Balmoral and Waverley back in the town for coastal and Lundy cruises from Friday.

A familiar face fresh from a stint at the Olympics is returning to Ilfracombe this week.

Since she left the Bristol Channel in July, the pleasure steamer Balmoral has been sailing the Thames and making regular television appearances while taking passengers to enjoy views of Olympic sailing at Weymouth.

From Friday she is back offering cruises along the wild Exmoor coast from Ilfracombe to Porlock Bay, as well as along the Atlantic coast to Morte Point plus regular trips to Lundy Island.

The Balmoral is sailing from Ilfracombe until August 25 and then on August 30 the Waverley, the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world, will begin sailing from the town.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our regular passengers from Ilfracombe onboard for a sail and hope to see some new faces this year,” said Balmoral captain Andy O’Brian.

“There is no better way to spend a summer day than to relax on deck as you sail amidst spectacular scenery.”

Children travel free on all Exmoor and Atlantic Coast cruises, with one free child ticket with every adult ticket purchased, plus special daily fares for senior citizens.

For a brochure or to book tickets, visit Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre, the kiosk at the pier; call 0845 1304647 or go to www.waverleyexcursions.co.uk