TWO special visits to Arrochar will be included in the paddle steamer Waverley's programme for the famous ship's 75th anniversary year.

The world's last sea-going paddle steamer will berth at Ardnagal pier, on the west side of Loch Long, on June 16 and August 28.

The first of those cruises – marking the start of the ship's main Clyde summer programme – will be on a trip partly retracing the route of the Waverley's maiden voyage on June 16, 1947.

The second, on August 28, is a special excursion to mark the 90th anniversary of the Clyde River Steamer Club.

There are also regular visits to Kilcreggan included in the ship's Clyde schedule for 2022, which was published this week.

The Waverley's first Kilcreggan call is on Tuesday, May 31 on its way to Blairmore and a cruise on Loch Long and Loch Goil.

A programme of special cruises on the bank holiday weekend for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will include Kilcreggan calls on Thursday, June 2, en route to Largs, Cumbrae, Lochranza and the north Arran coast, and on Saturday, June 4, on her way to Dunoon, the Kyles of Bute and Tighnabruaich.

Later in the summer there are also regular calls at Kilcreggan on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between June 25 and August 25.

Although there will once again be no visits by the Waverley to Helensburgh this year due to the precarious state of the town’s pier, which has been closed to all marine traffic since October 2018 on safety grounds, coach connections will be available between Helensburgh and Kilcreggan, though passengers looking to use these connections must book tickets in advance.

And the ship's operators have warned that they expect to have to grapple with an increase in fuel costs of around £2,000 per day.

Waverley’s General Manager, Paul Semple,said: “We are excited to be launching this summer’s sailing programme which sees Waverley operate on her native home waters on the beautiful Firth of Clyde from late May.

“This year is a very special one for Waverley as it’s the 75th anniversary since her maiden voyage back in 1947.

"To celebrate there will be a special sailing on Thursday June 16 where she will closely trace the route she was built to serve as a railway steamer, by cruising up Loch Long to Arrochar. We are very grateful that permission has been kindly granted for Waverley to berth at Ardnagal Pier, opposite Arrochar, on this special occasion.”

Tickets for all the ship’s sailings over the next few months can be booked online at - where full details of the ship’s Clyde cruising programme for this year are also available - or by calling Waverley Excursions on 0141 243 2224.