RET sees CalMac multijourney ferry tickets discontinued – as fares fall steeply

With Road Equivalent Tariff [RET] fares being rolled out across the CalMac ferry network, the company is discontinuing multijourney tickets to simplify fares.

Current books of multijourney tickets will remain valid until 26th October – or, in the case of the Rothesay – Wemyess Bay route, until 1st October.

After these dates, any remaining tickets will be refunded at no charge to the customer.

Bute, Mull and Cumbrae will retain the option of season tickets; and 50-journey tickets will also still be available on the two crossings to Bute.

Alan Hood, CalMac’s Head of Ticketing and Reservations, says: ‘The ethos behind RET was that no customer would be disadvantaged by the changes and the current 50-journey ticket Bute is better value than the equivalent RET fare, so will remain in place’.

‘Although we normally charge a £10 administration fee for anyone looking to cash in unused multijourney tickets, this will not apply.’

The Scottish Government’s RET initiative aims to match ferry fares with cost of a road journey for the equivalent distance travelled.

In real terms this will, for example, mean vehicles crossing from Oban to Mull paying £16.45 rather than £56.65; and the cost of taking a car from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye is falling from £29.05 to just £12.20.

CalMac operates 31 vessels across 49 routes serving communities up and down the west coast and is the UK’s largest ferry operator.

Using the CalMac website here, passengers can compare how much they will save when the new fares come into force.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Hi, newsroom. Am I missing something here? Wasn’t RET in place for many islands since a couple of years already? Why not mention that? And why not mention that the remaining routes are now getting RET as well as of Oct 2015? And you refer to the main Calmac site for a place where you can compare the old and new fares while they can actually be found here:
    A bit confusing article to me 🙂
    Cheers, Ron

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

    Ron September 19, 2015 8:30 pm Reply
  • There has been a load of confusion as to what happens with multi-journey tickets over recent weeks with even Calmac staff being confused. Fortunately for me, I used up my last multi-journey tickets today on the way back to Mull, but the confusion that’s gone on over the last few weeks has been a big worry for some.

    On a slightly different note, I asked earlier last week when winter timetables would be published to organise transport to/from Vale of Leven Hospital – the information wasn’t available and I was simply told to book a crossing? As I had stated I would be a foot passenger, what use is this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Jade September 20, 2015 6:46 pm Reply
    • We have now asked this question for you, Jade and will let you know what answer we get.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      newsroom September 20, 2015 11:33 pm Reply
    • CalMac told us they have now published the Winter Timetables, Jade.
      Here they are:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      newsroom September 21, 2015 10:57 am Reply
      • Just checked and the link works but the timetables are not there. Also all sailings are blocked off after 25th October so no one can book and plan a trip for certain after that date.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        Andrew September 22, 2015 10:58 am Reply
        • We’ll pursue this – and thanks, Andrew.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          newsroom September 22, 2015 11:02 am Reply
        • Andrew – apologies from CalMac over the administrative error with the information and the link.
          The situation is that the winter timetables are still being finalised – timetables and fares are set by the Scottish Government not the operator.
          However, in terms of the block after 25th October, we are told that online bookings are set to go live from the 26th October, hence the block from 25th, as these bookings will naturally relate to the winter timetables yet to be finalised.
          In the meantime, we are told that passengers can make a provisional booking by filling in the form linked here:
          Where this asks: ‘Please outline the Date and Time for all legs of your journey’ – we assume you give the date and your best guess as to what the service departure time would be. We will ask for guidance on this and add it here when we get it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          newsroom September 22, 2015 3:13 pm Reply
          • So, the question still needs to be asked – how can people like myself (because of the day surgery in question involving eye surgery) who are not able to drive going to arrange transport? I have to travel on a Thursday and the date is one week into winter timetables. It took me a month (and was let down the afternoon before previous surgery by the Patient Transport Service who are severely under pressure) to sort out my previous transport at the start of September. I was saved by Red Cross volunteer drivers. Without knowledge of winter timetables, I am going to have to postpone my next hospital appointment.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            Jade September 22, 2015 10:26 pm
          • I’d take a punt on the familiar winter timetable, Jade; and make a provisional booking on the form for the service you’d have chosen on the same day of the week last winter.
            Then when you see the 2015-16 winter timetable, get straight on to CalMac – and to us -if you’re left with a problem.
            It is unacceptable – and astonishingly inept – at the end of September, to have no pubished timetable for after 25th October – and no knowledge of when it will be available.
            AS we have said the Scottish Government is responsible for the timetables; and this mess has all the appearance of the culture of the bureaucrat with no sense of the all important service culture.
            The waiting time makes hospital appointments hard to get. You don’t want to cancel one you’ve got, Jade.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            newsroom September 22, 2015 10:39 pm
  • Thank you, Newsroom. I’m sure I’m not the only islander with a future hospital appointment that needs to know to plan their visit. It will be interesting to see the answer you get!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Jade September 21, 2015 3:46 pm Reply
  • Having argued for RET since the 70’s I was always of the view that Norwegian-style fares could only be afforded if Norwegian ferry operating costs could be matched. A couple of years on from now we shall know if this is correct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Arthur Blue September 21, 2015 10:43 pm Reply
  • Newsroom, let’s just take a raincheck on what I said, please. I have to go for an eyelid op. I cannot drive. It is a Thursday op which means all my friends are working so can’t take me. When I had the previous op on my return I could barely see to get on-off ferry and the gentleman who picked me up to take me home was horrified to see my condition. I then spent four days at home unable to do anything. I cannot book a car on a ferry when I can’t drive. And when I have to arrange transport that ignores the fact I have to use a ferry service just what am I supposed to do?

    It’s worth noting that I could have had far less travel aggro had the same eyelid surgery been availble at Fort William or Oban.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Jade September 25, 2015 2:27 am Reply

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