Waverley season has started

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SAILINGS from Helensburgh aboard the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer began on the May Bank Holiday weekend.

On Saturday May 27 the historic vessel Waverley visited Dunoon and Rothesay, and steamed through the Kyles of Bute to Tighnabruaich, and on Monday May 29 she sailed from Kilcreggan to Dunoon and Rothesay.

Regular summer sailings from Helensburgh and Kilcreggan begin on Friday June 16 — the 70th anniversary of the steamer’s maiden voyage.

Named after Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, the ship was built for the London & North Eastern Railway to replace the paddle steamer HMS Waverley, which was sunk in 1940 while evacuating troops from Dunkirk.

Launched on October 2, 1946, from the former A&J Inglis yard in Glasgow, she was later towed to Greenock where her triple expansion engines were fitted by Rankin & Blackmore. These have now become one of the ship’s major attractions.

Waverley’s captain, Ross Cochrane, said: “She is a very special ship full of history and charm. There is a trip for everyone to places to be explored and enjoyed for both young and old.

“Every passenger who comes aboard helps this beautiful ship continue to sail and I would encourage everyone to come and enjoy a trip on her.

“Some of the most stunning scenery in the world can be found on the west coast of Scotland, and Waverley offers a unique way to experience it. I look forward to welcoming you on board.”

Fares start at £19 for adults and there are discounts for senior citizens. Children under 18 are half fare and under fives go free. To book tickets or for more information visit www.waverleyexcursions.co.uk.