I almost seem foolish asking this but I went on the calmac.co.uk website and cannot find this route. I would like to book the car ferry in September. Is it too early? Thank you.
try this page
As you'll most likely have a hired car, when you get to the section asking for your car registration details, just click on "Registration Unknown." You probably don't need to book the ferry this far in advance, as your plans may change, but at least you'll know what times the ferries sail.
The other thing to be careful of, is to make sure you book your journey in the right direction. You wouldn't be the first person to book from Mallaig to Armadale when they actually wanted Armadale to Mallaig!
Don’t stress too much.....we booked the ferry in advance from Armdale to Mallaig, but for the WRONG day! No worries, the ferry people were nice and let us on anyways.
The ferry people might let you on if there is capacity, but at the moment the large ferry is out of action (nobody really knows when it will be back) and they are using a much, much smaller ferry, which only takes around 20 cars, and if there is a truck onboard, then obviously capacity is reduced even further. I was on the ferry last week and it was full (in February!). So, do take care about your booking. September will still be a busy time for visitors, so don't take a chance.
We were on board the MV Lochinvar during a gale in July. Our car was first in line at the front. By the time we got to Armadale, you couldn't even tell that the car was blue. It was completely white from the sea spray! Fortunately, we found a car wash in Lochcarron.
I would imagine that the tourist trade in Mallaig will be negatively affected by the reduction of ferry service to Skye. Is it the MV Lord of the Isles that's out of commission, and have they brought the MV Loch Nevis in to service the Mallaig-Armadale route in between its runs to the Small Isles?
I have the car ferry booked. Thanks to all! :)
I can't remember the names of any of the ferries! The one they are using at the moment is really small, you have to reverse down the loading ramp to get your car on. They usually use that boat in the winter and then switch to the main big boat in the summer, but I read in the Free Press a while back that the big boat was being used on another route, to cover the loss of another vessel that was being repaired. I won't be leaving the island by boat again for a while (Edinburgh at the weekend, but taking the bridge), but will report back next time I take the ferry!
From your description, it sounds as though they've put the Loch Nevis on the Mallaig to Armadale run. That is a small ferry. I've sailed with her a couple of times, to Eigg and Rum. Good thing it's February, and not midsummer!
I remember a couple of years ago there was quite a stushie when they took the MV Coruisk off the Skye run and put her on the Mull run. That only left 1 1/2 ferries to do Mallaig to Armadale.
The CalMac ferries have such great names! - Lord of the Isles, MV Hebrides, MV Catriona, MV Clansman, MV Loch Buie, etc. I've sailed with about a dozen of them over the years.
I hope that the Lord of the Isles, or whichever full size ferry normally runs from Mallaig to Armadale, is back in service by spring.
You are a mine of useful information! You're right the ferries have great names.
On my latest trip off island I took the early morning ferry across to Mallaig and was somewhat surprised to encounter an intrepid American couple in the queue for the café on board. They were somewhat bemused by the concept of a square sausage in a roll for breakfast. I urged them to give a try but they opted for the more 'normal' bacon roll instead!
Love that Lorne sausage! Do you think that they tried haggis on their holiday?
On the subject of ferries, I actually sailed on the old "Heb" from Uig to Tarbert. Back in those days, they had sleeping cabins, so my wife and I booked one of those and stayed on the "Heb" overnight at Tarbert. It was cheaper than a B&B, and my wife got seasick from the motion of the ferry tied up at the dock, as well as the diesel fumes, so I didn't have to buy breakfast!
Oh Mike - what a great story! Off topic I know, but my last off island trip was actually to Normandy. So I also took a ferry from Portsmouth to Ouistreham/Caen overnight. I had a deluxe cabin with free mini bar and breakfast delivered to my room. Plush!