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keeping alive britain's coastal day excursions

See the UK from the sea, keeping alive Britain’s Coastal Day
Excursions by the 2016 Flagship of the UK Historic Ships List


MV Balmoral... A unique opportunity for young and old to see, relax, enjoy and learn!

The UK has a magnificent coastline, with fascinating estuaries and rivers, full of maritime heritage, and some spectacular mountainous hinterlands. It is difficult to over estimate the beauty, interest and tourist potential of our coastline. MV Balmoral, with its ability to navigate many rivers, smaller ports and estuaries, will offer an often unique opportunity for young and old to see, relax, enjoy and learn.

Let's go!

The sun is shining with a light breeze and the Captain and Purser welcome passengers aboard. The crew cast off and we are sailing on a unique maritime adventure exploring some of the best of our remarkable coastline.

On board, a commentary pinpoints interesting features of the coast and passing vessels for those relaxing on deck. For others, time, perhaps, for a drink in Balmoral's art deco Britannia Lounge, a leisurely meal or cream tea in the restaurant or a visit to the well stocked gift shop, with its special post box where postcards receive a special Balmoral stamp.

Balmoral, owned by a charity, must earn sufficient funds to maintain and re-invest in her so that we can enjoy cruising in the long term. Initially, therefore, we aim to sail in key areas of the UK where there is a great deal to see and where we believe there is the best prospect of a viable operation.

For 2016, our outline plans include an exciting programme sailing on the River Thames and Estuary in May and June, South Coast in June, Isle of Man and Cumbria in July, Liverpool & North Wales in July and September and the Bristol Channel in May, July, August and September.



Future events and 2017 Timetable

balmoral on the medway


For details of forthcoming events on board Balmoral in Bristol, for details of our 2017 timetable, or to enquire about group travel discounts, chartering Balmoral or film location opportunities,

Please click here

Phone us on 0117 325 6200 on weekdays between 0900 and 1700hrs.

We look forward to welcoming you on board!

A Taste of the Delights of Sailing with Balmoral!

1. Bristol Channel

  • The Bristol Channel has a wealth of rivers, coastal scenery, national parks, historic bridges , docks and harbours which will be very much part of Balmoral's cruising programme

  • We will sail from Bristol through the magnificent Avon Gorge, under Brunel's Suspension Bridge (One of the Great River Journeys of the United Kingdom), and along the River Severn, under the two Motorway Bridges connecting England with Wales, past the Royal Forest of Dean to Lydney and Sharpness, as well as along the River Wye to Chepstow

  • Also the River Usk to Newport, sailing under the famous Transporter Bridge, as well as the River Parrot (recently in the news in connection with drainage issues on the Somerset Levels), the River Neath to Briton Ferry, and possibly the River Torridge to Bideford and to Milford Haven, famous for the large tankers carrying oil and liquid petroleum gas

  • The two famous piers of Penarth and Clevedon will of course feature, as will the harbours of Portishead, Watchet, Mnehead, Ilfracombe, Porthcawl and Swansea. The Bristol Channel area is blessed with some splendid coastlines, including the Exmoor National Park; we will provide cruises along its splendid coastline. As well as the impressive Glamorgan Heritage Coast and, of course, the magnificent Lundy Island.

2. North Wales

  • Balmoral offers some very special views of the magnificent Snowdonia range as she cruises along the North Wales coast.

  • In addition, a cruise through the narrow Menai Straights, under the historic bridges connecting the Welsh mainland with Anglesea is not to be missed. Balmoral will sail from Caernarfon, Menai Bridge, the recently re-opened Llandudno pier as well as cruising up the Mersey to and from Liverpool, with its world heritage site buildings and waterfront with the famous Liver Building.

3. London, East Coast & Kent

  • Many cruises start or finish at Tower Pier in London. A truly remarkable cruise by day and by night!

  • From the decks of Balmoral at Tower Pier in the Pool of London, the views of Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the many fascinating buildings on the central London skyline, new and old, plus historic HMS Belfast are quite phenomenal.

  • Tower Bridge in London will be opening especially for Balmoral to cruise along the fascinating and historic River Thames, passing Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome), the Emirates Cable Cars, historic Greenwich, the remarkable Thames Barrier and on past Woolwich, with the remains of the historic Woolwich Arsenal, to Tilbury, where we may be lucky to see some larger ships, including cruise liners, Gravesend and Southend – the longest pier in the UK!

  • Many cruises will start from, or continue to some of the following: Whitstable, Margate, Ramsgate, Harwich, Clacton and Great Yarmouth.

4. South Coast

  • Sailings along the delightful and fascinating South Coast, from Weymouth, Swanage, Poole, Bournemouth, Yarmouth Southampton and Worthing

  • View the "World Heritage" Jurassic Coast and Lulworth Cove, The Isle of Purbeck via the Swanage Steam Railway, Poole Harbour, the famous Needles and around the Isle of Wight

  • Also Portsmouth, HMS Victory and its historic dockyard and Southampton, with its busy shipping including the massive Cruise Liners and Container vessels.

Are there any snags?

  • Well, yes. A great deal has already been achieved through generous donations but there is still much to be done to complete the refurbishment. We have received substantial assistance from the Coastal Communities Fund but, as a charity, we still need to rely on further donations to complete the task and establish a robust financial position to protect the long term future for coastal cruising on Balmoral

  • Please, please consider a donation, large or small, which can be made now on line using “my donate” facility below. Every penny will be most welcome.

  • And of course do please join us on as many cruises as possible - and persuade your friends to come along as well!

  • Donations from tax payers can qualify for a reclaim of tax which enhances the gift. Please visit our Donations> page for more information.

** Without your help Balmoral's long term future may not be secure **


MV Balmoral from Llandudno to Menai Straits

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