FERRY operator CalMac has revealed it had a record-breaking Easter as visitors flocked to visit Scotland’s islands.

Passenger numbers were up 62% on last year, from 69,549 to 112,616. The figure is also 24% up on the previous record set in 2017.

Largs-Cumbrae recorded the biggest year-on-year increase of more than 200%. More than 29,000 people visited the island over the four-day break – or 20 visitors for every resident. CalMac managing director Robbie Drummond said: “The good weather over the Easter weekend would undoubtedly have contributed to the increase, but nonetheless the figures continue to prove the growing popularity of our island destinations, which is great news for the local economies we support.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of many of our communities and we are now sailing more frequently than ever before to bring valuable visitors’ pounds to our islands.”

The Isle of Gigha also proved popular with a 100% increase in traffic. The island had more than 1500 people visiting over the weekend, dwarfing the local population of just 140.

Arran, on the opposite side of the Kintyre peninsula, also almost doubled last year’s numbers.

CalMac is the UK’s largest ferry company, last year carrying more than 5.2 million passengers on its fleet of 33 vessels across 27 routes.

It also operates 27 harbours across the west and east coasts.

In all, passenger traffic was up on 21 of the company’s 27 routes over Easter.