Waverley’s Western Isles Weekend

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

Waverley’s Western Isles Weekend

Waverley’s Western Isles weekend from Oban was timetabled as a cruise to Armadale and Inverie on Saturday 2nd June and the popular “Four Lochs and a Whirlpool” cruise on Sunday 3rd June.

However, on the Saturday morning with the Mull ferry service temporarily suspended and Oban Bay covered in thick fog Waverley’s departure was delayed for around 50 minutes. Following her departure she experienced several fog patches in the Sound of Mull which resulted in reduced speed. With time disappearing and many dense fog patches all around the decision was taken to turn the steamer off Ardnamurchan lighthouse and make way for Tobermory rather than continue towards Skye. Had she reached Skye her return time to Oban would have been much later than advertised.

Waverley at Oban’s North Pier awaiting departure on Saturday 2nd June. Note the fog across Oban Bay behind the steamer.

When not experiencing fog there were some periods of clear blue skies. Gary Stevenson

The visibility was very reduced when Waverley encountered fog in the Sound of Mull. Heather Reid

Passengers were able to enjoy 2 hours ashore to explore the various small shops, cafés and bars and of course take time to picture and admire Waverley berthed at the pier with Tobermory’s recognisable colourful buildings.

Waverley at Tobermory Pier.

Waverley berthed at Tobermory.

Waverley departed Tobermory at 5:30pm and headed back down the Sound of Mull towards Oban. Rather than make her way direct to Oban Captain O’Brian gave everyone on-board an extra cruise of the eastern side of Mull concluding what had still been a very good day aboard the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer.

Looking west into the setting sun after Waverley had berthed at Oban’s North Pier.

Resting at the end of her 10 hour day on the Saturday evening. Gary Stevenson

The following video gives a summary of Waverley’s sailing on Saturday 2nd June.

Fortunately fog was not an issue on Sunday and by 12:30pm Waverley was well occupied with passengers for her popular “Four Lochs and a Whirlpool” cruise.

Waverley pictured before boarding had started with passengers keen to join for the Sunday afternoon cruise. Note the Swiss flag flying on the main mast to welcome a group of Swiss visitors aboard.

On this occasion the cruise was completed in an anti-clockwise fashion. Waverley passed through the Gulf of Corryvreckan and the south coast of Scarba. Unfortunately the whirlpool was not switched on for us on this occasion. Waverley then proceeded towards Crinan and into Loch Crinan before sailing into Loch Craignish. Loch Melfort was then visited with Shuna being circumnavigated in the process. Waverley then headed north cruising the Western side of Luing and Insh Island. The cruise was operated in excellent conditions and she was safely alongside Oban’s North Pier by 6:15pm.

Passing some of the several islands during the Sunday afternoon cruise.

A plot of Waverley’s route on Sunday 3rd June.


Waverley is due to return to the Clyde on Tuesday 5th June and will pick up her main summer Clyde sailings from Friday 22nd. Full details from Waverley Excursions.