Big name UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird, of Birkenhead, Liverpool was proud to announce the naming of the first complete ships to be built there for 20 years.
The ceremony marked the completion of a multi-million pound contract which has seen 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: “Cammell Laird was exceptionally pleased to welcome the Western Ferries team for the historic naming ceremony. We fully appreciate the importance of this investment in state-of-the-art vessels for the company and its ambitions. Our employees worked hard to ensure the vessels provide the best possible passenger experience and support the growth of Western Ferries.
He continued: "Delivering the highest quality vessels to Western Ferries announces to international shipowners and operators, together with the maritime engineering sector in general, that Cammell Laird is still one of Europe’s leading and most competitive shipyards.”