History and Aims
The Thames Ship Society, also known as the TSS was formed in 1962 by a
group of like minded shipping enthusiasts. The main aim of the society is
to provide high quality tours to major shipping areas, enabling the
members to note the ships seen and to obtain the best possible
photographic opportunities of the shipping.
Today, over 40 years after it's formation the society has approximately
350 members, from all over the United Kingdom and also from further afield,
including Gibraltar, Malta, Turkey and Australia.
We have an annual programme of day, weekend, week long and more
extensive long haul tours. Tours range from a few hours private cruising
on the Thames, Medway, Solent or other UK ports, to a week at the major
continental ports or to a two-week long-haul holiday to the Far
Comprehensive travel arrangements, private harbour cruises, excellent
photographic opportunities and good quality accommodation are the
hallmarks of TSS trips. Members of the TSS are able to note ships and take
photographs in a social and convivial atmosphere with like minded people.
|Where ports have suitable
vessels we charter them for our exclusive use. Normally, we limit the
number of participants on each private cruise for the comfort of members
and to maximise photographic opportunities for all participants. Vessels
used by the TSS have included Tugs, Fishing Vessels, Thames Sailing
Barges, Launches and Paddle Steamers. Vessels we charter include the
Thames pleasure cruiser Princess Pocahontas, the preserved
steamship Shieldhall, the Kingswear Castle and the Blue
Funnel vessels in Southampton.
Shieldhall at Southampton
Princess Pocahontas in the Thames
We have built up a strong relationship with the owners of harbour
cruise vessels in the continent, at Rotterdam and Antwerp such that they
have become familiar with our requests. On our trips to the Far East, even
Chinese junks have been used.
In addition to ports in the UK we regularly organise trips to the major
continental ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, Gent and Dunkirk. In
Rotterdam we usually organise a ten hour private cruise of the entire
Rotterdam port complex on our vessel the Diane. In Antwerp and
Hamburg a five hour private cruise is usually undertaken, taking us to
parts of the ports that the public cruises never see. Cruises are
sometimes taken in the North Sea Canal between Amsterdam and Ijmuiden.
View from our Hotel in Istanbul
Rasa Sentosa Hotel in Singapore
where we usually stay
Week long trips have been taken further afield to ports in Greece,
Spain, Italy, Poland and Turkey. Ventures further afield have included the
USA West Coast, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and South
Africa. A very successful tour to Istanbul normally happens every other
year and in 2005 and 2007 a 15 night tour to Singapore, Bangkok and
Shanghai took place. Every effort is made to arrange
successful and trouble free tours.
Details of events and tours are sent out to members at regular
intervals along with a Quarterly Newsletter which contains news, photos and
accounts of recently completed trips.
If you are interested in joining the TSS please see the the Contacts
section. We look forward to hearing from you.