THE paddle steamer Waverley's 2017 sailings from Helensburgh and Kilcreggan begin this weekend.

On Saturday, May 27, the public will be able to visit Dunoon, Rothesay or steam through Kyles of Bute to visit the Highland village of Tighnabruaich on board the world's last sea-going paddle steamer.

This Saturday's cruise leaves Helensburgh at 12.15pm, returning at 7.25pm.

The Waverley will also sail from Kilcreggan to Dunoon and Rothesay on bank holiday Monday, May 29, leaving at 11.55am and returning at 3.40pm.

After the steamer's annual visit to the West Highlands at the beginning of June, summer sailings from Helensburgh and Kilcreggan will begin on Friday, June 16.

Ross Cochrane, Waverley’s captain, said: “Waverley is a very special ship full of history and charm there is a trip for everyone, 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 onboard.”

This year marks the 70th year since the Waverly's maiden voyage. Named after Sir Walter Scott's first novel, the ship was built for the London and North Eastern Railway to replace the paddle steamer, HMS Waverley, which was sunk on May 29, 1940, whilst evacuating troops from Dunkirk.

Launched on October 2, 1946 from the former A&J Inglis yard at Pointhouse 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, with many passengers confessing that a visit "downstairs to see the engines" is a high point of their trip.

The Waverley also has onboard facilities including a restaurant serving hot and cold snacks, two bars, heated lounges and a souvenir shop.

Fares start at £19 for adults and there are discounts for senior citizens, children under 18 half fare and under 5s travel free.

Sailing memberships for unlimited sailings aboard Waverley on the Clyde can be purchased from £350.

To book tickets or for more information visit

Tickets are also available to purchase on the ship on the day but are subject to availability.