CRSC Cruising

The Clyde River Steamer Club was formed in 1932, and is one of the oldest organisations for shipping enthusiasts. One of the main objectives of the Club is to encourage members and others to join together for a sail. To meet that aim, the CRSC regularly undertakes sailings, and wherever possible we try to visit unusual piers or retrace routes with historical connections, or just providing an itinerary not normally possible by scheduled sailings.

Forthcoming Charters
2004 Charters
2003 Charters
2002 Charters

Forthcoming charters

The Club has arranged an Evening Cruise from Hunters Quay and McInroys Point, on board Western Ferries' Sound of Shuna, their newest vessel. This will take place on Wednesday 7th July. Full details can be found on the Booking Form here (it will open in a new page, and requires Adobe Acrobat to read it).

Another CRSC excursion is being planned for the autumn, and will take place in early September. As usual, details will be available here once final arrangements are made.

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Charters in 2004

On Saturday 7th February the Club chartered Caledonian MacBrayne's largest Clyde ferry, the CALEDONIAN ISLES, for another cruise round the island of Arran. In weather which can best be described as blustery, we sailed from Ardrossan with 185 Club members and friends aboard, and another 40 boarded at Brodick. Sailing the opposite way round this time, northabout, we had an excellent day aboard her, with Captain McCrindle and his crew paying the best of attention to their guests.

Looking ahead as we head northwards from Brodick The Club pennant flies proudly beside the CalMac houseflag CALEDONIAN ISLES at Brodick after the cruise

Our early summer cruise took place aboard the WAVERLEY on Saturday 19th June. Sailing from Largs, we headed for Lochranza, where the steamer arrived shortly before the regular Claonaig ferry LOCH TARBERT, which had to negotiate her way round the paddler's bow to reach the slipway. After half an hour at Lochranza, we steamed via the Sound of Inchmarnock to Tighnabruaich, then on through the Narrows, and down the east side of Bute. Sweeping round Kames Bay, Rothesay Bay and Kilchattan Bay, we returned to Lochranza via Dunagoil Bay, encountering HMS SOUTHAMPTON en route. For our return to Largs, we sailed up the west side of Great Cumbrae. Although the weather was not the warmest June day on record, all on board enjoyed the day out.

WAVERLEY and LOCH TARBERT at Lochranza WAVERLEY rests at Tighnabruaich HMS SOUTHAMPTON off the north-east Arran coast

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Charters in 2003

On Saturday 11th January the CLANSMAN was again chartered to the Club, this time for a cruise Round Arran. On a beautiful day, we sailed from Ardrossan with almost 200 Club members and friends aboard, and another 123 boarded at Brodick. Sailing southabout, we enjoyed a wonderful cruise in the best possible weather January could offer.

CLANSMAN lying at Brodick after the CRSC charter

For our summer programme of cruising opportunities in 2003, it was originally intended to join the newly-refurbished BALMORAL at Oban, for her unique cruise to Staffa on Saturday 24th May. However, as the vessel was still in Bristol being re-engined, this sadly proved to be a non-starter.

On Wednesday 25th June, we again chartered Western Ferries' SOUND OF SCARBA for another Evening Cruise, this year to a different destination, well off the usual WF beaten track. In perfect weather, we were treated to close-up views of some of the assembled fleet of Fife yachts lying at anchor in Rothesay Bay, before crossing to Largs Bay, encountering a large ship mid-channel on her way up to Greenock. Our return to McInroys Point afforded us the beautiful spectacle of the sun slowly sinking behind the Cowal hills.

Fife's yachts at anchor in Rothesay Bay SAGA WIND mid-channel, heading for Greenock SOUND OF SCARBA in the sunset back at McInroys Point, after the cruise

On Sunday 31st August, a number of members joined CalMac's PIONEER at Gourock, for what had been billed as her "Farewell Cruise". We sailed down the Renfrewshire coast, past Largs and then between the Cumbraes, round the south end of Bute, and up to Tighnabruaich, where we were able to stretch our legs ashore. From there we sailed through the Narrows and down the East Kyle, meeting up with the WAVERLEY in Rothesay Bay. A brief race took place, which the paddler won, before the PIONEER returned to Gourock Pier.

PIONEER resting at Tighnabruaich Pier PIONEER at Tighnabruaich The Club pennant flies from the PIONEER's port yard-arm

As we now know, the PIONEER was to return to Mallaig a few days later, to replace the new vessel on the Skye service, which had suffered a major breakdown.

Our final outing for 2003 was a coach and cruise excursion, resurrecting a popular idea from the 80s and 90s, and took place on Saturday 11th October. Boarding our coach at Gourock, we headed south to Wemyss Bay where we boarded the Rothesay ferry JUPITER for the half-hour sail over to Bute. From there we headed to Rhubodach where the LOCH DUNVEGAN took us across the Kyles of Bute. From Colintraive we made our way through Tighnabruaich and on to Portavadie, and sailed over Loch Fyne aboard the LOCH LINNHE to Tarbert, followed by the short run to Kennacraig where we joined the ISLE OF ARRAN. Aboard her we enjoyed a sail over to Port Askaig and back, before rejoining our coach which then headed back to Dunoon, via Inveraray, where we sailed aboard the fifth ferry of the day, the JUNO, back to Gourock, rounding off a very enjoyable day.

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Charters in 2002

Our first charter for 2002 was a special sailing aboard CalMac's CLANSMAN on Saturday 12th January. At the time she was relieving the regular Arran car ferry for overhaul, and we sailed from Brodick around Inchmarnock in dry but blustery conditions. Several members also took advantage of CalMac's superb catering laid on specially for the Club.

Later on in the year, in mid May, the Club chartered the paddle steamer WAVERLEY. The original intention was to sail round Arran, calling at Brodick, with time ashore at Campbeltown, in celebration of the centenary of the turbine steamer QUEEN ALEXANDRA of 1902. A poor weather forecast dictated otherwise, so instead we sailed to another destination associated with Williamson's steamers - Inveraray. Despite the change of plans, the members who joined the steamer that day enjoyed their cruise.

"Summer" 2002 saw, for the first time ever, the Club chartering one of Western Ferries' Clyde vessels. An evening cruise, was held on Wednesday 26th June, from Hunter's Quay and McInroy's Point. The SOUND OF SCARBA cruised to the Gare Loch with over 70 members and friends aboard.

SOUND OF SCARBA lying at Hunters Quay Passing HM Submarine base, Faslane I think we need to turn here!

Our next venture for 2002 was an Autumn Cruise aboard one of Clyde Marine Motoring's vessels. On Saturday 14th September the Club sailed in beautiful weather from Largs to Ayr aboard CRUISER, Munro's latest acquisition. Timings were carefully chosen to allow us to view the departure from Troon of the SEACAT SCOTLAND heading for Belfast, and also the P&O freighter EUROPEAN NAVIGATOR arriving at the new terminal there. Our return back up-Firth allowed us an unusual vantage point to watch the departure of CALEDONIAN ISLES heading for Brodick, on the CalMac Arran ferry service. We then spent about an hour basking in the sun at Millport, before returning to Largs.

CRUISER at Largs Pier SEACAT SCOTLAND leaving Troon CALEDONIAN ISLES heading for Brodick

These four trips meant that unusually in the Club's history, we chartered during the course of the year, vessels from four different operators - quite a feat these days.

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For full information about Clyde River Steamer Club cruises,

To read the Booking Forms you will require to have Adobe Acrobat reader installed.

You can download it free from this link (8.6MB download).

Bookmark this page for your future reference, and check it for details of our next outing!