Western Ferries’ celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the start of their independent Upper Clyde passenger and vehicle ferry link between McInroy’s Point, Gourock and Hunter’s Quay, Dunoon during November follows the introduction of new ferries Sound of Seil and Sound of Soay, built by Cammell Laird and marking the Birkenhead yard’s return to shipbuilding after almost 20 years.

The 54-car vessels made their first journeys over land when carried on huge transporters from the Cammell Laird building hall to enter the river Mersey. Named in August, they commenced sea trials in September and bring a 20 per cent increase in route vehicle capacity, together with improved passenger accommodation.

Now handling 1.3 million passengers and over 600,000 vehicles on almost 32,000 sailings each year, Western Ferries have been the sole vehicle service provider to Dunoon since 2011, when the CalMac service from Dunoon was withdrawn and replaced by the passenger-only Argyll Ferries link.

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