The shortlisted names are:
- LOCH FRISA – The largest loch on the Isle of Mull, located four miles south of Tobermory.
- GLEN FORSA – A beautiful open glen in the heart of Mull, with the peak of Beinn Talaidh at its head.
- TOROSAY - Torosay Castle was built in 1858 by architect David Bryce and sits on the northwest side of Mull's Duart Bay.
The naming competition opens today, 22 November 2021, and those who would like to vote can do so on CMAL’s website: www.cmassets.co.uk/project/mv-utne/ Voting closes at midnight on 19 December 2021.
One person chosen at random from those suggesting the most popular name will be invited as a special guest (with a friend) to travel onboard the newly named vessel, and win a £200 gift voucher for the Isle of Mull hotel.
The vessel, which has been earmarked for the Oban-Craignure route, arrived in Leith from Norway last week and will undergo modification work before it enters service.
The works are expected to be completed by early 2022, with CalMac staff then undergoing onboard training and familiarisation. Deployment details will be confirmed by CalMac in due course, subject to the vessel achieving MCA certification and the completion of crew training and sea trials.
Kevin Hobbs, Chief Executive of CMAL said: “Welcoming the 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!”
Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “I’m very pleased the UTNE is now in Scotland and being readied to join the fleet on the Clyde and Hebrides network. She will bring welcome additional resilience for our island communities when she starts operating.
“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 investments over the next five years. We continue to work with CMAL and CalMac to develop potential programmes that will deliver additional improvements to the network.”
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