CALEDONIAN Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has announced a shortlist of names for the recently purchased MV Utne, which will be renamed before joining the fleet.
Members of the public can vote for the vessel’s name from three options associated with Mull (the island it is to operate to):
Loch Frisa -– The largest loch on the Isle of Mull, located four miles south of Tobermory.
Glen Forsa –- A glen in the heart of Mull, with the peak of Beinn Talaidh at its head.
Torosay — Torosay Castle was built in 1858 by architect David Bryce and sits on the northwest side of Mull’s Duart Bay.
Voting is taking place on CMAL’s website and closes at midnight on 19 December 2021.
The vessel, which has been earmarked for the Oban to Craignure route, arrived in Leith from Norway last week and will undergo modification work before it enters service.
The works are expected to be completed by early 2022, with CalMac staff then undergoing onboard training and familiarisation.
One person chosen at random from those suggesting the most popular name will be invited as a special guest (with a friend) to travel onboard the ferry, and win a £200 gift voucher for the Isle of Mull Hotel.
Kevin Hobbs, chief executive of CMAL, said: “Welcoming the MV Utne to Scotland will bring extra resilience to the fleet, and while it will serve the Oban and Mull communities, those in Skye and the Western Isles will also benefit as a result of the cascade of vessels elsewhere on the network.
“Utne is a name with Norwegian roots, and we are keen to rename the vessel to bring her in line with Scottish heritage and the island she’ll serve. We have a strong list of names to choose from, and I look forward to seeing which one proves the most popular!”
Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “I’m very pleased the MV Utne is now in Scotland and being readied to join the fleet on the Clyde and Hebrides network. She will bring welcome additional resilience for our island communities when she starts operating.
“The purchase of the vessel is part of the Scottish Government’s £580 million commitment to fund new ferries and port investments over the next five years.
“We continue to work with CMAL and CalMac to develop potential programmes that will deliver additional improvements to the network.”