One of the ‘sounds of the summer’ is about to be unleashed on Southampton Water and the Solent as Southampton’s heritage steamship, SS Shieldhall, commences her 2023 public sailing programme. Shieldhall’s distinctive steam whistle, redolent of a bygone age, will once again sound out, heralding her first sailing of the season on Friday 16 June, the first of three Friday evening sailings planned during the course of the summer. Shieldhall Chairman Martin Phipps noted: ‘Summer evenings with the sun sinking low in the sky are a very pleasant time to be out on Southampton Water. We welcome guests to our historic 110 berth, adjacent to the old King George V Dry Dock and Pumping Station, to board our vintage vessel and take a step back in time. Shieldhall really is an historic maritime time capsule, and our volunteers are proud to once again be taking her out to sea.’
Shieldhall has three public sailings over the course of the weekend 16-18 June. The Friday evening sailing is staged between 6.30pm – 9.30pm, followed by a trip to Portsmouth Harbour on Saturday 17 June (11.30am – 6pm) for which few tickets remain. Then on Sunday 18 June, Shieldhall stages a Father’s Day ‘All Things Steam’ cruise to the Solent between 2.30pm – 6pm. Tickets start from £40 adults and £14 children for the Friday night sailing.
All tickets sold help to keep Shieldhall ‘alive and steaming’. As part a Shieldhall cruise, guests get to see the impressive engine room with its original triple-expansion steam engines at work and the bridge, with its traditional instruments and gleaming brasswork; admire the ship’s steam assisted steering gear (similar to that used on Titanic); talk to the captain and crew; listen to the commentary passing the sights of Southampton Water and the Solent; pass close to the great ocean liners, cruise ships and container vessels; walk the teak decks; relax In the saloon with a wide range of refreshments including tea and coffee, real ale, a range of Titanic Ales, wine and hot and cold food (subject to volunteer availability). Children are not forgotten with an interactive Shieldhall Passport, which encourages the collection of stickers from various stations on board. Free courtesy parking is available close to Shieldhall’s 110 berth.