Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company

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Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company
IndustryExcursion & ship charter operator
Founded1890, restarted October 2016
ProductsLiverpool-Holyhead-Llandudno-Menai Straits-Whitehaven-Bangor-Ramsey-Dún Laoghaire-Fleetwood
Footnotes / references
flagship: TSMV Endeavour
route: Liverpool - Llandudno - Menai Straights - Whitehaven - Holyhead - Fleetwood - Bangor - Ramsey - Dún Laoghaire

The Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company (LNWSSC) is a pleasure cruise company, based in Liverpool.[1] The company currently operate three vessels, all of which are from a core heritage fleet, offering a unique heritage experience.


In 1890, the Glasgow-based Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company had formed the New North Wales Steamship Company (NNWSS).[1] The pleasure cruiser market was quickly changing, and bigger boats meant cheaper prices, and hence higher profits. The NNWSS operated its first season with the new Fairfield-built St Tudno, far bigger than any rival vessel on that run.[1][2]

Resultantly, in 1891 the NNWSS took over the rival Liverpool, Llandudno and Welsh Coast Steam Boat Company (LL&WC) to form the LNWSC. The original St Tudno was sold to Germany, but along with the older and smaller LL&WC steamers was replaced by the brand new St Tudno, which became the first ship to run under LNWSSC colours.[1][2]

The flag of the LNWSSC is a white swallowtail, bearing a blue cross throughout, with three gold-coloured ostrich feathers in the form of the Fleur-de-Lys in the centre.[3]

In 1899, the company took over the smaller Snowdon Passenger Steamboat Company (SPSC), which had started in 1892.[1]


The company's main route's as described in their name: Liverpool, Holyhead, Llandudno, the Menai Straits piers and Bangor.[1][2][4] The companies largest ship operates this route.[1][2] They also operate services north to Fleetwood, Whitehaven, west to Ramsey on the Isle of Man, and around the Isle of Anglesey.[1] The company are currently in talks to include a service to Dún Laoghaire in the Republic of Ireland.


The fleet was supplied direct from the Govan yards of Fairfield,[5] where vessels had either been freshly built or heavily refurbished, and where winter maintenance was also undertaken.[1]

The paddle steamer St Elvies was introduced in 1896, mainly deployed on excursions on the Isle of Man route. After the purchase of the SPSC in 1899, she was joined by their paddle steamer Snowdon. In the 1904 season, the expensive La Marguerite was transferred from the Thames Estuary services, operating from Liverpool on the main route until the end of the 1925 season.[1][2]

After this point, steam turbine vessels began to be deployed. The first steam turbine vessel to be built for the LNWSC was 1914s St Seiriol, but she was lost during World War I, when all commercial services had been suspended. Hence the St Tudno in 1925 became the first turbine vessel, with a second similar but smaller version also called St Seiriol joining in 1931. In the mid-1930s the small diesel-powered St Silio joined the fleet, renamed St Trillo after World War II, again when commercial services were suspended.[1][2]

The current vessels operated by the company is the TSMV Endeavour, a 1958 former Baltic Sea cruise ferry which is currently undergoing refurbishment in Liverpool. Two smaller craft are also operated, named MV Morse & MV Lewis. The vessels carry the new livery of the LNWSSC and are due to enter service in 2019. Unlike the name suggests, the current vessels now run on Diesel & Biofuels.

Cessation 1962 - 2016[edit]

Along with other pleasure steamer companies, the LNWSC suffered from the excursion market’s decline starting in the 1950s, due to competition from the motor bus and later the motor car.[1][2]

The company went into voluntary liquidation at the end of the 1962 season. The receiver immediately sold the St Seiriol for scrap in November 1962, followed by St Tudno in April 1963.[1][2] The St Trillo was sold to rival P & A Campbell, who continued to run excursions from Llandudno until the 1970s.[1][2]

Rebirth - October 2016[edit]

Following the reincorporation of the Liverpool & North Wales Steam Ship Company Ltd in October 2016, The company aims to reintroduce the former pleasure steamer market to the public, while also offering their vessels for functions & charter services. With their fleet of modern day and overnight cruise vessels, the company aims to recreate the era of sea travel in the 1950s to the 1980s and offer a range of excursions and scheduled services around the Irish Sea & River Mersey.

The company currently owns a number of passenger vessels, tugs and support vessels which operate throughout Europe, and also have the heritage pleasure steamer 'TSMV Endeavour' in refit in Liverpool, expected to enter service on Irish Sea crossings and trips on the river Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal.

It is also hoped a link can once again be established between the historic port of Dún Laoghaire in Ireland and Holyhead port three times weekly, with a Liverpool service operating the other four days. Currently this route is in the planning stages and talks with Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company are still to take place.

Fleet details[edit]

There is currently four vessels operated by the Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company, one of which is currently in refit in Liverpool awaiting to enter service in 2020.

See also[edit]


  • John Shepherd (2006). The Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company. Ships in Focus Publications. ISBN 1-901703-68-1.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n John Shepherd (2006). The Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company. Ships in Focus Publications. ISBN 1-901703-68-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company". Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  3. ^ "Flag of the Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company". Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  4. ^ "Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company". Anglesey Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  5. ^ "Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company". Retrieved 2012-02-21.

External links[edit]