50 Years

At 9.12am on Sunday 3rd June 1973, Western Ferries’ service between Gourock and Dunoon began, and this year we will be celebrating 50 years of service to the communities of Argyll and Inverclyde.

Much has changed since the original Sound of Shuna’s first sailing. From the initial one-vessel service, we now have four modern vessels providing around 32,000 sailings a year, with a 99.6% reliability record. Our first generation of vessels were refurbished Swedish ferries, however, our current fleet is all UK-built and is specifically designed for the route. Our terminals have been improved and modernised, we now have two piers at both terminals enabling us to better continue our service during periods of maintenance and inclement weather. This combination of our four vessels and four piers gives us a flexibility, robustness and resilience which is unmatched in Scotland.

Whilst the service has seen constant investment and improvement, Western Ferries’ core values remain the same, to provide the best service possible to the communities we serve. We offer a 365-day timetable, with sailings from early mornings to late into the night. We work closely with our local communities, directly through local employment and a buy local policy. We support local activities and events, not forgetting the free out of hours ambulance service we provide to support the local NHS.

Alongside our vessels and piers, the beating heart of Western Ferries remains our people. Over the last 50 years, our employees’ professionalism and dedication have developed and maintained Western Ferries’ reputation for excellence. 

We also must give a heartfelt thank you to our customers. Thank you for your unwavering support and goodwill over the last 50 years. And as we start the next 50 you can be assured that our service will continue to develop and change to meet your needs.