The world’s last seagoing paddle steamer has returned to Southend Pier for the first time in years after after emergency repairs.

Waverley has called at Southend Pier this afternoon (September 26) on her way to the River Medway.

The sound of paddle beats was last heard on the River Thames back in 2018.

Since then, Waverley has been re-boilered and seen some major refurbishment work thanks to successful public fundraising appeals.

Waverley’s general manager, Paul Semple, said: "I am delighted to announce that Waverley has made her triumphant return to cruising the River Thames and Thames Estuary allowing everyone the opportunity to step aboard and enjoy the unique experience of sailing on a paddle steamer.

"As well as cruises on the River Thames, Waverley also offer trips to Southend, Whitstable and Clacton with afternoon cruises on the rivers Medway, Blackwater and Stour."

Waverley was set to return to Southend on Friday (September 23) and Saturday (September 24), however it got pulled out of service for repairs after a defect in the starboard paddle wheel was discovered.

Mr Semple added: "With the beat of her paddles, the sound of her whistle and the aroma of hot oil in her engine room Waverley comes alive as she takes passengers on a nostalgic journey.

"I know many will be pleased to see the sight of her famous red, white and black funnels on the Thames over the next two weeks."

There are several dates when passengers can take a trip from Southend Pier for cruises of the River Medway, River Thames and River Blackwater until October 9. 

While aboard the famous steamship passengers have the unique opportunity to fully view the triple expansion steam engine as it drives the ship’s massive paddle wheels.

They can also visit the souvenir shop to purchase an exclusive memento of their trip aboard Waverley. All profits from the sale of items in the shop go back to the upkeep of the ship. 

Tickets for all of Waverley’s sailings can be booked online at or by calling 0141 243 2224.