THE MV Balmoral will return to Penarth in May, it has been announced.

A provisional timetable for 2017 sailings by the much-loved ship has been released.

It shows her first sailing date of the year, in Penarth, is due to take place on Saturday May 27, with the last on Monday October 2.

In 2015, the Balmoral returned after a three year lay-off thanks to a drive for public subscriptions, a Coastal Communities Fund grant and a £1,000 contribution from Penarth Town Council.

A campaign to keep her sailing to and from Penarth was then launched again last year, after the 2016 season was revealed to have resulted in a £350,000 to £500,00 operations shortfall, with 25 per cent of sailings lost.

After a first weekend of sailings on Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28, the Balmoral will return on Tuesday June 1 and remain until Sunday June 4.

She will then be back again on Friday July 28, until Tuesday August 1; and from Friday August 4, to Sunday August 6.

Other dates include Sunday August 13, to Tuesday August 15; Saturday August 19, to Monday August 21; Wednesday and Thursday, August 23 and 24; Sunday August 27, to Friday September 1; and Monday September 4.

The final run of the season will stretch from Thursday September 28, to Monday October 2 - the very last sailing day of the season.

A spokesman for Penarth Tourism and Visitor Association (PTVA) said: “It is very good to hear that the ship is scheduled to sail once again this summer, and PTVA hopes that everybody will use their best endeavours to ensure that the ship sails fully laden on every trip from Penarth.”