SUMMER is cancelled for historic paddle steamer the Waverley - with the vessel set to miss the majority of the busy sailing season.

An issue with the ship's boiler means it will be out of action in May, June and July, when it is traditionally in and out of Greenock taking passengers on days out around the River Clyde.

Waverley Excursions, which owns the famous steam ship, announced that boiler repair works have over-run and those who have already booked tickets will now be offered a full refund.

It will come as a huge blow to the operators, who rely on the income from the busy summer sailing season to keep the historic vessel going.

A spokesperson said: "Waverley's Clyde sailings in May, June and July and her Western Isles will not operate owing to extended boiler works which will delay her entry into service this year. "We sincerely apologise for having to withdraw these sailings.

"Passengers who have already booked tickets will be contacted directly with regards to rebooking or refunding.

"We are taking bookings for all of Waverley's August, September and October Scottish sailings."

The ship regularly docks at Customhouse Quay in Greenock during the season.

It was recently at the town's Dales Marine yard where its annual inspection and maintenance work takes place over the course of a few weeks before the summer sailings commence.

The ship is now due for an extended period on the sidelines until the boiler problems are resolved.