A wonderful ceremony was held on April 5th as many friends, colleagues and family turned out at Holy Loch Marina to witness the Naming Ceremony of our third vessel, Glen Etive. We were delighted to have actor Barbara Rafferty name the ship View a gallery of images here>
As guests gathered at the Holy Loch Sailing Club the Glen Massan and Glen Tarsan went off out into the loch to greet the Glen Etive as she appeared on the horizon. Guests stood at the loch side, enjoying the spectacle of the Glen Etive approaching, flanked by her sister ships, all dressed in celebratory bunting and flags. The sun appeared on cue, glinting on the traditional brass finishes as all three vessels steamed into port in convoy for the first time.
Craig Wilson then piped the guests from the Sailing Club to the Marina Pier as the Glen Etive moored up for the Naming Ceremony, starting with speeches from business partners Andy Thoms and Ken Grant
Andy gave credit to the many individuals who were involved in the design and build of the Glen Etive and to Ewan Ferguson at family-run Ardmaleish Boatbuilding on the Isle of Bute who delivered a fine ship. No fewer than twenty five trades, the majority local, were involved in the project before she was completed. She was originally designed by Ken Fulford of Fergusons Shipyard in the Clyde who, sadly, died in 2012. Andy Thoms, architect and skipper, took the design forward with the help of Naval Architect, Alasdair Salmon.
Ken thanked Andy for his pioneering vision and hard work in providing the first cruise ship of its kind to be built locally and to operate in Argyll waters. He also gave credit to Andy’s wife Cushla because, as is well known, Andy would never have coped without her support!.
The ship was then named by popular Scottish actor Barbara Rafferty, a previous guest onboard, who has a strong connection with the Clyde shipyards. Her father worked in the yards and as a child Barbara witnessed many big liners getting launched. She remembers the cheers of the men at the yard, throwing their caps in the air so as Barbara named the ship in the traditional way with a dram of malt poured down the hull she celebrated by throwing her hat in the sky as she had seen so many times as a child.
Everyone was then free to explore all three boats after enjoy a fabulous buffet lunch prepared by the four Majestic Line chefs, letting guests sample the delicious local produce available and the excellent standard of food on board.
The afternoon continued in celebratory mood with a constant stream of visitors from the general public taking advantage of open access to the vessels on a glorious sunny afternoon.
The Glen Etive will be setting off for Oban in a week's time to welcome her first guests on board for a 10-night cruise to the Isle of Skye and the Shiants. However en route she will make an important stop in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute to welcome on board the local trades who worked on her and any of the people from the town who would like a closer view.