Ryde Pier will welcome back the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer when the Waverley visits the Isle of Wight next month.

Waverley will make three calls to the historic Pier during the month to embark and disembark passengers for excursions to the Solent forts, the Needles and around the Island.

The Clyde steamer was launched in 1946 to serve the communities of Lochgoilhead and Arrochar in the Scottish Highlands.

In 1974, after a lifetime of service, she was sold by Caledonian MacBrayne to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society for £1, starting a second career as a much-loved tourist attraction.

Since then, she has carried more than six million passengers from over 60 ports around the UK. Waverley first visited the south coast in 1978 and last called at Ryde almost ten years ago.

Paddle steamers were once a familiar sight at Ryde Pier, as Southern Railway’s fleet carried many thousands of holidaymakers to and from the Island.

Keith Greenfield, Wightlink chief executive, said: “It will be wonderful to her once more at Ryde Pier on the year we completed work on our pedestrian walkway from the Pier Head to the Esplanade.”

Will Myles, Visit Isle of Wight managing director, added: “To see the iconic and much-loved PS Waverley, the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world, stop once again at England’s oldest surviving pier will be an incredible sight!”