CalMac’s Arran ferry is to give a special public excursion round Ailsa Craig on Saturday 19 January.

The event has had to be rescheduled from Saturday 12 January.

Neil Guthrie, a spokesman for the Clyde River Steamers Club who chartered the vessel explained: "Due to factors beyond our control, we are having to postpone the Ailsa Craig charter of MV Isle of Arran by one week. CRSC apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

"We were informed by Cal Mac that, due to the the technical failure on one of the ship's lifeboats, the company would be unable to fulfill the terms of the charter on the original date (12 January) but would have the problem fixed by next week

"Bookings already received will have the same validity for Saturday 19 January.

"We are sorry if the change of date upsets your plans, but the safety of the ship and everyone on it must be a priority."

Refunds are available from the club and ticketholders should check their emails for more details.

The cruise by MV Isle of Arran, organised by shipping enthusiasts, will be the first time a CalMac ferry has circumnavigated the Craig, famous for its granite cliffs and gannet colony.

The vessel will leave Ardrossan at 11am and return at 4pm.

Clyde River Steamer Club (CRSC) decided to organise the cruise after the success of a chartering Isle of Arran last January for a Round Arran excursion.

The vessel is a favourite of ship enthusiasts. Due to a two-vessel Arran service in mid January, the ship has no other duties in the middle of the day, leaving her free to undertake the trip.

Wooden-hulled paddle steamers began sailing round Ailsa Craig nearly 200 years ago, and by the late 19th century the trip had become a regular feature of the Clyde summer excursion programme. Many still remember the Saturday afternoon Round Ailsa Craig cruises given in the 1960s by the turbine steamers Duchess of Montrose and Queen Mary II,

Tickets can be booked on the CRSC website or by post from Neil Guthrie (CRSC), 51 St Andrews Drive, Law, Carluke, South Lanarkshire, ML8 5GB.