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In 1968 the contract was awarded to the Ailsa yard for what would become Iona, at a cost of £740,000, and Argyll County Council was instructed to proceed with building suitable terminals at Kennacraig. The new ferry was expected to enter service in the spring of 1970 and if the Kennaraig terminal was not ready for use she would serve Port Askaig and Colonsay from Oban.

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