We are delighted by the recent increase in donations towards Waverley’s Covid-19 Relief Appeal taking the total raised so far to over £290,000. The £300k milestone is now in sight. THANK YOU to everyone that has donated.
We remain hopeful that the £350,000 target for individual donations is achievable to allow us to dry dock Waverley next month and recommission her for the 2021 season. Donations can be made online or by calling 0141 243 2224.
In the meantime maintenance work continues on Waverley’s triple expansion steam engine and paddle wheels. In a matter of weeks the new boilers will be fired up to raise steam in preparation for moving to dry dock. It will soon be time to awaken Waverley from her winter slumbers!
Like others in the tourism and hospitality industry we are keen to make plans for the 2021 summer season. While there is optimism that the situation with Covid-19 is improving there is no guarantee that restrictions will ease sufficiently by the end of May when Waverley would normally start her sailing season.
We are hopeful Waverley will, subject to further donations and the easing of Covid restrictions, return to service in June on the Firth of Clyde and operate a variety of sailings on her home waters until the end of August before she heads south to visit North Wales, the Bristol Channel, South Coast and Thames.
We have unfortunately taken the decision that for 2021 Waverley won’t offer sailings from Oban and the Western Isles in early June. Sailings in the Western Isles don’t often produce much of a surplus of income over costs. Given that many of Waverley’s supporters travel from other areas of the UK to enjoy sailings from Oban and require local accommodation we can’t be confident that Waverley would be able to attract sufficient footfall with Covid restrictions in place to cover costs. As a charity we are unable to take the financial risk of operating too early this summer, but we look forward to returning to Oban in the future.
We will issue further information on the 2021 timetable and confirm dates for each sailing area as soon as possible.