AN iconic ship is returning to Clacton later this year with a number of new trips in the pipeline. 

The Waverley, the world’s largest seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer, is set to stop at Clacton Pier in 2024. 

The ship will be docking regularly over a three-week period as part of the Thames and East Coast cruising programme, calling at the pier’s berthing arm. 

Excursions from Clacton Pier could include the Steam Parade to the Thames Forts, a Pirate Radio day, and a special cruise to the Principality of Sealand, the world’s smallest independent state. 

Gazette: Historic – the Waverley, the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer, will dock at Clacton

Another trip, which is being considered is a meet-up with Ross Revenge on the River Blackwater to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Radio Caroline. 

The trips will take place on top of the normal cruises from Clacton to London, where the Tower Bridge will open up for the Waverley to pass through. 

Tim Wardley, a spokesman for the charity-owned vessel, said that a final timetable is being drawn up and exact dates will be released soon. 

“The programme will incorporate trips from Clacton on various days from the last week of September through to October 13,” he added. 


“Last year most of the cruises were sold out and we always get a terrific response for our Thames and East Coast dates. 

“We are extremely grateful for the support we receive from residents and visitors who book up, as well as the team at Clacton Pier that helps make these Waverley trips possible.” 

Nigel Brown, Clacton Pier communications manager, said that Waverley always pulls in a large crowd when it docks at the attraction. 

“It is a huge draw for those who just want to come and see her and take photos – as well as passengers boarding for their cruise. 

“She is a fantastic sight which takes us back to the first days of the pier in the 1870s when it was built to accommodate paddle steamers bringing passengers and goods to the town. 

Gazette: Ship - The Waverley will dock at Clacton Pier for a serious of exciting trips

“We are delighted to play our part in this annual attraction by maintaining the berthing arm and providing the services Waverley requires to continue to run her popular trips.” 

Once the timetable is released people will be able to make bookings.