Bosses at CalMac have warned passengers that the next two years could be “challenging” due to issues with its fleet.

A third of the ferry operator’s vessels are over 30 years old, with almost half of its largest ships beyond their service life.

Chief executive Robbie Drummond said challenges lay ahead as communities wait on new ferries to be delivered.

He said: “The next one to two years will be challenging until we see those new vessels coming into play.

“The plan is then we can have one or two vessels in hot layup so when we do face a technical disruption or an island event, it means we have a spare vessel we can deploy and this will make a big difference to our services.”