Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd previously provided the majority of Clyde and Hebrides ferry services and owned the associated vessels and many of the harbour facilities. The company was wholly owned by Scottish Ministers with these services requiring an annual revenue deficit grant from the Scottish Executive to maintain lifeline services.
To comply with European guidelines on State aid in maritime transport, an open public tender was deemed necessary in respect of these ferry services. The then Scottish Executive tendered the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) as a single bundle, except for the Gourock-Dunoon service.
In recognition of the uniqueness of the fleet and to ensure a level playing field for all bidders, Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd was split into two companies on 1st October 2006:
- An asset owning company, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL)
- A new operating company, CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL)
This was achieved by Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd transferring its operations – but not its assets – to CFL.
Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd, now CMAL, continues to own all vessels and land-based assets (ports, harbours, etc) and makes them available to an operator through an open tendering process.
CalMac Ferries Ltd continues to operate the services having won the contracts through open tendering processes. Under the terms of the tender CFL is bound to use the vessels of CMAL.
Please go to our website for more information on the company, including annual accounts, three-year operating plan, minutes of company board meetings, a newsletter, and details of our ferries and harbours, and current projects.