SS Shieldhall has launched her 2022 sailing programme. The Southampton based heritage steamship will enjoy a busy summer season programme currently comprising some 25 cruises, with more expected to be added over the coming months.
The programme sees a mixture of 2hr, 3 1/2 hr, 4hr, 5hr, 6hr and full day sailings, with Shieldhall again set to operate under COVID-compliant conditions. The sailing programme will commence with cruises over the May Whit Bank Holiday Weekend, with a scheduled September finish. Southampton Docks Cruises; trips to see cruise ships departing; music cruises; themed historic cruises; trips to the Nab Tower and The Needles, plus viewing trips for the Round the Island Race and Cowes Week racing, not forgetting the Bournemouth Air Festival, are all included. A number of trips are offered with special ‘early-bird’ discounts.
Shieldhall enjoyed a very successful, though slightly curtailed, 2021 sailing season, operating out of a new home in the Port of Southampton, Berth 110, and this will be the departure point for all her Southampton trips in 2022. Located in the Western Docks, Berth 110 is an historic location, adjacent to the former King George V Dry Dock and Pumping Station and Container Terminal. Over the past month Shieldhall has opened up as an alongside event venue, with the capacity to stage day meetings; celebratory events and learning and development opportunities. Access to Berth 110 is via Southampton Port’s Dock Gate 10 or Dock Gate 20, with the added bonus of free parking courtesy of ABP less than a 5 min walk away.
Visitors to Shieldhall in 2022 can look forward to gaining access to areas of the working ship on all sailings, including the Engine Room and Boiler Room with their famous ‘Titanic in Miniature’ triple-expansion steam engines and Scotch Boilers; the Bridge, with original instrumentation and gleaming brasswork, and the eyes of the ship, the F’ocsle. Welcoming just 200 passengers on sailings, there is plenty of room to move about on Shieldhall, which has a covered Saloon and Awning Deck in addition to open spaces on the Foredeck, and offers hot and cold food and real ale from its Galley.
Shieldhall Chairman John Rose is delighted to see the programme confirmed: “Our team of volunteers have worked very hard throughout two challenging years. It is good to be able to release our 2022 sailing dates, though we recognise there is a lot to be done and achieved before the end of May, including a Dry Dock in Falmouth. We trust our sailings appeal to a wide variety of audiences. In addition to advertised sailings, we have included ‘Heritage Adventure Training Day’ activities for youth groups; have special all-day packages available for groups, and one and two day ‘Steam Experiences’ so that those with a keen interest can find out what’s involved in taking a heritage steamship out to sea.
“Shieldhall has a very fine reputation for its sailings, and now we have a permanent berth we are looking forward to establishing an equally strong reputation for our events too. We owe a great deal of thanks to our many supporters within and outside the Port of Southampton, and all those who continue to support Shieldhall by purchasing tickets and attending functions on board. All income raised helps to preserve our Heritage Steamship as she enters her 67th year afloat, very much ‘Alive and Steaming.”