THE Maid of Loch is offering people a virtual tour of the Balloch-based paddle steamer in a bid to raise funds during lockdown.

Since passengers are not able to climb aboard vessel, people instead can join a cruise online to mark the 67th anniversary since the first public cruise on Loch Lomond on May 25, 1953.

The Loch Lomond Steamship Company, the charity which owns the Maid, is offering people an opportunity to re-create that day by stepping back in time and experiencing the views of the Bonnie Banks with 11 key landmarks from the paddle steamer.

READ MORE: Loch Lomond still off limits during the pandemic

John Beveridge, chair of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, said this is an exciting way of raising desperately needed funds to keep the charity afloat.

He said: “Everyone is keen to escape the restrictions but aware not to endanger beauty spots. So we’ve decided to produce a virtual cruise on the loch and to celebrate the Maid’s 67th anniversary of her maiden voyage.

“By using archive photos and film from the 1950s, interspersed with colourful scenic views of Loch Lomond, we want to give a taste of what the first sailings on the Maid were like.”

A route map with facts and places of interest that the Maid of the Loch will pass on the cruise is included in the tour.

The journey is based on leaving Glasgow by steam train to Balloch and a cruise on the Maid to Ardlui at the head of the loch.

The virtual tour will cost £12.50 per person which is the equivalent fare of the nine shillings it would have cost passengers in 1953.

John added: “The Maid could carry 1,000 passengers, so we’re hoping for a sell-out cruise.”

Tickets can be purchased at the online shop by visiting:


Scotland is in lockdown. Shops are closing and newspaper sales are falling fast. We're not exaggerating when we say that the future of the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter is under threat.
Please consider supporting the Reporter in whatever way you can – by paying just 85p for a copy of the paper, when you're shopping for essential supplies for yourself and others, or by subscribing to our e-edition here.
Thanks – and stay safe.