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Mallaig - Armadale Ferry

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Mallaig - Armadale Ferry
Location Map ( geo)
The Coruisk entering Mallaig Harbour
Cameraicon.png View gallery (4)
From:  Mallaig
To:  Armadale (Skye)
Distance:  8.3 km (5.2 miles)
Current Operator
Caledonian MacBrayne, Bruce Watt Cruises
£27.75 (Cars+driver, 2013)
On road(s)
A830, A851


In the past, when it was still steamships rather than ferries that plied between the mainland and the islands, Mallaig linked to Kyle to serve Harris, the Uists, The Small Isles and, of course, Skye. For many years Mallaig has been an important port for such ships, with a railway connection being an obvious benefit.

In 1937 the Mallaig-Armadale service took 40 minutes and operated continually from 8am until late evening, Mon-Sat. It cost £1, which had risen to £2 5s in 1963, excluding pier dues! The service had also been trimmed back, starting at 9.40am, or 11am from Skye. The boat used still wasn't a car ferry, presumably meaning all vehicles had to be hoisted on and off.

Over the Sea to Skye

What better way to get to Skye than by boat? The Skye Bridge has made regular traffic to the island much easier, but for the holidaymaker, the romance of the ferry will often win! The crossing is only 25 minutes, and regular during the summer months. Normally the ferry shuttles back and forth, running one leg in reverse, but in bad weather it has to turn and make both trips bow-first. However, during the winter MV Loch Coruisk is seconded elsewhere and the service has to share MV Loch Nevis with the Small Isles. This means just two sailings a day, early morning and late afternoon.

The ferry piers are the terminus of the A830 in Mallaig and also the terminus of the A851 in Armadale on the Sleat peninsula of Skye. This latter road is known as the 'Road to Lochaber', to compliment the A830's tag of 'Road to the Isles'.


Name IMO Operator Dates Notes
Loch Fyne 9006411 Caledonian MacBrayne 2017-date (Summers) 36 cars
Lord of the Isles (LOTI) 9006411 Caledonian MacBrayne 1998-2002; 2016-date 54 cars; Provides some extra capacity between Lochboisdale Ferry service
Loch Nevis 9209063 Caledonian MacBrayne 2001-date (Winters) 16 cars; Operates Winter service in conjunction with Small Isles routes
Loch Bhrusda 9129483 Caledonian MacBrayne 2016 (Summer) 18 cars
Lochinvar 9652844 Caledonian MacBrayne 2016 (Summer) 23 cars
Coruisk 9274836 Caledonian MacBrayne 2003-2015 (Summers) 40 cars
Iona 7009653 Caledonian MacBrayne ?-1998

For Summer 2016, the purpose designed Coruisk was relocated to Oban to provide additional capacity on the Mull route. This has caused outrage in Mallaig and on Skye, as it has been replaced with the smaller Lochinvar, one of two Hybrid Diesel-electric ferries currently in Calmacs fleet. To try and compensate, and with the benefit of the Lochboisdale Ferry now coming into Mallaig in place of Oban, the Lord of the Isles has also returned to this route, making 3 return sailings Monday to Saturday, and two on Sunday before returning to South Uist. Whilst locals see it as a reduction in service, Calmac stress that there are now more crossings each day, and with far greater capacity during the day itself, even if early morning and evening sailings have less space.

In April 2016, the MV Loch Bhrusda, formerly a relief vessel on the Clyde, was also stationed at Mallaig, and the timetable for the peak summer season suggests that she will be operating between Mallaig and Armadale for two months from the end of June. She will be stationed at Armadale over night, and make two return sailings each morning. To try and alleviate some of the concerns raised, the larger Loch Fyne was put onto the crossing for 2017 in place of the two smaller ferries.


Mallaig - Armadale Ferry
Related Pictures
View gallery (4)
Armadale-ferry1.jpgMallaig-ferry.jpgSkulamus2.jpgArmadale linkspan - weight limit signs.jpg
Other nearby roads
Crossings to and between the Inner Hebridean Islands
Firth of ClydeBrodick Ferry • Kilbrannan Sound • Portavadie Ferry • Cumbrae Ferry • Rothesay Ferry • Kyles of Bute Ferry • Gourock to Dunoon
Inter HebrideanGigha Ferry • Islay Ferries • Jura Ferry • Colonsay Ferry • Clachan Bridge • Luing Ferry • Oban to Craignure • Lochaline to Fishnish • Tobermory Ferry • Iona Ferry • Lismore Ferries • Coll and Tiree Ferry • Mallaig Ferries • Mallaig to Armadale • Small Isles Ferry • Glenelg to Kylerhea • Skye Bridge • Raasay Ferry
Other AreasIrish Sea • Inner Hebrides • Western Isles • Shetland • Orkney • North Sea • English Channel • Solent • Inland Crossings • Other Island Crossings

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