Isle of Scilly Travel

Brief History
Isles of Scilly Steamship Company Ltd was formed on 26th March 1920.  The company was set up by the inhabitants of the Islands with the aim of providing regular, cost effective and enjoyable travel between the mainland and the Isles of Scilly.

The first Scillonian vessel began regular trips from Penzance to St Mary’s on Thursday 2nd February 1926.  Since then the company has continually operated the shipping service and will continue to provide the vital connection between the mainland and Isles of Scilly for many years to come.

Scillonian III sailed her maiden voyage on 19 May 1977 and has made in excess of 6392 return voyages up until the end of 2008. She was commissioned and built for the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company by Appledore Shipbuilders Ltd in Devon with work starting in 1973 and has become a signature sight of the Islands and a preferred method of travel for many visitors and islanders alike.

Sailings from Penzance to St Mary’s (the main island) will operate daily from 26 March until 29 October 2011 Monday to Saturday including Bank Holidays.

The ship sails from Penzance at approximately 0915 in the morning, departing from St Mary’s at 1630 (times are approximate as some dates are affected by extreme tides).

The 2 hour 40 minute journey takes you past Newlyn, Mousehole, the Minack Theatre and Wolf Rock Lighthouse.  Dolphins, seals and basking sharks are regular sightings from the top deck, especially during early summer.  Onboard refreshments are served at the bar or buffet, also souvenirs, gifts and guide books are available from the passenger shop.  Other facilities include a dolphin stair lift, person lift and baby changing room.

Day trip tickets are £35 per adult (reduced rates for children are available).
Alternatively, experience both with Air and Sea Day Trips.  Take an early flight to the Islands enjoying the stunning aerial views, and then return on a leisurely cruise, taking in the dramatic Cornish coastline, or vise-versa (available from Land’s End Only) costing £75 per adult.

Over at the the story of the Scillonian II has been documented including her colourful life after leaving the service of the company, including the last known picture of her at rest in Bulgaria.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company purchased the Norwegian coaster, Gry Maritha in September 1989, she was named at Kolvereid, Norway in June 1981 after Captain Tor Sevaldsen’s daughter.

The Gry Maritha operates an all-year round freight service proving a life line service to the Isles of Scilly catering for the increasing amount of freight required on the Islands. There are three return voyages a week, departing Penzance on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, stopping over night at St Mary’s and returning the following day.
The ‘Ivor B’ is the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company’s latest fleet addition. Previously named the ‘Guedel,’ the freight vessel was purchased in France and has traded all her life serving the islands off the coast of Brittany. She came into service in June 2010 and joins the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company’s other vessels, the Scillonian III and regular freight carrier to the islands, the Gry Maritha and inter-island vessels Lyonesse Lady and Swift Lady.

The ship’s flag and port of registry has been changed to British and registered in Scilly. The ‘Ivor B’ is 32 metres long and can carry around 280 tonnes of cargo.

The Company’s newest ship will be used to transport all types of freight to and from the islands and has been brought into operation to increase much-needed capacity to carry freight on the route. The coaster will be used to carry timber, aggregates and other materials for a number of building projects in the Isles of Scilly.

Following the sad and untimely death of Ivor Bone at the beginning of 2010, it was decided the ship would be named after him. Ivor was a contracts manager for Kier Western, the main contractor for the Five Islands new school project. The ‘Ivor B’ will also be used to transport materials from Penzance to the Isles of Scilly during this construction programme.

In 1984 the company expanded by developing Skybus, an alternative to travel by sea.  Skybus began scheduled commercial passenger flights in April 1987 launching the flights with a Britton Norman Islander aircraft.  Skybus now has a fleet of six planes; three De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otters and three Britten Norman Islanders. Skybus operates regular scheduled flights to the Isles of Scilly from Land’s End, Newquay and Exeter.

The Twin otter planes offer a maximum of 19 seats and the Islanders 8 seats.

Approximate flights times to St Mary’s:
Land’s End    15 minutes
Newquay       30 minutes
Exeter           60 minutes

Skybus operate the Isles of Scilly return service Monday to Saturday all year round, schedules and prices vary according to the season.  Day trips to the Islands from Land’s End and Newquay are priced at £90.00 and £96.00 per adult including airport charges (reduced rates for children) please check the website or call for details and special offers.


Land’s End Airport is owned and run by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group.  There are commercial flying activities available such as Aerial photography and charter work can also be arranged.

  • Address

    Isles of Scilly Travel Centre Quay Street Penzance Cornwall, UK

  • Postcode

    Tr18 4BZ

  • Website

  • Average meal cost

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