BOSSES from the Port Glasgow based harbours and ferries agency have welcomed the launch of a new vessel for CalMac.

MV Loch Indaal was launched at the weekend at Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Yalova, Turkey.

She 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 back in March.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) say that the launch marks continued progress in 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.

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.

Kevin Hobbs, CMAL chief executive, said: "The successful launch of MV Loch Indaal represents another major achievement in our shipyard construction programme. 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, the government's transport secretary, said: “This is another important milestone in the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering six new major vessels into service by 2026."

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.”

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.