Scots trying to book a place on ferries across the country have been met with difficulty this morning after an influx of visitors caused CalMac's site to crash.

CalMac announced on Thursday that, following discussions with Transport Scotland, they would allow passengers to book places aboard their ferries up to four weeks in advance.

For the last few weeks, those hoping to travel have only been able to do so in a two-week window.

But the increased flexibility has attracted the masses, with the booking website crashing after the site went live at 9am on Friday.

READ MORE: CalMac Ferries warns it won't be able to cope with 'staycation surge' amid social distancing

A notice on their website reads: "Due to a very high demand our website booking queue is longer than usual. 

"While we complete reservations for those customers already in the system, we will temporarily close the booking process for a short time while those transactions are completed. When this happens, the 'buy tickets' button on the top right won't be active.  

"Please refresh your browser regularly until the 'buy tickets' button is visible. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

Many have taken to Twitter to highlight the difficulty in booking, with some claiming they have been trying to access tickets for more than an hour and a half.

One user wrote: "I just don’t understand how anyone has managed to get into a queue?? Been on since before 9, constantly refreshing for more than half an hour, still no option to buy tickets!"

Robbie Drummond, managing director of CalMac Ferries LTD, said the increased booking window would help the islands recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "Following discussions with Transport Scotland we are pleased to tell you that from July 10 CalMac customers will be able to book travel within a rolling four-week period. We intend to open this up to the remainder of the season at the earliest opportunity.

"This will significantly help island businesses reliant on visitors. We will also be retain the option of turn up and go tickets, although we will review this as we proceed to ensure capacity is being used most effectively.

"The rolling four-week period will be kept under review and will change in line with further changes to travel guidelines. We will continue to keep you informed as these occur.

READ MORE: CalMac 'discover golfers hiding in vans' in attempt to evade lockdown rules and travel to Scots islands

"We have also been advised from today, following our risk assessments and review of mitigations to ensure safety of crew and passengers, we can move to a social distancing of one metre on board rather than two metres.

"After assessing the effect of this reduction we have incorporated this into our fleet capacity.

"Moving to one metre will result in more capacity being released across our network – however, things won’t go back to ‘normal’. Although the number of passengers we can carry will increase, the capacity per vessel will still be limited."