MV BALMORAL is gearing up for a Severn bridges breakfast cruise from Lydney this year on Monday, May 29, thanks to the generosity of her supporters.

Trustee Paul Doubler said: “Donations came from many loyal Balmoral supporters, as well as many of the thousands of passengers who have enjoyed sailing on the vessel. It means the classic coastal steamer will be back in service for the 2017 season. This news has delighted all involved with owning and operating the historic vessel.”

Balmoral was built in 1949 as the flagship of the Southampton Red Funnel Fleet. She was used mostly around the Isle of Wight until she was transferred to the Bristol Channel in 1969. After falling into disrepair, she was restored to full working order from 2003 with lottery funding, but last year was challenging for the ship.

“Early season technical difficulties resulted in several days’ sailings being cancelled. Bad weather then resulted in over a quarter of sailings being lost, including the vitally important August bank holiday weekend,” said Mr Doubler.

“This year there are sailings from Lydney’s historic dock on five different days. Monday, May 29, Saturday, July 29, Tuesday, August 8, Tuesday, August 22 and Sunday, August 27.

“There are trips to explore Clevedon, the Welsh coast and Holm Islands and even two long adventure days down to the queen of north Devon resorts Ilfracombe. It really is a unique experience to sail from Lydney and under the two Severn bridges. These trips from Lydney proved very popular last year.”

The first Lydney cruise departs at 11am on May 29. A full timetable for the vessel is available at or ring 117 325 6200 for information and to book tickets.