THE operators of the paddle steamer Waverley have launched a new emergency appeal for donations to make sure the famous ship is back in service in 2021.

The Waverley missed her first call of the year at Kilcreggan last Friday after mechanical and administrative issues saw her first sailing of 2020 cancelled.

She had been due to return to service for the first time this year on August 21, after her boilers were replaced at a cost of more than £2 million.

But those first-day hiccups were overcome and the iconic steamer sailed ‘doon the watter’ for the first time since 2018 on Saturday, August 22.

READ MORE: Paddle steamer Waverley set for first Clyde cruises since 2018

Her abbreviated timetable only features one call a week at Kilcreggan – and none at all at Helensburgh because of the parlous state of the town’s pier – with the next Kilcreggan call at 12 noon this Friday, August 28.

But the ship’s 2020 timetable only runs until Friday, September 6 – and Waverley Excursions Ltd says that means more money will be needed to see her through to next year.

General manager Paul Semple said: “We are delighted that Waverley is back in service operating on the Clyde and carrying passengers. We are grateful to all those who supported our boiler refit appeal in 2019 and helped ensure that Waverley lives on.

READ MORE: New plans for Helensburgh pier repairs get the green light

“With the length of Waverley’s sailing season being reduced from five months to just over two weeks due to Covid-19, this will present a funding challenge as we try to cover the costs associated with the coming winter period.

“We are now opening an emergency appeal to seek donations to ensure Waverley can survive beyond Covid-19.”

The Waverley’s capacity is severely reduced because of the pandemic and tickets must be booked in advance – preferably online at, or you can call 0141 243 2224.

Donations to the latest appeal can be made online at or by texting STEAM followed by your chosen amount to 70085.

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