ICONIC paddle steamer Waverley is celebrating its 75th anniversary today by hosting a special cruise.

The ship, which became the last steamer built to serve the Clyde coast and the final seagoing paddle steamer in the world, set off this morning on a voyage similar to its original one.

It was built in June 1947 to travel on Loch Goil and up to Loch Long to Arrochar.

Today’s sailing also marks the start of Waverley’s summer 2022 cruise programme with the ship now operating each day on the Firth of Clyde until late August with a variety of cruises “Doon the Watter” and around the Clyde coast.

In a unique offer, this season, there will be many sailings where children can claim travel for free including trips from Glasgow to Greenock and Largs.

Glasgow Times: The famous Paddle Steamer Waverley The famous Paddle Steamer Waverley

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Waverley’s General Manager, Paul Semple said: “It is a fantastic achievement that Waverley is sailing today. So many people have played a part in her story and everyone who steps aboard helps ensure her continued success.

"In Waverley’s lifetime the world has changed dramatically, yet she has survived. Waverley is possibly the ultimate example of preserving our nation’s proud maritime and steam heritage.

"Waverley is truly unique, from the moment passengers step board they can feel the heritage – the polished brass fittings, the traditional wooden decks, the aroma of hot oil and steam. Unlike more modern ships Waverley feels alive with the beat of her paddles and the sound of her whistle.

"People stop to admire as she passes by, the sight of her famous funnels is instantly recognisable.”

Glasgow Times: 75th anniversary celebrations75th anniversary celebrations

Glasgow Times: The ship was built in 1947The ship was built in 1947

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Derek Peters, chairman of the charity which owns Waverley said: “We are facing a financial crisis given that the cost of fuel has now escalated to £12 per minute, a typical day’s fuel costs now exceed £7,000.

"I hope that enough passengers will choose to come for a sail and help us celebrate the Diamond Jubilee this summer.”

For tickets and more information, visit here.