The Paddle Steamer Waverley cast off from Largs pier earlier today (Tuesday, June 29) as her 2021 summer sailing programme got underway, remarkably her 46th season in preservation since she was sold off for £1.

The delayed start to this year’s programme is mainly due to continued Covid restrictions and crew availability.

Waverley is now scheduled to be in daily service on the Firth of Clyde until at least August 22, offering a wide variety of sailings from her home base in Glasgow and from over a dozen piers on the west coast.

Given ongoing restrictions capacity aboard the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer will be restricted to 35% to ensure physical distancing.

Waverley’s General Manager, Paul Semple, said: “We are delighted to welcome passengers aboard Waverley once again.

"Throughout the winter months, the small core team work hard to ensure that come summer the wheels can turn.

"As passengers board, at the start of a new season, the ship comes alive and the hard work to get her back in service is well rewarded.

"I hope the sound of paddles on the Clyde once again is a welcome sign that summer is here. We are exceptionally grateful to the thousands of people who supported our winter appeal to meet the maintenance costs.”

Paul further commented: “Given the variety of Waverley cruises on offer over the coming weeks we look forward to welcoming back our supporters as well as those members of the public who wish to step aboard a paddle steamer for the first time.”

Ticket sales have been buoyant since bookings opened.

One of the highlights of the 2021 sailing programme will be a rare sailing from Glasgow to Ardrishaig, Waverley’s first visit to the Argyll village for twenty years. Given restricted capacity, advance booking is recommended at, subject to availability and tickets can also be bought onboard the steamship.