Balmoral and the QE2 can be seen here.
The Motor Vessel Balmoral was built by J I Thornycroft at Woolston, Southampton in 1949, commissioned by the Southampton, Isle of Wight & South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Co Ltd. The company, which now trades as 'Red Funnel', operated the ship on the Southampton-Cowes ferry route, utilising her aft car deck until she was replaced by larger car ferries. The Balmoral subsequently made a name for herself offering coastal cruises around the South Coast.
Her operational time with Red Funnel came to an end towards the end of 1968, although she stayed in their ownership for a further twenty years. Balmoral moved to the Bristol Channel on charter to P&A Campbell's famous White Funnel Fleet, later being purchased by them and becoming the last working member of their fleet until 1980 . Balmoral was sold by P&A Campbell to Dundee to become a floating restaurant. This was unsuccessful and the ship was placed for sale again - surely only a scrap dealer would buy her...?
Fortunately for the Balmoral, the operators of the world's last seagoing paddle steamer, PS Waverley, were looking for a fleetmate for the 'paddler'. Balmoral was purchased by Waverley Excursions and subjected to a major refit to ready the ship for her new life as a coastal cruise ship. As part of the refit, her aft car deck was enclosed to offer more internal space - this area is now in use as a dining saloon. Balmoral returned to her former home sailing area of the Bristol Channel in 1986, where she was well received by enthusiasts and the public alike . Since then the ship has operated a summer season of excursions around the Bristol Channel but has also visited most areas of the UK, as well as making occasional forays as far as Holland and France! In Winter 2002, Balmoral received new engines, partially funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. These, whilst operating more quietly and smoothly, have also added an extra edge to her speed.
Information courtesy of. MV Balmoral