The World’s last seagoing paddle steamer ‘Waverley’ has announced it will, for the first time, set sail for a sunset cruise from Warrenpoint Harbour on Tuesday 30th May. Waverley will offer local people the unique opportunity to step aboard for an evening cruise, as she sails down Carlingford Lough & steams along the coastline passing Kilkeel Bay to Russell’s Point.
Waverley’s General Manager, Paul Semple, commented, “I am delighted to announce that Waverley will be sailing from Warrenpoint for her first ever passenger sailing from the Port. I hope this surprise announcement will be welcomed by many as they will now get the opportunity to step aboard this famous ship. Waverley offers a truly unique experience with her powerful triple expansion steam engine and massive paddles, giving people the chance to sail on board for the first time on Carlingford Lough.
“Over the past few weeks, we have been in dialogue with the management team at Warrenpoint Harbour following Waverley’s fuel stop last October. When the suggestion was made that we could offer a cruise this time, the Harbour team were fully supportive. We look forward to bringing Waverley to the town and giving the public the chance to experience a trip aboard a paddle steamer.”
Waverley’s main summer season is spent operating a variety of traditional day trips from Glasgow and around the Clyde Coast. She has given occasional cruises from Belfast and further north from Red Bay in the past, but Warrenpoint has not been on her cruising schedule, until now.
David Holmes, CEO Warrenpoint Harbour said, “We are thrilled to be teaming up with the Waverley to offer this unique sunset cruise from Warrenpoint. As a commercial port, it is very seldom the opportunity presents itself to allow us to board passengers here, so this is very exciting for us. The cruise ship schedule last summer was very popular with the local community turning out to watch the ships coming in and out. We hope that Waverley will offer a tourism boost for the town coming on the back of the Blues on the Bay Festival, with an opportunity to eat in the town beforehand or stay over and enjoy the local hospitality afterwards.”
Waverley entered service in 1947 and was the last paddle steamer built for service on the Clyde. In 1974 she was gifted for £1 for preservation and following a major public appeal re-entered service. Since 1975 Waverley has carried over 6 million passengers and earned herself a loyal following in several areas around the UK including the South Coast and Thames. More recently in 2019 a public appeal raised £2.3m to replace her steam boilers and save her from withdrawal.
Over 700 passengers can be carried with a range of facilities on board including a self-service restaurant, bar lounges, tea bar and souvenir shop selling a wide variety of exclusive gifts. Her main attraction is offering a nostalgic experience and watching the steam engine, which is open to full view, as it drives the ship’s paddles.
Tickets for this unique sailing are £36 for adults and half fare for children. Tickets can be booked at waverleyexcursions.co.uk or by calling 0141 243 2224. The steamer will sail from Warrenpoint Harbour at 7pm, returning at 10pm. Access to the ship will be via the Town Dock office at the Warrenpoint Square. Please note there will be no access via the main Port entrance.