Paddle Steamer Waverley

The Paddle Steamer Waverley is the last ocean-going paddle steamer in the world.

Launched on 2nd October 1946, and making its maiden voyage on 16th June 1947, the PS Waverley is named after the first novel of Sir Walter Scott. The ship replaced its predecessor of the same name, which was sunk in 1940 whilst evacuating soldiers from Dunkirk during the Second World War. The ship was actually built for the London and North Eastern Railway, sailing on the Firth of Clyde route from Craigendoran Pier in Helensburgh to Arrochar, at the head of Loch Long.

Nowadays the Waverley is a familiar and trusty face on the Clyde, taking passengers from Glasgow, down the River Clyde, to favourite holiday destinations such as Gourock, Dunoon, Helensburgh, Rothesay, Largs, Millport, Arran and Tighnabruaich. For decades she has provided great days out to families seeking leisure holidays on the Clyde, Argyll and Bute coasts, and she still sails today on these classic routes, which you can join on short or extended outings.

At the time of writing, day trips are available on board PS Waverley from Glasgow to Oban, the Mull of Kintyre, Tobermory, the Isle of Rum, the Isle of Iona, Armadale, Inverie, the Isle of Coll, the Isle of Staffa (for Fingal’s Cave), Kilcreggan, Dunoon, Rothesay (Isle of Bute), Helensburgh, Greenock, Tighnabruaich, Largs, Millport (Isle of Cumbrae), Campbeltown, Redbay, the Antrim Coast (Northern Ireland), Ayr, Ailsa Craig, Pladda, Blairmore, Carrick Castle, Tarbert (Loch Fyne), Brodick (Isle of Arran), Lochranza (Isle of Arran) and the Holy Isle. Check for the latest information.

Not only is a trip on the PS Waverley a really great day out, the ship itself is beautiful and an attraction in itself. The woodwork and brasswork are maintained to a very high standard, and you can go inside the engine room and take a look at the very belly of the beast itself! This is a fantastic experience, especially for children, and it is both impressive and a little scary, with the raw power of shiny metal swinging round and round. It is well worth coming aboard to see the internal workings of this unique ship alone. The funnels of the ship are its iconic black, white and red colours, which represented the colours of the original London and North Eastern Railway company. What better an opportunity for a fun day out, on a magnificent ship, to some of the West of Scotland’s best towns and villages?

The Waverley calls at Tighnabruaich! Check the website for the Waverley, cited above, for all the latest information on trips, excursions and timetables. The best options include trips to and from Rothesay, sailings down the Kyles of Bute, and sailings to Arran and around Pladda and Ailsa Craig. Some sailings include time ashore at a variety of Clyde harbour and port towns; others include dinner or entertainment on board, and sailings around islands and down sea lochs. All in all, an excellent day or evening out.

The famous silhouette of the Paddle Steamer Waverley.

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