LARGS' seafront businesses have hailed the return of the iconic Waverley to the town as her summer sailing season gets underway.

The world’s last seagoing paddle steamer returned to Largs Pier last week for the first time since its crash at Brodick last year

Tiffany Irvin, owner of The Fish Works, says the iconic vessel is a huge asset to the town - and an important draw for a lot of local businesses.

She said: “We are delighted to see the return of the Waverley as restrictions ease.

“Not only is it an iconic vessel that brings people to the town.

“We benefit from it greatly when it pulls into Largs and the passengers disembark, as I’m sure many businesses do.

“It’s hard to tell exactly how much of a boost the Waverley gives us as a business but our queues are definitely longer when she is in town."

Green Shutters Bistro owner Jim Walker believes the return of the much-loved vessel will provide a timely boost to Largs businesses as we move out of lockdown.

He explained: “It’s great to see her back in service because she enjoys a great deal of public affection, especially here in Largs.

“We regularly have customers in for breakfast before their cruise and afterwards for dinner. We occasionally get some of the crew in too.

“Waverley provides another reason for visitors to come to Largs."

Jim paid tribute to the Waverley’s crew for their hard graft getting the paddle steamer ship-shape for another busy sailing season.

He said: “It’s really amazing how people just pause whatever they are doing to watch her arrive or depart from Largs.

“I’m a sucker for nostalgia and it definitely looks like I’m not alone as far as she's concerned. I really hope she has some better luck and there is a great season ahead.

“She looks pristine, so hats off to the whole team who look after her and sail her."

Waverley is now scheduled to be in daily service on the Firth of Clyde until at least August 22, with capacity on the paddle steamer at 35 per cent to ensure social distancing.

General manager Paul Semple, said: “We are delighted to welcome passengers aboard Waverley once again.

“I hope the sound of paddles on the Clyde once again is a welcome indication that summer is here.”