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The British Excursion Ship

By Nick Robins


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Published date:
First published 1998

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The early demand for sea excursions is identified and the development of the Victorian excursion steamer, not least on the Clyde and the Thames, is outlined. The most notable of these steamers and their activities are described. Some of the more significant setbacks including the Princess Alice disaster, are remembered. All the larger excursion ships of the Twentieth Century are described in detail and the more important units, either by engineering design, by reputation or perhaps by notoriety, are dealt with in depth.

The narrative includes the rise and decline of the British excursion fleets, with separate chapters dealing with paddle steamers of different eras, turbine steamers, steam reciprocating engines and motor ships. There is also a section on coastal cruising which includes the services of Langlands and the Coast Lines Seaway through to the current activities of the Hebridean Princess. This definitive account concludes on the optimistic note of the return of the Southsea to active service. Few of the many historical photographs have been published previously.