June will see the return of the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer to Pembrokeshire including the first mooring at Tenby for more than 30 years.
This summer’s sailings of the Waverley includes visits to Pembrokeshire on June 17th and 18th, with cruises around the south coast, Caldey Island, St Govan’s Head and Skokholm, Skomer and Ramsey Islands planned.
The paddle steamer, launched in 1947, was gifted for £1 to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in 1974 and is owned and maintained by registered charity Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd on its behalf.
Waverley is named after Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novels and was built to replace the 1899 Waverley which was sunk by enemy action on May 29th, 1940 at Dunkirk.
The sailings provide a unique opportunity to experience a real steamship while taking in the delights of our coastal landscape.
More than 100,000 took to the sea on the Waverley last year, and the income generated from sailings contributes to keeping the ship in seagoing condition, along with fundraising and grants.
This year increasing fuel costs has led to an additional fundraising campaign in a bid to raise an extra £200,000.
The Waverley has made return visits to Milford Haven in recent years but this summer sees its return to Tenby, where in years gone by many residents enjoyed trips through the Bristol Channel to the south coast.
Local member Cllr Sam Skyrme-Blackhall said: “This will bring back memories for many locals in Tenby and is yet another attraction for our wonderful town. It was always a huge attraction in years gone by and many families will have fond memories of going to Ilfracombe and local trips.
“Many are very excited to see the Waverley return to the harbour and will I am sure receive a huge welcome.”
With a 600 person capacity there will be a large influx of visitors on sailing dates and parking arrangements will be reviewed.
All Harbour users will be asked to give the vessel a wide berth on her approach and departure due to her restricted ability to manoeuvre.
Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services Cllr Rhys Sinnett said: “I’m sure both Milford Haven and Tenby will welcome the Waverley back to Pembrokeshire and the unique opportunity it offers to see the coast from a different perspective.
“I remember taking my family on the Skomer and Skokholm trip that went from Milford many years ago and we had a fantastic time and I really hope that there’s a great turn out not just for the trips but also to get a sight of this amazing vessel.”