MV Isle of Lewis

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Eilean Leodhais.jpg
MV Isle of Lewis
Career (UK) Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Name: MV Isle of Lewis
Operator: Caledonian MacBrayne
Port of registry: Glasgow
Builder: Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow
Launched: 18 April 1995
Christened: by HRH Princess Alexandra
Maiden voyage: 31 July 1995
Identification: IMO number: 9085974
MMSI Number: 232002521
Callsign: MVNP4
Status: in service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 6,753
Length: 101 m
Beam: 18.52 m
Draft: 1.49 m
Propulsion: 2 x Mirrlees Blackstone K6 Major
Speed: 19 knots (service)
Capacity: 970 passengers, 114 cars
Notes: [1][2]

MV Isle of Lewis (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Leòdhais) is a ferry operated between Ullapool and Stornoway by Caledonian MacBrayne. She is currently their only ship over 100 metres (328 ft) in length.


MV Isle of Lewis was built at Ferguson Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow on the Clyde and entered service in 1995. Her crossing time was very impressive – around 2 hours and 45 minutes - at least 45 minutes off the duration of her predecessor, MV Suilven.

With ever increasing traffic on the crossing, there have been a number of rumours in recent years that she will be replaced by an even larger vessel. Currently a chartered freight vessel, MV Muirneag is relieving pressure.


MV Isle of Lewis is a further development of the MV Isle of Mull and MV Caledonian Isles' design with a fully enclosed car deck. There are three lanes to port and two to starboard of the central casing. A mezzanine deck along each side can be raised or lowered according to traffic requirements. Two stairways from the car deck bring passengers out in the entrance square on deck 4, where the passenger gangways enter.[3]

The entrance square houses the information desk. Forward is a massive cafeteria overlooking the bow and occupying the full width of the ship. Aft are a designated dog area and a truckers' quiet lounge, with the reclining lounge and bar at the stern. Deck 5 houses the observation lounge at the bow, crew accommodation further aft and an open promenade deck stretching down both sides of the ship. Four stairways lead up to the open top deck, providing copious amounts of seating for those passengers either taking advantage of the summer sun, or more often for those brave souls taking on the Atlantic gales.[3]


MV Isle of Lewis has hardly sailed on any routes other than her own from Ullapool in Ross-shire to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. She has to endure some treacherous seas crossing The Minch, which is one of the most exposed areas around the British Isles.


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See also