Scottish Region Members took part in an oganised sail on the Kilcreggan Ferry. Arriving by train from Glasgow Central, the party crossed the river Clyde on the ferry before leaving Helensburgh by train for Glasgow.
The MV Seabus.
© John Fender, 2011
A ferry route has existed since 1889 between Gourock and Kilcreggan, for many years as a calling-point for the Caledonian Steam Packet Company en route to more distant destinations.
With the closure of other piers and the growth in the significance of Royal Navy presence on the Rosneath Peninsula, the service became more of a self-contained operation which in 1974 was subcontracted out by Caledonian MacBrayne, passing in 1979 to Clyde Marine who introduced the 1936-built Kenilworth which had come from the Southampton-Hythe route.
On the cessation of all RNAD involvement after contract workers transferred to coach in September 1995, Clyde Marine became the sole operator responsible direct to Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.
In 2007 Clyde Marine replaced the Kenilworth which had sailed with the company over three quarters of a million miles, carrying 2.1M passengers, with the more comfortable 19.5 metres-long MV Seabus, newly-built by Voyager Boatyard of Plymouth, which has a maximum speed of 10.2 knots and can carry up to 100 passengers.
Scottish Region members on board the MV Seabus during the crossing to Kilcreggan.
© John Yellowlees, 2010
In the current summer timetable Clyde Marine provide for SPT on weekdays a dozen sailings from Gourock to Kilcreggan, with four running to Helensburgh Pier so as to provide cross-firth journey opportunities which do not purport to duplicate the frequent Kilcreggan-Helensburgh bus service. A couple of early-morning services are omitted on Saturdays, and on Sundays three sailings in each direction link both Kilcreggan and Helensburgh with Gourock.
A minicruise in its own right, with a crossing time of less than 15 minutes from Gourock to Kilcreggan and 25 minutes from Kilcreggan to Helensburgh, the ferry is a convenient link for those who wish to explore the Rosneath peninsula. If travelling from Helensburgh or Kilcreggan to Gourock, one can take a ferry to Dunoon or a train or bus to any destination south of the Clyde. Both ZoneCard (with relevant zones) and Daytripper tickets are valid on the ferry - for details, visit the nearest SPT Travel Centre.
Report and photograph 2 by John Uellowlees.
MV Seabus photograph by John Fender
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