The Solent Steam Packet Ltd and the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust each own steamships that capture the 20th century at sea. Both are owned by charitable trusts and both are part of the National Historic Fleet.

Steam Tug “Challenge”.

Challenge served at Dunkirk in 1940 and played a part in the rescue of338,000 Allied forces. She is the last of the seagoing Thames steam tugs(retired 1973).
Returned by the DLSRT to navigation in 2003, re-boilered and fully updated in2012 with National Historic Ships agreement and Heritage Lottery assistance,she now has her 1945 appearance.

Challenge has access to all her spaces (engine, boiler, bridge, saloon) and can be visited by active people. At sea she can carry 12 non-paying guests.She is an ideal photographic ship providing a low, steady and wide platform..She has her own small galley and accommodation and is usually independent of shore support.

Length: 110ft 33.53m | Beam: 26ft 3ins 8.00m | Draft: 13ft 3.95m | Displacement: 238 tons | Engine: Steam, triple expansion 1100hp | Speed 9 knots | Construction: Steel | Year Built: 1931

Steamship “Shieldhall”.

Built in 1955 to a classic design and has been used over the years to portray steamships of all types from ocean liners, such as “Titanic”, cross-channel ferry, migrant carrier, pirate radio ship and lowly cargo ship. She remains virtually “as built” and is fully operational with a passenger certificate for up to 200 passengers and is fully self-sufficient to provide heat, light and power at sea with full galley facilities.


For detailed information please see and at

Contacts: email to | phone 44(0)1823 69 83 60, mobile 44 (0)7860 25 47 06

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