Mariners Menu (MV Caledonian Isles)
We're currently offering a new, improved food and drink menu on board the MV Caledonian Isles on the Ardrossan - Brodick route.
Here's why we decided up revamp our offering and what you can expect.
Why did we decide to make the change to the menu and the way it's served?
We're acting on customer feedback from our passenger questionnaires. If our items are ready and waiting for our customers as they join us on board, this helps to address waiting times on what is a short crossing, giving our customers more time to enjoy the journey. As well as changing the serve, the menu allows us to offer more choice for different dietary requirements - vegetarian and vegan. Both of those aspects are really important to us.
What are some of the producers and produce that we are using in our menu?
Our current menus on vessels across the fleet have a passion for the quality and provenance of ingredients. In this new menu on the MV Caledonian Isles, we've really worked hard to build on that approach. So, for example, our new haggis and Arran chutney bridie uses chutney from the Isle of Arran as well as delicious all-butter puff pastry from William Sword - a family business based in Central Scotland, that has been making and baking since the late nineteenth century. Its Scottish Soup Co soups are also on offer - all of which are based on their Mum's traditional recipes. Our lovely gourmet hotdog is sourced from Brigston & Co - an independent maker from Dumfries and Galloway which has developed a unique, hand-crafted smoked hotdog from Scottish Farm Assured beef and pork. They say they're on a mission to change the perception of the hotdog - and they've created something really brilliant. The provenance of the menu goes much deeper too - our fries are seasoned with traditional Scottish sea salt from Blackthorn Salt in Ayrshire, made using age-old methods and the country's only graduation thorn tower - along with sea water and west coast winds, both of which we know pretty well at CalMac!
Why have we changed the way we serve the dishes?
As the Ardrossan - Brodick route is a short crossing, we wanted to increase the time and flexibility passengers have so they can make the most of the journey - so that means that the dishes are ready and available when our customers board. You can grab your CalMac and Cheese and enjoy it with a wooden fork from wherever you wish to - whether that's on board, on deck or perhaps you'll decide to keep it to enjoy just after you've disembarked.
How are we balancing using packaging with our commitment to protect the environment?
We're privileged to work and sail in a beautiful but fragile marine environment. We all have a role to play in protecting it. The packaging we're using in place of washing plates and cutlery is Vegware - a plant based and compostable type of food packaging. It's made from plants and designed to be commercially compostable. New bins will be installed to allow passengers to help us recycle and compost packaging. We have two packaging options which aren't yet compostable, and we're currently working on replacing these too.
Why is this new offering only available on the MV Caledonian Isles?
The MV Caledonian Isles Ardrossan - Brodick service was selected as an initial pilot as it a relatively short crossing with a mixture of commuters, islanders and leisure travellers so we could get an idea of what people with various travel needs and expectations think of the new offering before rolling it out throughout the network. The feedback received will be then used to tweak the offering so we can make sure all out customers needs are considering before fully setting this live.