £8.75million for the new ship was announced in October,
2003, by Minister of Transport, Nicol Stephen MSP. The ship is due to
enter service on the Rothesay to Wemyss Bay service next week.
Speaking at the naming ceremony at Rothesay, CalMac Chairman Dr Harold
Mills said: “We are all delighted to welcome the new ship into the
Caledonian MacBrayne fleet. While the new MV Bute is the seventh ship on
the Clyde to have the name, this new ferry will mark the start of the
latest generation of car ferries on the Clyde. This is an important step
towards the development of a 21st century ferry service for the island of
Bute. It is vitally important now that all the relevant organisations come
together to improve the infrastructure to enable us to operate at maximum
efficiency. That means having a new linkspan in place in Rothesay as
quickly as possible. Until that happens, MV Bute and her sister ship,
which we hope to order soon, will obviously have to operate as
Dr Mills has a special connection with the name MV Bute as he served in
the late fifties on the previous MV Bute as an Assistant Purser to well
known Rothesay Purser Peter Shaw.
MV Bute will carry up to 60 cars - nearly twice as many cars as the 38
carried by Streakers currently operating on the Clyde, and 450 passengers
on CalMac’s busiest route.
CalMac also took the opportunity today to launch the latest in a series
of books on historical aspects of their operation by Ian McCrorie. “Sea
Routes to Rothesay” was launched as the new ship took a party of 250
invited guests on a cruise to Cumbrae and back.
The new book is available from the Marketing Department at Gourock
(priced £6) and will be on sale through the CalMac website
www.calmac.co.uk, which also has further details of MV Bute and her
When the new ship enters service next week, MV Saturn will be released
to operate on the Ardrossan to Brodick route, providing additional
sailings during the summer.