SS Shieldhall announces 2018 excursion programme as she celebrates 30 years of charitable ownership!

Southampton’s heritage steamship SS Shieldhall has announced her 2018 excursions programme, as she is set to celebrate 30 years of charitable ownership.

It was back in 1988 that the Solent Steam Packet charity was formed, after purchasing Shieldhall from Southern Water for her then scrap value of £20,000. Over 500 sailings later, Shieldhall is a regular sight on the Solent during the summer season, where she delights passengers who wish to experience the magic of ‘steam at sea.’ It is access all areas on the Shieldhall, with passengers encouraged to visit the Engine Room and Boiler Room, and also meet the Captain on the Bridge.

Tickets can be purchased for a selection of 2hr, 3hr, 4hr, half day or full day sailings. Planned trips for the 2018 season include sailings coinciding with departure of cruise ships, Father’s Day and American Independence Day Sailings, ‘The 3 Queens’ in Port, Bournemouth Air Festival and the Southampton Boat Show, itself celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. Special group packages are available with a Titanic theme, which include a visit to Southampton’s SeaCity Museum, a guided walk around Southampton’s Titanic Quarter and Titanic Memorials, and a 3hr afternoon cruise on the Shieldhall.  There are plenty of activities for children on board, with a special Children’s Passport guiding youngsters around the ship. Families should look out for the specially priced 2hr Docks Cruises staged at regular intervals throughout the season, which provide a great introduction to life on the water! Scouts are not forgotten either with 2 activity days and sailings planned during the summer.  Shieldhall has a Galley, Licensed Bar and Saloon, with a selection of hot and cold food and real ale available on all trips.

And to celebrate the announcement of her 2018 sailing programme, there is a special 25% saving to be made up to and including Sun 14 January on 3 selected sailings to be staged next year! These trips are amongst the longest sailings of the season:

Saturday 7th July – Round the Island Race 10am  - 5pm. Special 30 day price - £36 adult (usual price £48)

Sunday 22nd July – Trip to The Needles 12 noon – 6pm. Special 30 day price - £33.75 adult (usual price £45)

Saturday 28th July – Nab Tower Anniversary Visit (30th anniversary of handover from Southern Water, 28.8.8). Special 30 day price - £36 adult (usual price £48)

In addition to the 25% early bird offer, all those purchasing tickets over the first 30 days of sales stand the chance of winning a pair of tickets for a 3hr sailing in 2018!

Shieldhall’s 2018 sailing programme is summarised below – for more information, prices and to book tickets please visit

Steamship Shieldhall is a member of the National Historic Fleet. Constructed in 1955 in the Lobnitz Shipyard in Renfrew, she worked for the Glasgow Corporation carrying treated sludge to the dumping grounds off of the Firth of Clyde. She performed a similar sludge dispersal role for Southern Water between 1980 – 1985 before being withdrawn due to rising costs. She was then purchased by the Solent Steam Packet charity who recognised her heritage value. The charity continue to operate her today with a band of passionate volunteers. Whilst in Glasgow, Shieldhall would carry passengers on pleasure cruises ‘doon the watter’ in the summer months – the reason a Saloon was originally built, to carry 80 passengers.
Tickets for Shieldhall’s 2018 programme may be purchased online at or by contacting the Ticket Manager on 0844 357 2329 2329 (calls cost 7p per minute from landline, calls from mobiles may vary). 

Posted by Lewis Folland, Mon 18 Dec 2017