paddlesteamers.info : The Internet's leading database of Paddle Steamers past and present


PADDLE STEAMERS IN PASSENGER SERVICE :  Side-wheel paddlers
The steamers (and motor paddlers), where they sail, who operates them and who supports them : links to detailed information, photos and official websites

Mobile phone and small tablet users : Click here for a simplified list which is easier to use


Above: Waverley on the Clyde in the UK : an attractive area to combine a summer holiday or mini-break with excursions aboard a paddle steamer
Photo taken in 2013 at Tighnabruaich by webmaster Gordon Stewart
Waverley, in the UK, is the world's last sea-going paddle steamer and the only one now offering coastal cruises. All other European paddlers now only operate on large rivers or on lakes with the exceptions of Freya which operates in northern Germany generally keeping to the Kiel Canal and Elbe estuaries, the UK's Kingswear Castle, which itself keeps to estuarine waters, and the UK's very small paddler Monarch, which are the only other "salt-water" paddlers. Some paddle steamers are retained in their original fleets, others are now owned and operated by preservation groups. In a number of cases, enthusiasts have restored decommissioned paddle steamers and subcontracted operation back to their original owners. Freya is remarkable in having been bought by a commercial operator many years after she was restored by an enthusiast and operated as part of their fleet.
Click here for genuine stern-wheel (Mississippi-style) paddle steamers which are listed separately


Key to the tables listing paddle steamers below : where there is a hyperlink, please click to find further information

OPERATING AREA :
to see photos of the area in which the paddle steamers sail.   (pages being developed over time)
PADDLE STEAMERS :
to go to a dedicated page profiling the vessel, with photographs when available and historical notes
YEAR :
the date the ship was first in service. In reality, most are much newer vessels due to periodic extensive re-fits based on the original structural elements
COUNTRY OVERVIEW :  Context of paddlers in the country including under "more", a detailed review of how the ships came to be saved and how they now fit in to modern service schedules.

OPERATING COMPANY :
for Tramscape's review of company operations and links to the fleet, current and historic (where there is more than one ship to review)
WEBSITE :
to go to the operating company's website for official information, timetables and fares (most have English language option). Many have Company Annual Report & Accounts posted.The SGV and CGN in Switzerland are especially forthcoming with information about ship and other operating costs, passenger numbers (by ship, day and pier) etc
SUPPORTERS GROUP : many paddle steamers are either owned or supported in some way by enthusiast groups which interested people can join to assist in preservation as well as connect with others sharing their interest

Please always check with the operator before travelling if you are intending to sail on a paddle steamer as some may be out of service for repair whether short-term or for a longer full renovation. Most websites are good at giving up-to-date details of steamer services
Go also to John Bird's site for the latest on Swiss and Italian schedules, updated daily to include details of special paddler services not always well advertised in advance
Go also to the Swiss magazine "Dampferzeitung" website
http://www.dampferzeitung.ch/ and follow the link to "Aktuell" for the latest special sailings news for Swiss lakes, Germany and Austria
IF YOU WOULD LIKE CLARIFICATION ON ANY MATTER REGARDING THESE STEAMERS : ASK THE WEBMASTER : HE MIGHT WELL BE ABLE TO HELP


Please note : ships may be out of operation either because it is out of season, the ships are undergoing repair or might be out of service for longer lasting restoration work. Please check with the ship operators for the current status


PADDLE STEAMERS


Country / Operating Area

Paddle Steamers

Year

Country Overview / Operating Company / Basic Service Pattern

Website

United Kingdom

 

 

Preservation in the UK has been undertaken by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, an enthusiast's group with charitable status, whose subsidiary companies own Waverley and Kingswear Castle. The Society also makes occasional grants to groups preserving other paddlers in the UK.

 

Firth of Clyde

Waverley also spends short periods at other places around the UK coastline
Waverley

1947

Waverley Steam Navigation Co Ltd / Waverley Excursions Ltd 
Full day cruises offered around the UK coast normally from Easter until mid October. On the Firth of Clyde during high season then Bristol Channel,  the south coast and the Thames estuary in late summer / early autumn. 
Link to PSPS (supporters group) central website

Click here

River Dart
Kingswear Castle

1924

Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust (Trading) Ltd 
In 2013 the ship returned to her original operating home on a 15-year charter to the Dartmouth Steam Railway & Riverboat Company and sails from Dartmouth on short local cruises as well as longer trips to Totnes
Owner's website

Click here

Switzerland

 

 

Commercial operators have retained paddle steamers as part of their larger fleets, with support from enthusiast groups. Blumlisalp was restored by an enthusiast group who retained ultimate ownership until 2013 although operated by her original owners who now own her once again.......(more).

