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LAID-UP PADDLE STEAMERS  (ex-passenger steamers : Europe)

These ships are at severe risk. In recent years several paddle steamers have not survived, although these have generally been derelict ships for which the cost of restoration would have made any project impractical. Information is not up to date so some of the ships will have been scrapped or have deteriorated beyond any reasonable hope of recovery

Click here to see which paddlers have been lost in recent years

Click here for laid-up steamers outside Europe



Yakutsk, Russia

Built in 1959. Withdrawn from cruising on the River Lena in 2007 but was understood tobe undergoing restoration with a planned reintroduction in 2014. This appears not to have happened


Szoke Tisza

Szeged, Hungary

Szoke Tisza (1917-74), the former Danube cruiser is best known as PS Felszabadulas, the name she assumed in 1950, having been IV Karoly, and between 1930 and 1950, Szent Imre. In 1958, 175 berths were built into the vessel as she was assigned to overnight cruises from Budapest. Briefly used as a canteen ship for her owners, she was sold out of the MAHART fleet in 1979 to the city of Szeged for use as a hotel. When owned by a commercial Danube cruising company, partners in the Zoltan Foundation ship museum at Nezsmely, plans were drawn to refurbish her for Danube service, but progress was fraught with technical and financial problems and ownership has new reverted to the Tiszayacht shipyard company at Szeged. Following her sinking in early 2012 as her hull cracked as the surrounding water melted after the winter freeze, the ship's superstructure was scrapped in the late autumn of 2012 although her engines and certain internal fittings were saved. The remains of the hull were left in situ but dragged on to land in early 2020 in another rescue attempt


Binfield Marina, IOW. England

Former Solent ferry moored near the River Medina at Binfield Marina on the Isle of Wight, UK. Gradually deteriorating after years of neglect. High and dry except at exceptional tides. The Paddle Steamer Ryde Trust was set up to try and negotiate her purchase from the administrators of the Island Harbour organisation which owned her and the attached marina, but failed in their efforts. The ship has been allowed to rot and is now well beyond any hope of being saved. One last attempt, in 2018, was abandoned.  Her engines remain aboard.


Neszmely, Hungary

The former MAHART passenger vessel lies on the Danube near Budapest, in a poor condition following a fire. Her machinery has already been removed. MAHART had originally planned to return her to service, but funds were not available. She survives, in very poor condition, on the Danube at the Neszmely Ship Museum on the Danube. She is in good hands, however, as part of the Zoltan Foundation collection (named after a paddle tug in the museum collection). Finance for her restoration is not available at the moment.

Vysehrad  (ex - Dr E Benes)

Prague, Czech Republic

In poor condition at Prague after an aborted refurbishment, her name was given to her operational sister, Devin. She remains the property of her original operators and they would like to see her restored to the fleet. A lack of funds has continued to be the main stumbling block and she remains tied up on the river Vltava near Prague, but all her superstructure has been removed. In 2011 she was temporarily moved to central Prague and opened up as exhibition space
Tsar Nikola II

Kladovo, Serbia

Former Danube cargo and passenger boat built in 1898, withdrawn in 1992 and then used as a restaurant in Belgrade as "Split",the name she assumed after World War II. Now out of the water and deteriorating at Kladovo shipyard



Until recently, earmarked for restoration in Switzerland , to recreate the vessel "Wengi" of 1856 which sailed on the River Aare. Now slipped on the Danube in Romania, her hull was found to be in good condition. The project has now been abandoned.


A number of the 65 long-distance river cruise ships of the Soviet 737 project built between 1951 and 1960 in the USSR and Hungary are believed to be in existence, many beached and in very poor condition. However, Krasnoyarsk is still in operation and the motor conversion Bogdan Khmelnitskiy has been returned to operational service in the Ukraine. K.M. Stanyukovich is under restoration in Russia.

Kiryensk, Russia

Has been out of service since 2005 but there are reports that she is now under reconstruction for service

Aleksandr Polezhaev

Samara, Russia

Sergey Alymov

Near Saratov, Russia

Appears to be on dry land near Volsk with paddle wheels missing. One source suggests she got to that position around 50 metres from the riverbank during flood conditions on the river. 


Compton Castle

Truro, UK

The small ex-River Dart paddler (1914-1962) is moored at Lemon Quay, Truro in Cornwall, south-west England and was used as a flower shop and cafe until 2008. She is an almost identical older sister to PS Kingswear Castle, but has been rebuilt significantly from her original form. Compton Castle has been at Truro since 1984. She was sold in 2008 and expected to be re-opened in fully refurbished form as a nautical-themed restaurant with a traditional tea room in the lower deck, run by renowned local chef Kevin Viner. However, that plan did not come to fruition but property developers Porthia who now own the boat are reported to be pressing ahead with refurbishment of the ship whilst looking for a company to lease her.
Her engines are preserved and were exhibited at the Blackgang Chine Fantasy Park on the Isle of Wight for many years, but in 2015 were sold to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society and are to be exhibited at Dartmouth, where her cousin, PS Kingswear Castle operates 


Cologne, Germany

Dating from 1886 and in service until 1924, Hansa is the oldest Rhein paddler still afloat. She was photographed at Cologne - stripped of superstructure. Plans to move her to the Netherlands and install the engines of former Rhein paddler Cecilie have come to nothing so far.



Former Yugoslav royal and presidential "yacht" on the Danube, badly damaged by fire in January 2007
Length : 50 m. Built in 1927 at Ubigau (Dresden, Germany) and taken in pieces to the Danube and reassembled at Regensburg. Originally called "Dragor", she became "Gernot" in 1941, and in the aftermath of World War II became known as "California" when commandeered by US forces. Yugoslav President Tito was known to have used the yacht but her main role became as an inspection ship for the Yugoslav Inland Waterways authority. It is believed that her engines were removed some time after the fire

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