I will be driving from Oban to lodging in Portree in July and would like to get to Skye via the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale. It isn't clear whether I should pre-purchase these tickets. I don't want the ferry to be full when we arrive but also find it hard to nail down a time for when we will get to Mallaig. Have others taken this ferry with or without pre-buying tickets online?
You're traveling in the peak season. It's not a long ferry ride, but you're also arriving at the end of the day. I think if it were me, I'd make a reservation. But also, if it were me, I'd ask the same question on the TA Maillaig Forum. There are two Destination Experts on that Forum and one of them or someone else can give you better advise.
When we traveled to Lewis from Ullapool and back from Harris to Skye we had a large (mini bus) vehicle and we definitely made a reservation. Alternatively, going from Oban to Mull I didn't need one. I was traveling for the latter in September however and so it wasn't peak season.
I never used to make reservations for the short ferries, now I do. The reason being that for some odd reason I'd made one out to Arran last year and wound up shuttling instant foot passengers who'd abandoned their cars on the mainland to get to a funeral way up the island.
With an indefinite time, consider the bridge. Time from Oban is about the same, the scenery is better, and the ferry ride ain't all that thrilling. Having to divert from the ferry landing to the bridge will eat up at least another hour due to the road configuration.
Thanks, Pamela and Ed.
Thank you for the helpful feedback! I posted on the mentioned forum and got the info I needed!
What a great answer. Specific and answered your whole question, which was included, what happens if I've late! :)