The crew of SS Shieldhall toast 2016 success and look ahead to 2017 sailing dates
The volunteer crew of Southampton’s historic steamship, SS Shieldhall, toasted a successful 2016 season whilst looking ahead to 2017 with a launch of next year’s cruise programme. Enjoying a Christmas lunch in the recently renovated Saloon – part of an HLF programme that has seen £1.4 million invested in Shieldhall over the past three years – the volunteer crew were served, as tradition dictates, by the ship’s captains. The team were able to look back on 2016 when Shieldhall welcomed more passengers than ever before – close to 3000 – and also topped the TripAdvisor rankings for Southampton for the second year running.
Nigel Philpott, Marketing Director for SS Shieldhall commented: ‘We were delighted with how the 2016 season went, from the May dry dock in Falmouth to our cruise programme through the summer and autumn seasons to the popular Music in the City event in October. More and more visitors are using the opportunity to board an historic ship and venture out onto the water. For 2017, visitors can choose from 2 hr Family Cruises to all-day cruises on the Solent; travel on Shieldhall and use her as a viewing platform to see the Bournemouth Air Festival or enjoy music cruises with the Shieldhall Stompers Jazz Band or RU40 tribute band. Sailings in July will link in with the Hampshire Food Festival whilst August will see our ever popular Cowes Fireworks Excursion and one-way trips to Poole and back to Southampton. For 2017, Shieldhall will be sailing over the late May Bank Holiday weekend, linking in with the inaugural Southampton Sailing Week, whilst later sailings are scheduled to witness the spectacle of the Round the Island and Fastnet Races. Sailings will continue at intervals until mid-September, including two docks trips over the Heritage Open Days Weekend.’
Shieldhall is is the largest working steam ship in Britain. A member of the National Historic Fleet she serves as a sea going tribute to Britain's maritime heritage. Passengers can experience the golden age of steam by viewing the ship’s impressive engine room with its original steam engines at work and the bridge, with its traditional instruments and gleaming brasswork. It’s access all areas on Shieldhall, with passengers encouraged to see the ship’s steam assisted steering gear (similar to that used on Titanic); talk to the Captain and her volunteer crew and to walk the teak decks, whilst listening to a commentary on the history of Southampton Water and The Solent. Shieldhall is based in Southampton Docks, and full details of the 2017 cruise programme and berthing information can be found by clicking on the link below.
Posted by Lewis Folland, Sun 18 Dec 2016