CALMAC have confirmed the catamaran MV Alfred will begin service on the Ardrossan to Arran route - from tomorrow (Friday May 12).

It means the route will finally have two working ferries on it again, after months of problems and cancellations.

Scottish ministers chartered the Pentlands Ferries vessel MV Alfred for nine months at a cost of £9m in a bid to ease the growing ferry crisis in Scotland.

She made a trial docking at Ardrossan Harbour - using the Irish Berth - on May 1.

A CalMac spokesperson said: "Following successful completion of berthing trials, we are pleased to announce that MV Alfred will commence service with Caledonian MacBrayne on Friday, May 12. 

"Berthing trials have shown that the ports suitable for MV Alfred are Lochmaddy, Ullapool, Port Askaig, Brodick, Ardrossan (Irish berth only), Troon and Campbeltown.

"As Arran should have a two-vessel service on its main route at this time, MV Alfred will initially be deployed between Ardrossan and Brodick.

"The vessel will be introduced into service on a non-bookable, turn up and go basis for the first two weeks to allow for familiarisation and to ascertain if the passage time and timetables are realistic.

"She will operate two return services a day and will berth overnight at the Irish berth in Ardrossan. 

"As advised previously, there will not be any onboard service available on board.

"Additionally, the passenger lift from the car deck is currently unavailable due to a technical issue, although a stair climber is available. Passengers who would prefer to use a lift can travel on MV Caledonian Isles."

The timetable for MV Alfred can be viewed here: