The world’s last seagoing paddle steamer has pulled up in Penarth as it starts its tour of the Bristol Channel where people can travel aboard the historic steamship. As the sole survivor of its kind, the ship has become an icon and returned to offering trips leaving from the Welsh coast in 2023 for the first time in five years.

Waverley is giving people the opportunity to step aboard for a nostalgic trip on the famous steamship until June 23 this summer. In south Wales there are stops in Penarth, Newport, Chepstow, Milford Haven, Swansea, Porthcawl which take passengers to a variety of destinations including Ilfracombe.

For those in the north of the country, between June 24 and 26 there will be sailings from Hollyhead and Llandudno to other destinations in Mersey. On Friday, May 31, the iconic ship pulled up in Penarth to pick up some of its first passengers of the season.

Read more: Inside the Waverley, the last sea-going passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world

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Photos from inside the ship show that guests will be able to relax with a drink in one of its traditional bars, relax in the lounge, buy some souvenirs in the gift shop or relax aboard the deck to take in some sea air. Join our WhatsApp news community here for the latest breaking news

(Image: Dimitris Legakis/Athena Pictures)

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 Waverley is registered on The National Historic Fleet as being a vessel of pre-eminent national significance and has operated in preservation since 1975. It has become a “national treasure” carrying over 6 million passengers.

The Waverley has a fascinating history, and was built to replace a previous vessel of the same name that was sunk during the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. The ship spent many years operating as a passenger ferry on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. The steamer’s massive paddle wheels are powered by a mighty steam engine, which visitors can watch in action during their trip.

While some sailings you can pack as you board, for the most part those wishing to travel on the vessel should book online with prices starting at just £1 for children. More information such as timetables and where to buy tickets can be found on their website.

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