About PS Waverley

Named after Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, Paddle Steamer Waverley was built on the Clyde.  Waverley’s keel was laid on December 27, 1945 but due to material shortages after the war, she was not ready for launch until October 2, 1946.  It wasn’t until the following year on January 20, 1947 that she was towed to Greenock for the installation of her boiler and engines.  Finally she made her maiden voyage on June 16, 1947 and started what was to become a very long career.

Waverley was originally intended to sail only between Craigendoran & Arrochar in West Scotland. She now sails right round Britain offering regular trips on the Clyde, the Thames, South Coast of England and the Bristol Channel with calls at Liverpool & Llandudno.

Waverley is the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer. In 1975, at the end of her working life, she was famously gifted for £1 to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society. Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd, a charity registered in Scotland, was set up to operate the ship.  Waverley then began a second career as one of the country’s best-loved tourist attractions. Since she has been in operational preservation she has been awarded four stars by Visit Scotland, an engineering heritage award, and has carried over 6 million passengers from over 60 ports around the UK.

2003 saw the completion of a major restoration project, which returned Waverley to the original 1940s style in which she was built. This was made possible with major grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the PSPS.  Contributions also came from Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, the European Regional Development Fund and local authorities.

2017 marked 70 years since Waverley’s maiden voyage on 16 June, 1947.

The Waverley Academy

The Waverley Academy seeks to engage students in a unique way, provide them with hands-on experience and inspire them to progress careers in the marine industry. The Academy serves to preserve traditional skills which were once in abundance in the West of Scotland, along with providing training suitable for a 21st century environment.

The Academy comprises four distinct parts:
- the Deck Training Academy
- the Engineering Initiative
- fairly extensive Volunteer programme in which many volunteers learn new skills
- development of a Schools programme,which offers a package which can easily be incorporated into the Curriculum for Excellence.

Since the Academy’s launch, Waverley welcomed two Officer cadets onboard the ship and provided essential training and valuable sea time to enable them to progress their career at sea.  Through the winter seasons they have worked in partnership with the Weir Group who have placed apprentices on board. Each apprentice was given exposure to a broad range of marine engineering disciplines and have been provided with a strong foundation for their future careers.

This initiative is not a new one. Since the early 90’s the Waverley organisation has been training people in a range of maritime skills. More than 100 people have benefited and many of the graduates of this training programme can now be found in senior roles across the industry in all corners of the world.

All this has been achieved by using their own funds, however the cost of training has increased significantly over the years and having pulled resources together and officially launched the Waverley Academy, they are seeking funding to support this initiative.

Future participants will gain significant training on an iconic vessel that holds an important place in British maritime history, and learn from highly experienced professional staff and volunteers.



Waverley urgently requires two new boilers to produce steam to driver her triple expansion engine that turns the ship's paddle wheels.  Without these Waverley will never sail again.  An appeal has been launched to raise the funds required to replace the boilers, boiler room equipment and re-commission her for the 2020 summer season with an appeal target of £2.3million.

All online and postal donations will be recorded on a Donor Wall aboard WaverleyDonate here

Latest Appeal News

Two new steam boilers have been ordered following the decision to withdraw the iconic steamship from service.

Waverley Excursions General Manager, Paul Semple, commented “Thanks to the initial donations received towards our ‘Boiler Refit Appeal’ we have placed an order and paid the deposit for two new boilers to be built for Waverley.  This is just the first vital step in returning Waverley to steam and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has donated to the appeal so far as they have allowed us to progress plans quickly.  The new boilers will be manufactured by Cochran Ltd. and at their Newbie Works in Annan for delivery early in 2020.”

Several other components in the boiler room including electrical generators will also be replaced as part of the major investment in Waverley to ensure that she can sail on for at least another twenty years. The work required to remove the ship’s famous red, white and black funnels as well as a large section of deck will take several months to complete if funding can be secured.

Mr Semple further added “We will only be able to install the new boilers if we continue to receive further donations and support from a variety of sources.  The response to the appeal so far has demonstrated that many people around the UK and beyond wish to see the last sea-going paddle steamer saved.  Our vision is to see a rejuvenated Waverley return next season and cruise from over 60 ports and piers around Great Britain allowing tens of thousands access to a truly unique piece of maritime heritage. However, we will require ongoing help and support to achieve that vision."




'Summer Doon the Watter as PS Waverley leaves Campbletown (c) Colin Smith