MV Loch Shira

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MV Loch Shira 2Aug09.jpg
MV Loch Shira heading out from Largs towards Great Cumbrae
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svgUnited Kingdom
Name: MV Loch Shira
Owner: Caledonian Maritime Assets
Operator: Caledonian MacBrayne
Port of registry: Glasgow
Route: Largs - Cumbrae
Builder: Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow
Cost: £5,800,000
Yard number: 721
Launched: 9 December 2006
Maiden voyage: 2 June 2007
Status: in service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 230
Length: 54.27 m
Beam: 13.9 m
Draught: 1.8 m
Installed power: 2 x 559bkW at 1800rpm
Propulsion: Voith 16 R5 rated at 540 Kw at 625 rpm
Speed: 10 knots
Capacity: 36 cars and 250 passengers
Notes: [1][2]

MV Loch Shira is a car ferry operating on the Largs to Cumbrae route on the Firth of Clyde in western Scotland. She is owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets and operated by Calmac.


Built by Ferguson Shipbuilders and launched on Friday 8 December 2006, she entered service on Saturday 2 June the following year. The vessel has an absolute capacity of 32 cars and 250 passengers - however CalMac have stated that it is unlikely that more than 24 cars will be carried on the current route, in order to avoid traffic congestion both on the Isle of Cumbrae and at the Largs ferry terminal, where a busy junction is encountered just yards from leaving the boat.

On 2 April 2015 a Lego version of Loch Shira was published on the Lego ideas webpage.[3] Calmac picked up on the Lego idea and issued a press release entitled "Block aid! CalMac ferry could become production Lego model with public support". By September of the following year had not gained enough support and did not go into production.

View from astern
MV Loch Shira leaving Cumbrae Slip, Great Cumbrae.


The ferry is named after the sea loch next to Inveraray at the foot Glen Shira which drains the River Shira into Loch Fyne.


The Loch Shira measures 54.27m in length and has a beam of 13.90m. She has a single car deck divided into three lanes, with the central lane of sufficient width for two cars or one large commercial vehicle. There is a narrow passenger cabin at car deck level down the starboard side of the ship, with more spacious internal accommodation and open deck seating two stories above this. The bridge sits atop the upper passenger lounge, and is offset to starboard.

In common with other Calmac "Loch Class" ferries, cars and passengers are loaded via folding "ramps" at either end of the vessel. These ramps make the only ship-to-shore contact during normal loading and unloading, with no ropes necessary to secure the ship. A Voith-Schneider propulsion system adds to this efficiency, giving the vessel excellent manoeuvrability.


  1. ^ "MV Loch Shira". CalMac. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "Loch Shira". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Great British Holiday "Off To The Scottish Isles"". Retrieved 25 June 2017. 

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