Saturday 2 June 2012

Waverley, Glasgow to Oban

Summer has come to Scotland and, with the nice weather, the paddle steamer Waverley began her 2012 cruise season yesterday with a cruise from Glasgow, via Greenock, Campbeltown and Colonsay to Oban. I persuaded my old mate from school and, later on, from art college, Blair Thomson, to come along - he'd never been on the Waverley before and so really needed to experience the vintage vessel's great charms for himself. It proved to be an absolutely super day. The night before, I stayed with Blair and Mikee, who is Japanese and so the dinner she/they prepared enabled me to re-live some of the delights of my trip to Japan back in April:

Next morning, Blair and I got up early and headed to Pacific Quay, where Waverley was raising steam for her 7 am departure:

The queue of passengers was satisfactorily lengthy:

Waverley's Rankin triple-expansion steam engine - polished to perfection:

Breakfast in the Dining Saloon as we steamed down the Clyde. Bliss was it to be alive:

Approaching Dumbarton:

Blair photographing the engine:

Raising a brand new pennant for the 2012 season:

Ahead, in the distance, Caribbean Princess dominates Greenock: 

It's not only Glasgow greasy spoon cafs that  have delightfully idionsyncratic lettering - this tanker had too:

The view astern:

A new ferry being born in Ferguson's Shipyard, Port Glasgow:

 Custom House Quay, Greenock, where we picked up some more passengers:


Caribbean Princess:

Ali Cat heads from Dunoon to Gourock:

A quick visit to the shop, where several quality books are for sale:

Argyle and Bute pass on their way between Wemyss Bay and Rothesay:

The Arran hills ahead:

On the horizon, Caledonian Isles approaches Brodick Pier:

Sailing down to Campbeltown:

More passengers were waiting to board at Campbeltown Pier:


The view from the Dining Saloon window:

Rounding the Mull of Kintyre:

Warm air and limpid water - not exactly usual off Kintyre:

Blair sketching Waverley's engine:

Approaching Jura:

Hebridean Isles, bound from Port Askaig on Islay to Kennacraig:

Islay ferry Finlaggan at Port Askaig pier:

Approaching Colonsay:

Waverley at Colonsay Pier:

The Jeanie Deans Lounge:

The Observation Saloon:

The Dining Saloon at dinner time:

Lord of the Isles passing on her way from Oban to Colonsay:

(Her Captain never responded to Waverley's whistle - oh dear!)

Onward towards Oban in lovely evening sunlight:

Isle of Mull in Oban:

Waverley's skipper with two of the more picturesque crew members, fortunately neither Moldovan, so far as could be ascertained:

Disembarking at Oban North Pier:

The end of a superb day.


  1. Interested you refer to "Oban Town Pier" - should that not be Oban's North Pier?

    1. That's fixed - many thanks for pointing it out!

  2. That's quite an exciting trip. Oban is a very exciting place to visit. You can do whale watching oban and is worth your time.

  3. I have always wanted to sail from the Broomielaw down the Clyde. I wanted to do this trip last year but events, dear boy, events........... I sailed from Ipswich to the Pool of London on the Waverley, about 10 years ago and that was an absolutely fabulous trip. Tower Bridge was raised allowing the Waverley to pass through. Coming up the the Thames was superb, albeit somewhat diminished by the large amounts of Guinness that I had been pouring down my neck. I actually am trying to book this cruise for the coming season but it does not look like they are operating from Oban this year. Anyway much enjoyed your account. Cheers Lachie.