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Portavadie Ferry

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Portavadie Ferry
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (2)
From:  Tarbert
To:  Portavadie
Distance:  5.6 km (3.5 miles)
Current Operator
Caledonian MacBrayne
£19 (Car+driver, 2009)
On road(s)
 • A8015

Connecting the Cowal and Kintyre peninsulas of south Argyll, The 25 minute crossing provides an important service for locals and tourists alike. The western side of the Cowal Peninsula is, even with the new A8003 road, a remote place, and so the ferry provides locals access to the shops of Tarbert. It also offers tourists a short cut across the mouth of Loch Fyne, giving many more opportunities within the limited time most holidays afford!

Until 2014 the service was operated by Calmac's Isle of Cumbrae and Loch Riddon, which carry up to eighteen cars. However, in early 2014 the new Hybrid Ferry, MV Lochinvar entered service on the route, offering a greater capacity. A regular service operates throughout the year from 8am-6pm, although in the winter months there is a long lunchtime break while the ferry runs from Tarbert to Lochranza on Arran.


Historically, Tarbert was an important stop on the Firth of Clyde Steamer routes, with charabancs / coaches offering a connection to West Loch Tarbert and the ferries to the Isles. Today, however, while West Loch Tarbert is still the Gateway to Islay, the little East Loch Tarbert only sees one ferry crossing, and that to an unclassified road at the hamlet of Portavadie on Cowal. It is a sign of the times that it is seen as quicker, easier and cheaper for the motorists to drive round the tortuous coastline of southern Argyll than take a ferry from Gourock or Ardrossan to a variety of ports around the Firth of Clyde.


Name IMO Operator Dates Notes
Isle of Cumbrae 7521625 Caledonian MacBrayne 1999-2003
2003-14 (Summer Service)
2016-date (Summer Service)
18 cars
Loch Riddon 8519875 Caledonian MacBrayne 2003-date (Winter Service) 12 cars
Lochinvar 9652844 Caledonian MacBrayne 2014-2016 (Summer Service) 23 cars; Diesel-Electric Hybrid
Loch Linnhe 8512308 Caledonian MacBrayne 1998-1999 12 cars
Bruernish 7310662 Caledonian MacBrayne ?-1998 5 cars


Portavadie Ferry
Related Pictures
View gallery (2)
End of the A8015 - Coppermine - 19792.jpgPortavadie-ferry.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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