Steamship Shieldhall

Steamship Shieldhall

About Steamship Shieldhall

As the largest working steamship in Britain, the Steamship Shieldhall is a shining example of maritime preservation. Situated in Southampton and operated by committed volunteers, the magnificent vessel embodies the golden age of steamships. Guests can visit and explore or book a thrilling excursion onboard this incredible steamship.

History of Steamship Shieldhall
Launched for service in Glasgow in July 1955, Shieldhall was originally used to transport sewage sludge as well as providing an opportunity for disadvantaged families and disabled ex-service people to enjoy a free excursion.

Modified in 1977, Shieldhall then transported sludge from Millbrook, Marchwood and Woolston to the ‘dumping grounds’ to the east of the Isle of Wight. After being decommissioned in 1985, the vessel was then purchased by a Southampton preservation society where she was lovingly restored to the majestic ship visitors can enjoy today.

Living museum and other things to do
It is ‘Access all Areas’ on the Shieldhall, so make the most of your time on board. As part of your cruise, see the impressive engine room with its original steam engines at work. With giant pistons and the hiss of steam, visitors will be transported back in time to when steam powered vessels ruled the waters.

Guests are invited to explore the bridge with its fascinating instruments, chat with the captain and the ship’s crew as well as discover areas like the saloon, the decks and delve into the Boiler Room where the temperature can be in excess of 110 degrees Fahrenheit!

Children will have fun with Shieldhall’s interactive Passport, collecting stickers from various stations on board.

The Saloon – Food and drink
Guests will love taking some much-needed time out in the Saloon where a delicious array of refreshments are served. These include ice cream, hot and cold food, hot drinks and frosty ales.

Visit the Steamship Shieldhall and enjoy the cruising style of yesterday, as it used to be – today!

Open for alongside visits at certain times, and a sailing season from May – September on selected dates.

Check website for details

Prices will vary. Please visit  for info.

Prices vary for different types of trips. See website for full info. Family bundle tickets (2A / 2C) available.

Why should I visit?

    • Former flagship of the National Historic Fleet – the oldest operational passenger/cargo steamship in Britain.
    • Access all areas – visit the Engine Room, Boiler Room, Bridge, Forecastle, open decks and Saloon whilst on board!
    • Listen out for an informed commentary on the history of Southampton and the Docks, and the sights and sounds of Southampton Water and the Solent.
    • Relax in the Saloon or the open decks; enjoy a relaxing drink or bite to eat.
    • A very stable ship, and a great viewing platform to take photos from!


Assistance dogs allowed
Baby changing facilities
Disabled parking available
Free parking on site
Gift shop
On site parking
Suitable for ages 12 and above
Suitable for ages 3 and above
Suitable for ages 5 and above
Suitable for ages 8 and above
Tour Guide – we require booking for this facility
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Next event

Steamship Shieldhall Cowes Week Launch Event Cruise

27th Jul 2024 - 27th Jul 2024

Steamship Shieldhall

Steam down Southampton Water to the Solent, and pass the cruise ships in berth. We will see the yachts racing at Cowes Week, and enjoy the... 

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Discount tickets and vouchers

There are currently no discounts available on tickets, parking or entry. Please sign up to get the latest vouchers as they become available. Or View all of our vouchers.

Where to find us


Berth 110, Western Docks, Southampton SO15 0HH
(Entrance via Dock Gate 8 or Dock Gate 20. This is the usual Southampton departure berth for Shieldhall, but please check on website for up-to-date berth and departure location)

Find us online

By car

Shieldhall is based at Berth 110, Western Docks, SO15 0HH. For sailings, Shieldhall will depart from Berth 110 in Southampton’s Western Docks. Please enter the Docks via either Dock Gate 10 or Dock Gate 20. Boarding for cruises may take place one hour before departure.

We request passengers be on board no later than 15 mins before departure, as the ship will look to leave promptly at its stated departure time.  Please allow yourself plenty of time to reach Southampton, which is always busy with cruise ships departing from the Terminals.

Free courtesy parking will be available in a parking area approx. 5 mins walk from Shieldhall. Look out for Shieldhall parking signs and Shieldhall volunteers when you approach the car park. Nearest postcode for sat nav is: SO15 0HH.

Limited blue badge parking will be available next to the ship – if you require this facility, please inform the Ticket Manager at tickets@ss- It is also possible to drop off passengers who have difficulty in walking close to the ship, but cars must be returned to the Car Park
afterwards if you do not possess a blue badge.

IMPORTANT: Please check the Shieldhall website for up-to-date news of berthing information, as this may be subject to change at short notice.

Kids activities

harry hampshire

  • Children will have great fun completing a ‘Shieldhall Passport’ and collecting stickers from various stations on board
  • Range of 2hr family cruises staged during the season, a wonderful introduction to life on the water for children!
  • Life jackets provided for all children if requested on board
  • Great photo opportunities for children on the Bridge with the Captain, or in the Engine and Boiler Rooms
  • Wide range of snacks and confectionery and a Shieldhall Gift Shop on board

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