VOTING is open for the naming of a ferry, with prizes up for grabs for one lucky voter.
Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. (CMAL) is holding the poll, which will rename the MV Utne to draw closer association with the Isle of Mull.
The ferry, which was built in 2015, has previously been operated by Norled and sailed under the flag of Norway.
Now, the vessel will join the CalMac fleet and has been earmarked for the Oban-Craignure route, running passengers between the Isle of Mull and the mainland.
Three names have made the shortlist, each relating to the Isle of Mull and drawing inspiration from its history and landscape.
|Three names have made the shortlist and are described by CMAL as follows:|
|1||Loch Frisa||The largest loch on the Isle of Mull, located four miles south of Tobermory.|
|2||Glen Forsa||A beautiful open glen in the heart of Mull, with the peak of Beinn Talaidh at its head.|
|3||Torosay||Torosay Castle was built in 1858 by architect David Bryce and sits on the northwest side of Mull’s Duart Bay.|
Kevin Hobbs, Chief Executive of CMAL, said: “Welcoming the MV Utne to Scotland will bring extra resilience to the fleet, and while it will serve the Oban and Mull communities, those in Skye and the Western Isles will also benefit as a result of the cascade of vessels elsewhere on the network.
“Utne is a name with Norwegian roots, and we are keen to rename the vessel to bring her in line with Scottish heritage and the island she’ll serve.
“We have a strong list of names to choose from, and I look forward to seeing which one proves the most popular!”
One lucky voter from the most popular name will receive an invitation to travel on the newly named ferry, with the option of bringing a plus one along for the trip.
In addition to the journey, they will also win a £200 gift voucher for the Isle of Mull Hotel.
Minister for Transport Graeme Day, said: “I’d encourage the public to have their say on the vessel’s new name.
“There are three good options that reflect her deployment on the route to Mull which we hope will prove popular with ferry users.
“The purchase of the vessel is part of the Scottish Government’s £580 million commitment to fund new ferries and port investment over the next five years.
“We will continue to work with CMAL and CalMac to develop potential programmes that will deliver additional improvements to the network.”
Following modification work and staff training, the ferry is expected to be ready in early 2022.
Voting will remain open until December 19 and can be accessed via CMAL’s website.