Surge for ferry tickets expected today

A Calmac ferry heads towards Oban Bay

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CalMac has today opened up bookings into October but has warned customers its telephone and websites will be ‘very busy’.

Following discussions with Transport Scotland, the ferry company opened bookings at 9am for the period up to and including October 18.

It said customer reservations made before bookings closed earlier this year are already in the system.

But with the implementation of the latest physical distancing guidelines, capacity on ferries will still be less than it would be in normal circumstances, the company said.

The company said: ‘Access to our website will be managed by a queue system, which is in place during periods of high demand to provide an improved booking experience.

‘When in the queue, customers will automatically be directed to our website when it’s their turn. We are grateful for your patience.’

A month ago, the company’s website briefly crashed after a high volume of visitors went online for tickets.

The company said it is working with Transport Scotland on the next phase of its timetable and would update customers as soon as it has been agreed.

It added: ‘If you are preparing to sail with us, you will find that some of our familiar processes have changed.

‘Take a look at our guide on how to prepare and plan ahead for your journey – which includes wearing a face covering when travelling with us, and when in our port offices, unless exempt.’