Liverpool, U.K. city region based shipyard and engineering firm Cammell Laird has hosted a formal naming ceremony for the first complete ships constructed by the company in 20 years for Scottish ferry operator Western Ferries.
The ceremony marked the completion of a multi-million pound contract which has seen Birkenhead based Cammell Laird build two new car ferries for Western Ferries MV Sound of Seil (Cammell Laird keel number 1387) and MV Sound of Soay (keel number 1388).
The vessels continue Western Ferries tradition of naming its vessels after Scottish sounds. More than 200 guests attended the event which saw the ferries blessed before being christened with bottles of champagne broken over their bows by Glenis Coles and Maria Chittick, who are the wives of long-standing Western Ferries’ staff, Capt Robin Coles and Neil Chittick.
The new vessels can carry 54 cars and are enlarged versions of the company’s roll-on roll-off ferry MV Sound of Shuna, which can carry 45 cars. Both vessels are nearing the completion of their finishing works and sea-trails, and will soon begin operations on Western Ferries route between Dunoon and Gourock.
Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts said the company is very proud to build the new vessels.
Western Ferries’ managing director Gordon Ross said, “These new vessels now mean that all four of the company’s vessels and the new berthing structures were all made in Britain, at a combined cost now exceeding £17m. These new ferries are larger, faster and have improved on board passenger facilities as well as being substantially more fuel efficient and produce lower exhaust gas emissions as compared to the vessels they are replacing."