Famous Waverley paddle steamer coming to Devon this summer

The last sea-going paddle steamer in the world is coming to Devon this summer as part of a tour of cruises around the South West. The famous Waverley will visit Dartmouth and Plymouth.

Sailings will take place in August and September in the region across six days. She is set to visit Penzance, Falmouth, Fowey, Plymouth and Dartmouth. It will be her first visit to Cornwall since the late 90s and the historic steamship will also offer an evening cruise from Plymouth as part of the Cattewatter 150 celebrations on August 29.

But for Devon, it will be an exciting occasion as you can witness the historic meeting of Britain’s only two operational paddle steamers as Waverley meets PS Kingswear Castle on the River Dart for the first time.

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Built in 1946, she sailed from Craigendoran on the Firth of Clyde to Arrochar on Loch Long until 1973. Bought by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), she has been restored to her 1947 appearance and now operates passenger excursions around the British coast.

Captain Richard Allan, harbour master and CEO of Cattewater Harbour Commissioners said: “Following a successful trial last October, we’re delighted that PS Waverley will be returning to Plymouth in August and be part of our harbour’s anniversary year and special Cattewater 150 celebrations.

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"This iconic vessel will be berthed on the Barbican Landing Stage during her visit, enabling her passengers easy access onto and off as they enjoy sailings in Plymouth Sound, the Tamar and the wider South Devon coast.”

The pinnacle of Waverley’s visit will be meeting the last remaining steam powered river paddle steamer, Kingswear Castle, on the river Dart on the afternoon of Saturday, August 31. Advance booking is strongly recommended for Waverley meeting Kingswear Castle.

Kingswear Castle will be offering a special sailing to meet Waverley at the entrance of the river allowing passengers on both steamers the opportunity to witness the historic moment. Waverley will also be offering a special cruise to Start Point returning to Dartmouth to view the Dartmouth Royal Regatta Fireworks.

Passengers for Waverley can take the Dartmouth Steam Railway from Paignton to connect with Waverley’s evening cruise from Dartmouth on August 31 or the sailing on September 1 where a special train will be operating for Waverley passengers.

Following her visit to Dartmouth Waverley will steam east to Swanage and the start of her South Coast season which operates from September 2 to 25. This year sees Waverley’s first visit to Eastbourne in over two decades when she offers two cruises from the Sussex town.

Waverley Excursions says: "Don’t miss your opportunity to step aboard the famous Waverley as she returns to the South West for the first time this century! Witness the historic meeting of Britain’s only two operational paddle steamers as Waverley meets PS Kingswear Castle on the River Dart for the first time.

"Combine your cruise on Waverley with a trip on the Dartmouth Steam Railway and enjoy the ultimate steam day out in South Devon." You can book your trip online at waverleyexcursions.co.uk or call 0141 243 2224."