THE world’s last seagoing paddle steamer is returning to South Wales this June to cruise the Bristol Channel for the first time in five years.

Waverley will give locals and visitors alike the opportunity to step aboard for a nostalgic trip on the famous steamship from June 2 to 18.

The steamer will offer a wide variety of cruises from Penarth, Porthcawl, Swansea, Tenby and Milford Haven.

Since Waverley last cruised the Channel in 2018 she has received a multi-million pound refurbishment with new steam boilers installed.

Thanks to a recent successful £180,000 public appeal, to meet the annual dry docking fees, the ship’s owners have taken the decision to offer the most extensive sailing programme for more than a decade.

Waverley first visited the Bristol Channel back in 1979 in the wake of the famous White Funnel Fleet of pleasure steamers which operated until the 60s.

Nowadays only Waverley offers pleasure steamer trips from South Wales to the popular North Devon resort of Ilfracombe.

Waverley’s general manager, Paul Semple, said it was a very exciting time for the ship.

“I am delighted to announce that Waverley will make her much-anticipated return to the waters of the Bristol Channel,” said Mr Semple.

“The ship offers a truly unique experience and I know many will welcome the sight of her famous red, white and black funnels and the distinct sound of her paddles beating.

“I am delighted with the hugely positive response since we released the timetable and opened bookings just a few days ago. There is a clear demand for Waverley to reunite with the Bristol Channel.”

To relaunch her sailings on the Bristol Channel there are several special offers to take advantage of with kids fares from £1, over 60s can “Bring a Friend Free’ on June 13 and 15, and NHS workers can claim a 15 per cent discount when booking in advance at

During the programme of cruises, Waverley will offer trips from Penarth and Swansea to the remote Lundy Island.

There are options to combine a cruise on Waverley with a trip on the West Somerset Railway and visit Minehead.

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The Waverely with its iconic funnels

Waverley trips in the rest of Wales

Passengers from Porthcawl can enjoy the ultimate steam day out on Thursday, June 8, by combining a cruise on Waverley with a visit to the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, and spend time in Ilfracombe before re-joining Waverley for the homebound voyage.

A highlight of this year’s schedule sees Waverley returning to Tenby for the first time in over 30 years. The final cruises will then take place from Milford Haven on Sunday, June 18, with the unique opportunity for those aboard to cruise round Skokholm and Skomer, and Ramsey Islands.

Tickets for all sailings can be booked online at or by calling 0141 243 2224.