Waverley sailed from Great Yarmouth at 00:10 hrs on Wednesday 16 August, having missed her intended departure on the previous tide as some electrical work needed to be completed. The crew had spent the previous three or four days preparing the ship for her voyage home. Many small items had to be purchased locally to be ready for the public. The decision was taken for a number of George Prior’s staff to travel with the ship to complete some outstanding work on route.
Just before departure George Prior inspected the vessel and decided that both landing platform steps and the stairway to the observation deck needed some refurbishment. Arrangement were made to lift these items off the ships so that they could be attended to at the shipyard. They were then transported to Glasgow by road to be refitted.
Waverley sailed northabout, due to adverse weather forecasts for the South Coast. Off Hull, she stopped for a short time so that the bolts holding the paddle floats could be checked for tightness. The wooden floats had dried out after months out of the water and were changing shape as they absorbed sea water once again.
She refuelled at Aberdeen at 02:00 hrs on Thursday morning and passed Wick at 09:00 hrs. At this stage the ETA at Anderston Quay was 18:00 hrs, just 90 minutes before her scheduled departure. With the refitting of the stairs to be completed in this period, it was decided to take advantage of the next refuelling stop at Kyle of Lochalsh, at 22:30 hrs on Thursday, to take on as much stores as possible. This included some hired crockery and glasses needed for the Relaunch Cruise and these were driven up from Glasgow by Ellie Newlands, Commercial Director, and Kathleen O’Neill, Finance Manager.
In the event, good sea and tidal conditions allowed an excellent passage, with arrival at Anderston Quay achieved at 14:40 hrs. Much work was then required to complete the preparations, including of course, craning the the sets of stairs back on board.
Finally, after a few well chosen words from the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Waverley steamed away from Anderston Quay shortly after her scheduled departure time of 19:30 hrs on Friday 18 August 2000.