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BRAZIL : Sternwheelers

Benjamim Guimaraes

Built in 1913 by James Rees & Co. of Pittsburgh PA, USA, this stern wheeler is of traditional mid-west American design and remains wood-fired.
In the 1920s period it was bought by the firm Julio Guimaraes & Cia and renamed "Bejamim Guimaraes" after the ancestor of the firm's owner.
During World War II she was frequently used for transporting troops from inland to the sea at Pernambuco
In the 1940s her ownershipwas transferred to the Navegacao e Comercio do Sao Francisco company then quickly integrated into the  Companhia Industria e Viacao de Pirapora.
In 1955, shipping on the San Francisco was nationalised and she became part of the fleet of CVSF (Servico de Navigacao do Vale do Sao Francisco
This company later became FRANAVE ( Companhia de Navigacao do Sao Francisco)
Based at Pirapora deep inland on the San Francisco river in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais she primarily transported goods but also passengers. Goods traffic tailed off sharply and by the 1980s she was amsost fully a tourist boat and received an overhaul and now recognised officially as a siate historical site, she returned to service in October 1986 in a ceremony attended by the Minister of Transport. She offered longer trips out of Pirapora as well as three-hour cruises on a Saturday which were sponsored by local hotels.
Withdrawn in 1995 due to boiler trouble, she was transferred to the ownership of the city of Pirapora in 1997 and underwent another re-furbishment before returning to service in August 2004.
She now makes a regular 9-hour long cruise on Sundays and cruises on other days as arranged with various tourist companies.


Sao Salvador

Built as a cargo and passenger steamer at Bahia in 1937 as Alfredo Viana for the Golden Viana Company she sailed between Juazero and Santa Maria da Vitoria Bahia. After a couple of changes of ownership she moved to Pirapora after being bought by a local transportation companyand at this point acquired her current name. Sao Salvador operated until 1969 and then was tied up at Pirapora (Minas Gerais state) until refurbished in 2008-2011. She will be a floating educational centre based at Ibotirama (Bahia state) and sailing to Pirapora and Juazero/Petrolina. She will operate as a motor paddler with new Scania engines. She is owned by the city of Ibotrama

For statically preserved side-wheelers in Brazil, please click here

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