SS Shieldhall

A heritage cargo-passenger ship, included in the National Historic Fleet, SS Shieldhall was built and launched on the Clyde in 1955, to a classic pre-Second World War design.

She had a long and successful first career with Glasgow Corporation – year round, carrying treated sludge out to sea and, in the summer, taking passengers ‘doon the watter’ on pleasure trips. Bought in 1977 by Southern Water she was finally withdrawn from commercial service in 1985 – but saved and purchased for £20,000 in 1988 by the charity that still operates her now.

Today the 2,000 tonne Shieldhall is a  unique seagoing ‘time capsule’. She provides a working example of steamship machinery both above and below deck, typical of the cargo and passenger ships that plied the oceans of the world between the 1870s and 1960s, after which they became all but extinct.

Whilst other heritage ships are held permanently in dry dock, Shieldhall remains active, with a cruise programme that allows passengers to access the engine room with its two impressive 800HP steam engines at work and
the bridge, complete with traditional instruments and gleaming brasswork.

NEWS - Under 3 weeks to SS Shieldhall's first sailing weekend!

There are less than 3 weeks to go until Shieldhall sets sail on her first cruise of the season. On Sat 27 May Shieldhall will set out on a 3hr cruise down Southampton Water, with guest Maria Newbery, curator at SeaCity Museum on board. The Pavilion at SeaCity Museum hosts the acclaimed exhibition ‘Port Out, Southampton Home’, which will shortly close on 4 June 2017. Maria will be bringing a number of rarely seen objects from the SeaCity Collection and will answer questions relating to Southampton’s maritime history. Shieldhall’s ‘Port Out, Southampton Home’ cruise is the first of three trips over the Bank Holiday Weekend – the second, a 2hr Docks Trip on Sunday 28 May between 4pm – 6pm sees up to 6 children under 16 years of age welcomed free of charge with an accompanying adult. The final Bank Holiday Monday trip is a 3hr cruise down Southampton Water with a Titanic theme, recalling Southampton’s links with the doomed liner.

NEWS - New for 2017: Blow the Shieldhall Whistle and help keep her afloat! 

Help keep SS Shieldhall in steam by letting off steam! Now, for just £5, you can enjoy the experience of visiting the bridge, and – under the supervision of the Shieldhall captain – sound the Shieldhall whistle! ‘Whistle blowing’ is available on Shieldhall trips to meet departing cruise ships, with numbers strictly limited. It’s great fun, with the cruise ships usually responding in turn!

To book, viait

NEWS - SS Shieldhall group packages well received at Great for Groups Show!

SS Shieldhall was present at the Great for Groups Show at Kempton Park, promoting joint group packages with SeaCity Museum and Southampton Tour Guides, and also Hollycombe Steam in the Country.  Groups can book special ‘In the Footsteps of Titanic’ all day Southampton packages on all of Shieldhall’s 3hr sailings in 2017, whilst there is a chance to enjoy ‘Steam on Water, Steam on Land, Steam by Day and Steam by Night’ when Shieldhall links with Hollycombe, based at Liphook on the Hants / Sussex border. The steam based attraction commences its Fairground at Night season on Sat 16 September, which coincides with Shieldhall’s last Saturday sailing in 2017.

For more info on these packages, please visit:

NEWS - Steamship Shieldhall to spend week in Poole!

Steamship Shieldhall is about to embark on her summer holidays, leaving the confines of the Eastern Docks in Southampton to sail to Poole on Monday 15 August, where she will spend one week before returning to Southampton on the following Monday, 22 August. The trips to and from Poole are amongst the most eagerly anticipated of the season, with Shieldhall passing the sights of Southampton Water, The Needles, Hengistbury Head, Old Harry Rocks, Poole Harbour, Sandbanks and Brownsea Island.

Whilst in Poole, Shieldhall will be moored alongside Poole Quay, where she can be visited on Tues 16, Weds 17 and Thurs 18 August between 10am – 4pm. Visitors will be able to access the ship’s Engine and Boiler Rooms and the Bridge, and learn how a steamship operates. The largest working steamship of her kind in Europe, Shieldhall will also provide a great viewing platform when she visits the Bournemouth Air Festival on Fri 19, Sat 20 and Sun 21 August. For the Festival, Shieldhall will be anchored between Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers, commanding some of the very best views available. An informed commentary on the sights and sounds of the air show will be given on board. Shieldhall has a licensed bar, and will be serving a range of hot and cold food. Tea, coffee, ice cream and other refreshments will also be available.

Tickets for the Saturday trip to the Air Festival have now sold out, whilst tickets for the one-way trip to Poole are in short supply. However there is good ticket availability on other dates.

SS Shieldhall’s Poole programme:

Mon 15 August, 10am – 4pm One-way trip to Poole. Departs Eastern Docks Southampton. Limited ticket availability. Adults £35, Children £10, Family £80. Passengers make own-way back to Southampton.

Tues 16, Weds 17, Thurs 18 August, 10am – 4pm – Open for visits alongside Poole Quay. Refreshments available on board. Tickets Adults £2.50, accompanied children free.

Fri 19 August, 10am – 7pm. Cruise to the Bournemouth Air Festival – great views from the open decks of the ship! Tickets Adults £42, children £10, Family £94.

Sat 20 August (tickets sold out), Sun 21 August, 10am – 7pm. Cruise to the Bournemouth Air Festival – great views from the open decks of the ship! Tickets Adults £48, children £20, Family £100.

Mon 22 August, 10am – 4pm One-way trip to Southampton. Departs Poole Quay. Adults £35, Children £10, Family £80. Passengers make own-way back to Poole.

Tickets are available on line, or through the ticket manager on 0844 357 2329 (calls cost 7p per minute from a landline, calls from mobile can vary).


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