The Islay Ferry
Most car, freight and passenger traffic to and from Islay goes by ferry using the route from Kennacraig on West Loch Tarbert to Port Ellen or Port Askaig. Kennacraig is located 6 km south of the pretty fishing village of Tarbert on the Kintyre Peninsula. The operator on this route is Caledonian MacBrayne, mostly referred to as Calmac, and is owned by the Scottish Government.
Calmac operated the Kennacraig to Islay route from the early 1970s and has done so ever since. Since 2007 this route is operated by two ships all year round, due to increased whisky production of the island’s distilleries and an increase in tourism. The vessels that operate the route all year round are the Hebridean Isles and the MV Finlaggan, the latter started service in June 2011 and is Calmac’s newest and most technically advanced ferry.