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Firth of Clyde, Scotland
Caledonian-MacBrayne Ltd (from 1973)
"Cal-Mac" inherited the fleets of the Caledonian Steam Packet Company (Clyde) and David MacBrayne Ltd (Western Isles) and quickly set about restructuring services to concentrate fully on car-ferries with drive-on-drive-off capability. A massive investment programme in new piers and, later, new ships has led to vastly improved ferry services, but the abandonment of cruising. Cal-Mac ran PS Waverley for one season before withdrawing her as uneconomic and concentrating cruising on TS Queen Mary, with support from local authority grants.
After 1977, with Queen Mary also removed from the fleet, cruises were offered most years, initially by the then spare car ferry "Glen Sannox", for some years by the small motor vessel "Keppel", then by using another "spare" car ferry, until 2000, when Cal-Mac officially announced the end of inter-resort services.
Caledonian MacBrayne now provides a comprehensive and efficient point-to-point car ferry service at strategic points between the mainland and islands 

Following the merging of the Caledonian Steam Packet Company and David MacBrayne, Waverley sailed for one season (1973) in new colours. It was a problematic season and the costly and unreliable paddler was paid off by the state-controlled company after only one summer. Waverley went on to a successful new phase of her life in the ownership of a preservation society and as of 2019 is being refurbished with new boilers for what is hoped to be many more years of service.  Photo by kind courtesy of Kenny Whyte.         

QMII Troon KW.jpg

Turbine Steamer Queen Mary survived to complete the 1977 season but continued to accumulate losses. When Glasgow Council decided to allocate its available grant money to Waverley, it seemed that Queen mary was doomed and the enthusiasts who had kept Waverley going against all odds had won out. It was not a competition however. The market was still in serious decline - although this photo by Kenny Whyte of the turbine steamer off Troon might not give that impression. After many years of lay-up and 20 years as a pub restaurant in London, the vessel was towed back to the Clyde in 2016 for restoration as a floating attraction in Glasgow


Speed Bonny Boat : The Story of Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd under Scottish Transport Group 1969-1990
John Whittle
Published in 1990 by Saltire Communications , 47 Queen Charlotte St, Edinburgh EH6 7EY on behalf of the STG
ISBN 0-946265-13-5
Definitive illustrated history by the former Executive Director and Deputy Chairman of Cal-Mac

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Clyde Turbine Steamers