THE BIG Yellow Boat, famous throughout the world as a symbol of Whitby, left the port for the final time on Wednesday.
The Esk Belle II is heading to Tenby in South Wales, and Brian Clarkson, owner of Whitby Coastal Cruises, said that he is “heartbroken” that the boat is leaving.
“I’m a bit heartsore, my crew are as well,” he said. “From my crew, to the engineers and the skippers, everybody has gone the extra yard to make the Esk Belle what she is.”
In the seven years since the Esk Belle arrived in the port it has carried over half a million people on regular trips, including an untold number of children who rode the vessel for free.
The boat will be replaced by two 60-seater vessels, named the Island Cruise and the Kerrera.
The Island Cruise has been purchased from the Tenby buyer as part of the swap deal, and will be renamed Esk Belle III.
Following the summer season it is also set to receive a trademark yellow colour scheme.
Bri said: “She’s not the Esk Belle but she will become popular as she’s very seakindly.”
The second vessel is the former Kerrera Ferry and has been purchased from Oban in Scotland.