SS Shieldhall is a heritage steamship based at Berth 48 in Southampton.
“Shieldhall” is unique as a time capsule providing a working example of steamship machinery both above and below deck, typical of the cargo and passenger ships that plied the oceans of the world from the 1870s until the mid 1960s, by which time they were all but extinct.
The ship is of special interest as she is built on the classical lines of a 1920s steamer with a traditional wheelhouse; the hull is of riveted and welded construction and this unusual feature is representative of the transitional phase in British shipbuilding when welding took over from riveted practice. The hull has a slightly raked bow and cruiser stern. The teak decks and emergency steering position aft add to the classic effect. Shieldhall was effectively obsolete mechanically at the time of her launch having steam machinery representative of the late 19th century at a time when the diesel engine was coming into its own.
Now believed to be the largest working steam ship in Northern Europe, she is owned and operated entirely by voluntary effort.
There are live music and lunch events whilst at sea, staged in a Saloon or covered awning-deck. Real ales and ice cream are available too. A commentary is offered on most trips, offering an insight into the history of the Docks, pointing out the ill-fated Titanic Berth 44, and the sights and sounds of Southampton Water. A highlight of your visit will be the chance to discover Shieldhall's Engine and Boiler Rooms under steam, and the opportunity to meet the Captain on the Bridge.
When not cruising, Shieldhall is an ideal base for events - a popular way to celebrate birthdays and special occasions; company meetings and AGMs.