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Paddle Steamer Waverley will return to South Wales this summer

Waverley berthed at the Victorian Pier at Penarth, a popular boarding point for cruises to Ilfracombe and Minehead

Waverley Excursions has confirmed that Waverley, the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer, will be returning to the Bristol Channel for a three-week period operating from South Wales, Somerset, and North Devon from Saturday 1st June to Sunday 23rd June. This announcement follows Waverley’s highly successful re-introduction to the Bristol Channel in 2023 after a five-year period of absence.

Waverley’s Master, Captain Dominic McCall, commented “Following the outstanding support we received on returning Waverley to the Channel in 2023 we have now planned a more extensive programme of sailings for this year which will give even more opportunity for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a nostalgic trip aboard a historic steam ship. I look forward to setting sail from several Welsh ports and piers including Penarth, Porthcawl, Swansea, Tenby and Milford Haven to give everyone that steps aboard a great day out. It was heartwarming to see the enjoyment of passengers as we cruised the Channel to visit locations such as Minehead, Ilfracombe and Lundy Island last season and I look forward to returning this summer.”

Waverley Excursions General Manager, Paul Semple, will deliver a presentation followed by a Q&A session ahead of the release of the 2024 Bristol Channel sailing programme on Saturday 17th February at Cardiff’s Holiday Inn, Castle Street at 2:15pm which is open for all and free to attend. Paul commented, “I am delighted to confirm that the Bristol Channel will once again hear the beat of paddles when Waverley returns in June. We are currently planning the most exciting programme of sailings for several decades as we look to expand Waverley’s areas of operation across the UK. I look forward to sharing our plans for the upcoming season in Cardiff on 17th February where I will also be able to share the inside story of what it takes to operate such a unique and famous ship.”

Waverley is currently docked in Glasgow with maintenance and refit work ongoing before the ship moves to dry dock in April. This winter will see £700,000 spent directly on the ship with some internal refurbishment works taking place to keep the iconic vessel in operation. The final 2024 sailing programme for the Bristol Channel will be released when bookings open in early March.