Ken Grant, Molly McLauchlan and Andy Thoms on the Glen Shiel
Ken Grant, Molly McLauchlan and Andy Thoms on the Glen Shiel

Historic link to launch new Majestic Line ship

Argyll based small-ship cruising company The Majestic Line held a naming ceremony to celebrate the launch of their new ship Glen Shiel.

The event was held at the Holy Loch Marina, Sandbank, the site of famous yacht builders Morris and Lorimer, and in keeping with tradition it was the great grand-daughter of yard founder Robert Lorimer, 95-year-old Molly McLauchlan who performed the naming ceremony.

Glen Shiel has been built in response to the increase in demand for small-ship cruising to the Hebrides and the west coast of Scotland and is the fourth boat for the company. The company’s first two vessels Glen Massan and Glen Tarsan are lovingly converted fishing boats.

Glen Shiel is the second vessel that the company has had built on the Clyde by Ardmaleish Boatbuilding Ltd based on the Isle of Bute, the first being the Glen Etive.

In keeping with the company ethos, Glen Shiel, has been fitted out internally to resemble a 1930s gentleman’s motor yacht. She has been designed with twin engines to enable her to travel further and faster reaching outlying destinations such as St Kilda much more quickly than other vessels.

Ken Grant, chairman of The Majestic Line, said: ‘We are delighted to be adding the fourth boat to our fleet, and that we have been able to use local companies and tradesmen to make this happen. Glen Shiel is a great addition to our fleet and this season’s cruises on her have been booked out since last year. She sails on her first cruise from Oban on 29 June.’

Ken Grant, Molly McLauchlan and Andy Thoms on the Glen Shiel

It is over 75 years since Molly first named a boat at Morris and Lorimer’s when she launched a pinnace that the company had built for the RAF as part of the war effort.

She said: ‘I have watched the Majestic Line with interest from its early days in 2004 and it is wonderful to have been asked to name the Glen Shiel, she is a beautiful ship and I am sure that the company will sail on to further success.’

The addition of the Glen Shiel to the fleet is indicative of the growth in the small-ship cruising sector. When the company began 15 years with a single boat there were very few other operators, now there are over seven companies offering small-ship cruising.

The Majestic Line has been at the forefront of what is now an established and growing element in the Scottish Tourism offering. This is particularly pertinent with 2020 being the Year of Coasts and Waters.

Molly McLauchlan naming the Glen Shiel

The Majestic Line was formed in 2004 by friends Ken Grant and Andy Thoms, with the launch of their first vessel, converted fishing vessel Glen Massan, in 2004. Sister ship Glen Tarsan followed in 2007; both vessels offer three-night and six-night cruises to the Inner Hebrides and Argyll.

In 2016 the Glen Etive, a new custom built vessel, was launched to explore the Outer Hebrides and St Kilda offering three-night, six-night and 10-night cruises.

The Glen Shiel was launched she is the sister ship to the Glen Etive and offers three-night and six-night inner Hebridean cruises and 10-night cruises to the north west coast of the Scottish mainland as far as the Summer Isles and across the Minch as well as to the Outer Hebrides and St Kilda.

A limited number of 2019 dates have availability. 2020 and 2021 dates are now available. Click HERE for more details.