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April 5th, 2013

Another Maritime Honour for Sir Walter Scott

As the famous steamship Sir Walter Scott starts its 114th season of sailings on Loch Katrine, the Scottish author whose name it carries is being acknowledged in the naming of one of the world’s first two hybrid passenger ferries – ‘Lochinvar’.

Throughout the 2013 season the Steamship Sir Walter Scott will once again ferry thousands of sightseers across Loch Katrine, offering a four star visitor experience from the fully restored and renovated cabins of the historic vessel which has been plying the Trossachs’ most famed loch since 1900.

Until October the daily timetable features hour-long scenic cruises, as well as return sailings from Trossachs Pier to Stronachlachar.

Built in 1899 on the Clyde, the Steamship Sir Walter Scott was so named due to the role which Loch Katrine played as the inspirational setting for so many of Scott’s writings. Scott’s association with Loch Katrine and the Trossachs spurred the birth of modern tourism, leading to the introduction of passenger vessels designed specifically for sightseers. The Steamship Sir Walter Scott was commissioned for this tourist trade, and she has introduced countless visitors to Loch Katrine’s evocative, timeless landscapes every peacetime year since her 1900 launch.

Today the historically recognised vessel is maintained and operated by a charitable trust, which in 2009 secured her long term future with the completion of extensive renovation and restoration works including the upgrade of her original triple expansion steam engine to operate on clean biodiesel.

This work was undertaken by the Clyde’s  Ferguson Shipbuilders, builders of the new Lochinvar, which will be the second of the world’s first two Hybrid RoRo Passenger Ferries. The MV Lochinvar is due to be launched next month as part of CMAL’s new ‘Literary Class’ and will serve the Tarbert to Portavadie route.

Gordon Allan, Operations Director of The Steamship Sir Walter Scott, commented:

“We were delighted to hear that the legacy of Sir Walter Scott will continue with the naming of another vessel, particularly as the MV Lochinvar will be the world’s second hybrid ferry. Protecting our natural marine environments, both inland and coastal, is important, especially here at Loch Katrine, a place of incredible natural beauty as well as Glasgow’s water supply That’s why four years ago we converted the Steamship’s coal powered engines to operate on cleaner biodiesel, enabling us to continue to offer the steam power experience but without any unpleasant and polluting coal smoke.”


With 2013 sailings now under way, Gordon and his team are looking forward to the forthcoming summer season, with new trips, new partnerships and new experiences to be announced over the coming months.

“Last year, the Steamship Sir Walter Scott was very proud to be awarded a Four Star grading by Visit Scotland,”

continued Gordon.

“For 2013, the Year of Natural Scotland, we intend to build on this, offering visitors to Loch Katrine a host of delightful, insightful and relaxing experiences amidst  scenery which inspired one of the world’s greatest romantic novelists.”


Daily cruises aboard the Steamship Sir Walter Scott depart from Trossachs Pier (just off the A821 between Callander and Aberfoyle), where cycle hire, shopping, bar, and restaurant facilities are available.

Further details on the MV Lochinvar can be found