Next month will offer a chance to take a trip down the Thames in a steam powered tug. The steam tug Portwey is one of only two twin screw, coal fired steam tugs now active, and is based in Docklands.

Built by Harland and Wolff on the Clyde in 1927, she was first owned by the Portland and Weymouth Coaling Company (hence the name) and worked along the south coast of England, being based at Portland.

During the second World War the tug was controlled by the U.S. Army and was based at Dartmouth,  and although sold for scrap in 1967, has been in heritage ownership since.

She’s been under restoration work this spring, but will offer a few trips on the Thames this summer.

The ST Portwey will be operating 2-hour excursions between West India Dock, Tower Bridge and the Thames Barrier, with a limit of 12 people on each trip.

The trips take place on Friday 13 July, Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July, and cost £25-£35 per person.

For trip details and bookings go here.


Later in the summer, a much larger steam powered vessel plies the Thames, the PS Waverly — which paddles between Tower Bridge and Southend on a number of routes for a few weeks in late September/early October.

Those longer trips cost between £33 and £55 per person.

For trip details and bookings go here.


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