 

Vierwaldstattersee (Lake Lucerne)
Uri
Unterwalden
Schiller
Gallia
Stadt Luzern

1901
1902
1906
1913
1927

Schiffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstattersees (SGV) 
Fully integrated into the SGV public timetable with all available paddlers active in high summer sailing the length of the lake and back from Luzern. Unterwaden cruises into the Alpnachersee to Alpnachstad under a low bridge. Slightly reduced paddler service in early and late summer. In recent years one paddler usually active over Christmas and New Year. 
Link to supporters' group website 

Click here

Lac Leman (Lake Geneva)
Montreux
La Suisse
Savoie
Simplon
Rhone

1904
1910
1914
1920
1927

Compagnie General de Navigation sur le Lac Leman (CGN) 
Fully integrated into the CGN public timetable with all paddlers active in high summer sailing on a range of cruises from Geneva and Lausanne, normally calling at all piers. A reduced paddler service operates in early and late summer with limited cruises in winter. The CGN also owns three motorised paddle vessels (ex-steamers - see table below). Montreux is out of service in 2016 after her 2015 season was curtailed due to boiler problems.
Link to supporters' group website 

Click here

Thunersee (Lake Thun)
Blumlisalp

1906

Schiffsbetrieb BLS 
Summer return service from Thun to Interlaken (West).
Link to supporters' group website 

Click here

Brienzersee (Lake Brienz)
Lotschberg

1914

Schiffsbetrieb BLS 
Two daily return services from Interlaken (East) to Brienz in summer
Link to supporters' group website 

Click here

Zurichsee (Lake Zurich)
Stadt Zurich
Stadt Rapperswil

1909
1914

Zurichsee-Schiffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG) 
Integrated into the ZSG timetable with limited sailings outside the summer season, mainly at weekends
Link to supporters' group website

Click here

Lacs de Neuchatel et MoratNeuchatel1912Restored to operational condition in 2013 after major reconstruction and re-engineing  following use as a floating restaurant since 1969. Integrated into the timetable of local operators Navigation Lacs de Neuchatel et Morat SA
Owned by the Trivapor organisation
Click here
Germany

 

 

On the Elbe a large paddler-only fleet survived the demise of the GDR and most ships been meticulously restored. Museum and enthusiast groups have saved other individual examples. On the north coast a large excursion fleet operator bought the restored PS Freya to add to their motor ship fleet.

 

River Elbe, Dresden
Stadt Wehlen
Diesbar
Meissen
Krippen
Pillnitz
Kurort Rathen
Pirna
Dresden
Leipzig

1879
1884
1885
1886
1892
1896
1898
1926
1929

Sachsische Dampschiffahrts GmbH & Co 
Long summer season of scheduled services on the River Elbe, mostly originating at Dresden, but with vessels also based at Bad Schandau, Koenigstein and Pirna to provide a range of full day cruises. The frequency of vessels allows shorter trips and return on a different paddler especially in high season. Short non-landing cruises are offered from Dresden (to the "Blue Wonder" bridge) and return trips to nearby Pillnitz palace also available. A more limited service is offered downstream of Dresden, linking it with Meissen, world famous for the manufacture of high quality porcelain.

Click here

River Elbe, Lauenburg
Kaiser Wilhelm

1900

Lauenburger Elbeschiffahrtsmuseums e.V.
A range of short and longer day trips on the Elbe
Currently out of service due to boiler trouble. Funds for her repair are still being sought

Click here

River Weser, Bremen   Weserstolz

1949

Hal Over Gesellschaft fuer innovative Stadttouristik GmbH
Moved from Minden (where she was called Wappen von Minden) to be based at Bremen from April 2015 for new owners, offering round trips on the Weser

Click  here
Kiel Canal and north Germany
Freya

1905

Adler-Schiffe Gmbh & Co, KG
Timetabled services from Kiel west to Rendsburg and east to Laboe and services over complete Kiel canal to Brunsbuttel. Occasional Elbe cruises from Hamburg and coastal cruises from Rostock.

Whilst Freya is a modern construction on a historical base and has paddle wheels and steam engine in situ, its primary mode of propulsion is through a diesel motor and screw propellor at the stern

Click here

Austria

 

 

The two remaining paddlers were saved by enthusiasts. Gisela is subcontracted to the Traunsee's commercial motor ship operator for operation, Schonbrunn is owned and operated by a museum group. 

 

Traunsee
Gisela

1871

Traunseeschiffahrt Karlheinz Eder GesmbH
Owned by a preservation group, but integrated into the main public timetable, Sundays early July to early Sept : From Gmunden 11:30-13:50 and 14:00-16:35 on Sundays. Additional Saturday trips - but you need to check in advance. 

Click here

River Danube
Schonbrunn

1913

OeGEG - Oesterreichische Gesellschaft fuer Eisenbahn Geschichte 
Full-day cruises on selected summer weekends mainly departing from Linz but additional cruises throughout year in the Wachau valley etc.

