Waverley Paddle Steamer
September 24, 2023
Join us as we board the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer.
This unique journey takes us from London Tower Pier where we steam through Tower Bridge and cruise east, along the River Thames, as we head for Southend Pier.
The history of this wonderful vessel is a long and varied one. Originally launched on 2nd October 1946, Waverley’s maiden voyage was on June 16, 1947 and saw her operate the route she was primarily intended – the cruise up Loch Long and Loch Goil to the villages of Lochgoilhead and Arrochar.
By 1973 Waverley was the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world. For this year only she was operated as part of the fleet of Caledonian MacBrayne offering a variety of Clyde cruises and ferry duties until it was announced she would be withdrawn from service at the end of September after which her future would become uncertain. By November 1973 Caledonian MacBrayne had offered Waverley to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), the ‘sale’ for £1 came the following year.
On May 22, 1975 Waverley carried her first passengers in preservation. She departed Glasgow with a magnificent send-off thanks to the Glasgow Police Pipe Band. Those aboard that first sailing had helped in some way to return Waverley to service. We now have the opportunity to do the same and keep the wonderful Waverley, this very unique vessel, in service for the years to come.
Following a rebuild and many repairs and refurbishment over the past 20 years, costing over 10 million pounds, now, after the latest during the pandemic, we can sail on this wonderful example of British seafaring history.
On arrival at Southend Pier we will have approximately 3 hours free time to enjoy the world’s longest pier and the town it leads to. At 1 1/3 mile long, there is a train for those that don’t fancy the walk. Access to the Pier and a ride on the train, for those that want to, is included in the trip price. Please note access to the Pier from the Paddle Steamer may be via 30 steps in the form of two flights of 15 steps each.
Once we are all aboard, we will take the coach home, with an anticipated arrival time back in Dorking of 6.30pm.
Offer Price £85.00
per person to include return coach and driver’s gratuity, journey on the Waverley Paddle Steamer, Southend Pier access and all booking and administration fees.
Location: Dorking Halls
Call 07771 793294 & ask for Neil,
or use our contact form to email me.