Local MP Ian Blackford has promised that the fight will go on in the New Year to bring MV Coruisk or a suitable alternative back to Skye.

Speaking via social media he said: "I am disappointed, but not surprised to hear that tour operators have withdrawn, or are thinking about withdrawing bus trips to Skye from their itineraries due to the unreliable ferry service from Mallaig to Armadale.

"I have been in discussion with CalMac, Island businesses, the Sleat Transport Forum and Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf since the MV Coruisk was withdrawn from the route last year and replaced by two unsuitable vessels.

"Problems started almost immediately as neither of them could use the linkspans in Mallaig or Armadale, so were more subject to the vagaries of weather and tide. This lead to numerous postponements and cancellations throughout the busy visitor season.

"What has now happened was predicted then, but still it appears that CalMac are no closer to providing a solution for the 2017 sailings.

"I will not be letting this matter drop and will continue to fight for the restoration o f the reliable service the route deserves."