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MV Balmoral is one of our greatest national treasures, and during her 65 glorious years as Britain's most travelled excursion ship, this much-loved grand old lady has acted as a royal cruise ship, she has taken part in the Coronation Fleet Review of Queen Elizabeth II and acted as consort to another queen when she accompanied majestic RMS Queen Mary on her final departure from British waters in 1967.

  • In July 2004 HRH The Princess Royal cruised aboard the BALMORAL during a charter for the Mission to Seafarers from Portishead. The royal standard was hoisted from Balmoral's mast for the event

  • Balmoral acted as companion vessel to the QE2 in 1995. She was on charter to the Cunard line to transport passengers anchored in the Forth off Edinburgh. The distinguished passengers on board again included HRH Princess Anne who started that year's Tall Ships Race later in the day

  • HRH The Duke of Edinburgh became a passenger on Balmoral in 1958 when he opened the docks at Shoreham
hrh princess anne the princess royal on board balmoral 2004
Please see the Heritage> and Heritage News> sections for more fascinating facts, photos and ciné film relating to the incredible heritage of this historically significant ship.
balmoral a unique heritage

For many years Britain has lead the way in transport technology. Many famous ships, trains and other forms of transport are either still operational or preserved in England's many transport museums and historic dockyards.

Britain has lead the way in maritime engineering technology ever since Victorian engineering genius Isambard Kingdom Brunel perfected steam engine technology with his SS Great Britain and the SS Great Western. In the early part of the twentieth century cruise liners such as White Star line RMS Titanic, Olympic and Britannic entered service, along with Cunard line RMS Mauritania, Aquitania and Lusitania, which lead the way in ocean-going speed and luxury. Modern liners such as Queen Mary II, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria are currently leading the way in modern ocean-going luxury.

Those who couldn't afford an ocean-going voyage took advantage of day-excursion ships such as PS Consul, PS Embassy, PS Ryde and MV Royal Daffodil. Companies such as Cosens of Weymouth, the Caledonian Steam Packet Company and Red Funnel operated coastal excursions providing happy days out for many people over the years.

MV Balmoral entered service in 1949, she was built to replace the paddle steamer PS Balmoral which was built in 1900 but not reconditioned after World War II. For the past 65 years she has served as an Isle of Wight ferry and provided coastal excursions on the Bristol Channel, South Coast and London/Thames Estuary.

MV Balmoral has become a vessel of national historic significance, and is featured on the National Historic Ships Register>.
This website showcases many famous British steam ships, motor vessels, barges, tugs, clippers and tall ships.

Other British ships of note include:

  • PS Waverley: The world's last remaining seagoing paddle steam ship which is owned by the UK Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS). The society also owns a coal-fired paddle steamer, PS Kingswear Castle, currently based on the river Dart in Devon.
  • Chatham Historic Dockyard Ships: HMS Gannet • HMS Cavalier • HMS Ocelot
  • Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Ships: HMS Victory • HMS Warrior • HMS Mary Rose
  • Other Historic Ships: SS Great Britain, Bristol • Cutty Sark, Greenwich • HMS Belfast, London • Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh • PS Medway Queen, Gillingham Pier, Kent • SS Shieldhall, Southampton
  • Museums: The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich • The Imperial War Museum London • Museum of London Docklands

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