A PARA HANDY HOLIDAY FOR YOU AMONG THE SCOTTISH ISLANDS
Enjoy the nostalgia of genuine steamboat cruising and relive the romance of a generation gone. If Dougie were here, he would tell you himself that this is a true escape from the pressures of a cluttered world. At a steady six knots, between the strangely beautiful islands, little can equal the peace of silent steam, on deck before the smokestack in good weather or in the saloon if you desire shelter. The ever varying light on the hills, the pure-air of the sea lochs, the Hebridean sunsets , the small towns and fishing villages beneath the heather – all will give you, rain or sun, a holiday unequalled anywhere else in the world.
On the lower deck there are six cabins, four with twin berths and two with double berths, together with two washrooms with WC, washbasin and shower with hot and cold water and shaver points.
On the main deck is a roomy saloon with comfortable and friendly seating shared with our companionable crew near an enclosed wood-burning stove for chilly days, together with a long table where meals from the adjacent galley are served beneath a traditional oil lamp.
Breakfast, lunch and evening meals will include a number of Scottish foods and we are renowned for our high standard of cooking. At times there may be the opportunity to serve fish or cockles fresh from a deep-sea fishing boat.
Drinks may be purchased from a small bar, including some traditional malt whiskies rarely found outside Scotland
Each week begins and ends at the places indicated on the Booking Form, with guests coming on board after 3.30 pm on Sunday for the five day cruises. All cruises end on Friday afternoon. Those staying for a further week will be provided with a list of suitable accommodation as we are unable to cater over the weekend or during changes between cruise locations. We will not be steaming away until the Monday morning, thus giving you an opportunity to get to know the boat and use her as a base to explore the surrounding area.
During your holiday you may just relax on board or stroll ashore, but those who wish may participate in berthing and casting off, steering by compass or landmark in the wheelhouse, studying charts –or even helping the engineer to keep up steam by shovelling coal.
We recommend you bring simple, light clothing for hot days, together with warm clothes, waterproofs and good boating footwear and hill walking boots with good ankle support. Also casual working clothes which you won’t mind if they get grubby , and reasonably decent clothing for going ashore, as there will be numerous opportunities to visit castles, shops, craft centres, etc. A limited number of boiler suits are available for loan, but no laundry facilities.
Please also remember to bring your own towels.
WHAT TO EXPECT
A typical day starts after a leisurely breakfast, when the steam whistle resounds over the hills to wake the sluggish, and we steam silently along the canal or loch until lunch, when we are either moored at our destination for the day or still gently pottering through the water. The afternoon is usually spent exploring quayside, countryside or town life ashore. If you enjoy walking or hill climbing, you can venture into a glen and see the view, or bird-watchers can observe the wide variety of migrants seen in Scotland; and we have dinghies for picnic expeditions or fishing. You never know, even if you don’t fish, you may catch the Loch Ness Monster!
Whatever happens, potentially this could be the holiday of a lifetime.
When a booking is accepted, we will send a replacement brochure, an information sheet on suggested travel routes to join us, a bus timetable if you have asked for one, suggestions for Sunday activities and details of car parking. We will also include a list of accommodation addresses.
For those of you who would like to know more about Clyde Puffers, may we recommend The Last of the Puffer Men by Keith McGinn.
And, of course, if you want to follow up the lore of life on the old Clyde Puffers, you should read some of Neil Munroe’s PARA HANDY TALES.
Nick Walker has recently written a book entitled ‘PUFFER ALPHABET’- 32 years of anecdotes concerning running VIC32, with illustrations by Richard Albanese and Puffer recipes.
All these books are available from the Puffer Preservation Trust souvenir shop brochure or by contacting Nick or Rachel Walker.
On scheduled cruises children under 16 receive 10% discount.
The price includes continental breakfast with Scottish nuance, morning coffee, buffet lunch, afternoon tea with home-made cakes, and three course dinner from Sunday afternoon until the following Friday tea.
All bed linen (but no towels) and harbour and canal dues are included. The skipper reserves the right to make any changes in the proposed schedules necessitated by weather conditions or any other factors beyond his control, though of course, every effort will be made to keep to schedule.
Please book early to avoid disappointment – you can get in touch with us via the details given on our Contact page.
A deposit of £100 per person must be sent to us with your booking form (you may telephone first to make a provisional reservation). Final payment of your balance must be made at least 30 days before your boarding. If we have not received your final payment after this time for whatever reason, customers on our cancellation list will be notified of the spare berth or berths. Thus please be prompt about this.
Cheques payable, please to ‘Puffer Steamboat Holidays, Ltd’. All payments must be made in £ sterling.
The continued restoration of ‘VIC32’ is kept going with money from income from passengers but also has a supporter’s organisation, which is called ‘Friends of VIC32’.
Please consider joining this vital part of the Puffer’s continued health!
CANCELLATIONS & INSURANCE
If you have to cancel your holiday, your payments (deposit and balance where paid) will be refunded in full subject to our re-booking your place. For this reason please let us know as soon as possible. Please take out your own basic holiday insurance to cover cancellation of your holiday, medical, baggage, possessions. This type of policy is available from your own insurance agent or from most travel agents.
Please click here to see current availability for 2017 which is updated weekly.
Holiday bookings can be made by using our online booking form, by post or telephone.
Telephone: 01546 830 133
VAT No. 888996024