Scotland’s largest ferry operator is predicting a tourist boom this summer.
Caledonian MacBrayne carries around 5m passengers and 1m cars each year on its 24 routes around the highlands and islands.
It has now said it has “high hopes” for this summer, stating that bookings for the 2011 season are “well above average”. They are warning that tourists should book their journey well in advance as sailings start to fill up.
CalMac Managing Director Phil Preston said: “We have high hopes for the summer season as more people are booking well in advance than ever before and indications are that we can expect a very busy year on ferries, especially the traditionally popular services to Arran, Mull, Skye and the Western Isles.
"We currently still have plenty of capacity, especially on off-peak sailings, but clearly anyone planning to travel during the summer is advised to book early to avoid disappointment, and, if possible be flexible with their travel plans.”
CalMac have also launched a new website, hoping that the new design makes it easier for visitors to navigate their way around the islands.