Ferry fortunes: Armadale-Mallaig service to return, but Glenachulish withdraws until 2021

 Sailings on the Mallaig to Armadale crossing are set to return from tomorrow (Wednesday 1st July)

Sailings on the Mallaig to Armadale route are set to return on Wednesday (1st July) as part of ferry operator CalMac’s phased resumption of services across Scotland.

The MV Loch Fyne will set sail on Wednesday morning at 8.40 am from Mallaig to Armadale as the service returns for the first time in more than three months.

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Mallaig to Armadale service was cancelled on Friday 27th March.

The CalMac website and telephone lines crashed due to the demand as the operator reopened its booking facilities at 9 am today (Tuesday 30th June.

However, CalMac has stated that there will be fewer sailings available as its capacity is significantly constrained.

The operator has asked passengers to continue to be responsible when considering travel as “your decision to travel could impact someone else’s essential journey – for example, key workers and those travelling for medical reasons.”

Today, CalMac underlined new mandatory guidelines announced by the Scottish Government last week to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Scottish Government issued new guidelines last week that face coverings are mandatory when traveling on an enclosed area of a ferry.

Such face coverings, according to the World Health Organisation, offer protection to other people from the Covid-19 virus.

CalMac’s Director of Operations, Robert Morrison, said: “Wearing a face covering on an enclosed area of a ferry is now mandatory with a few exceptions for medical or physical conditions. 

“By covering your nose and mouth you are showing that you care for other passengers and our staff, providing you with a service. 

“I’d strongly urge passengers to abide by the new guideline and help keep our island communities safe. 

“Health experts say the evidence is now clear that face coverings can help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that the more people wearing them, the better.” 

CalMac is reinstating more sailings from July 1 and again from July 15 in line with the Scottish Government’s decision to relax travel rules. 

CalMac reopened for bookings at 9am today (Tuesday 30th)

Mr. Morrison went on to say: “As travel guidance changes and more people begin to sail with us again it is essential that everyone who can follows the guidance. 

“By wearing a face covering you are helping to protect everyone on board traveling with you. 

“There has been very little spread of coronavirus across CalMac’s area of operations, and as services increase again, the company wants passengers to help keep it that way.  

He added: We are now being told that both pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission of the disease is much more common than first thought.

“As health experts learn more about the condition they have a greater degree of certainty on the advice given, and that advice is now cover your face while on public transport.’  

“As it isn’t always possible to tell who is infected and who isn’t, a simple step such as covering your nose and mouth and staying socially distant really can help save lives.”

The Glenelg-Skye ferry – The Glenachulish in action.

Meanwhile, it has been announced that the popular Glenelg – Skye turntable ferry will not return to sailing until 2021 due to health and safety reasons.

The Glenachulish is the last manually-operated turntable ferry in Scotland and takes passengers between Glenelg and Kylerhea each year from Easter to October.

However, the operators of the ferry – which attracts passengers from all over the world – announced yesterday (Monday 30th June) via Twitter. that the vessel would not sail this year to ensure the safety of the public and the crew.

For more information on CalMac’s timetables, click here