Click here

Bodensee (Lake Constance)Hohentwiel1913

Internationales Bodenseeschiffahrtsmuseum.
Mainly special lunch and dinner cruises requiring advance booking or charters
Link to supporters' group website/

Click here

Italy

 

 

State-owned operators on the northern lakes have retained paddlers in their fleets but use them sparingly.  Patria has been restored under local provincial ownership after many years of lay-up and fears about her survival.

 

Lake Como
Concordia

1927

NLC - Navigazione Lago di Como

Returned to service in 2016 after major revision and boiler renewal operating in her return year on summer Sundays until 18th September with a morning departure from Como to Bellagio and an evening return with special short cruises (using special tickets) from bellagio during the day. A short evening cruise is normally offered from Como. Additionally in July and August , there is planned to be a special cruise out of Como on Thursdays

Click here

Lake Como Patria

 

Provincia di Como
Patria has been out of service since 1990 but a restoration project started in 2009 and the ship made her first trial run under steam on May 8th 2013. On 19th July she sailed to Como and has been open at weekends for public inspection. Following a successful  inspection by NLC officials in September 2015 it was expected that she would be in service in 2016 but continuing issues have now made this unlikely

 

Lake Maggiore
Piemonte

1904

NLM - Navigazione Lago di Maggiore
Limited use by NLM and mainly available for charter
Lake Maggiore shipping enthusiast website

Click here

Netherlands

 

 

A German paddler was saved by an enthusiast and is now a successful venue for functions in Rotterdam.  

 

Rotterdam
De Majesteit

1926

Nederlandse Raderstoomboot Maatschappij 
Mainly used as a floating restaurant in Rotterdam, particularly for functions. Can be chartered to sail from Rotterdam

Click here

Czech Republic

 

 

The main local excursion ship operator in Prague retains two paddlers as part of its service fleet.  A private owner has recently built a genuine new steamer

 

River Vltava, Prague
Vysehrad
Vltava

1938
1941

PPS-EVD : Prague Passenger Shipping 
Public scheduled sailings from Prague, with a mixture of local cruises and longer day cruises to the Slapy Dam. Occasional long trips to Melnik at Vltava/Labe confluence

Click here
(English) 

River Vltava, Prague 

Sirius

2010

VZK (vodni zasilatelstvi Kedrst)
Operates on charter only for "under the bridges" tours in central Prague for up to 40 passengers. Captain Kedrst's private company has two other motor ships 

Click here 

Romania

 

 

Tudor Vladimirescu is under state ownership and used for government duties

 

River Danube  Tudor Vladimirescu

1854

Despite a recent costly renovation from near-derelect condition completed in 2003, Tudor Vladimirescu is not available for public sailings. Information is sparse but she appears to be used by government agencies for conferences etc.but is also available for public charter

 

River Danube

Borcea

1914

Operated by the Ministry of Education and Heritage on short cruises for schoolchildren out of the port of Braila and is available for charter

 

Norway

 

 

Enthusiasts took over the long-established lake Mjosa operator to save and run a paddler as a tourist attraction. 

 

Lake Mjosa Skibladner

1856

A/S Oplandske Dampskibsselskab 
Short summer season sailing the length of Lake Mjosa from either Hamar, Lillehammer or Eidsvoll depending on the day

Click here

Denmark

 

 

Denmark's small river paddler is privately run as part of a fleet of seven.. 

 

Silkeborg
Hjejlen

1861

A/S Hjejlen 
Trips from Silkeborg to Himmelbergjet, Denmark's highest "hill"

Click here

Sweden

 

 

 

 

Forsvik

Erik Nordevall II

2011

Reconstruction from new of the Erik Nordevall, a wooden hulled paddler which was built in 1836 and sailed on Lake Vattern until it sank in a storm in 1856. The first run under its own steam was on August 1, 2011
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1jG-rz-xkg)
and on August 12th 2011 it undertook a five week round trip from Forsvik to Stockholm which included a royal christening. Services on the Motala canal are expected to start in 2012

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLiG3PZNUUg
Click here

Although manyDanube paddle steamers (including Schonbrunn) were fitted with limited overnight accommodation, Russian river ships have traditionally had considerable cabin accommodation and were originally used for passenger (and some freight) transport over long distances in remoter parts of northern Russia and Siberia. Although generaly no longer on these runs they still provide for longer cruises rather than day excursions


Russia

 

 

 

 

River Dvina, Archangelysk

N V Gogol

1911

Built in 1911 in Nizhny-Novgorod for service on the Northern Dvina river.
Length : 110 m, breadth 14 m, draught 1.4 m
Engines : Triple expansion with cylinders of 38, 61 and 110 cm and stroke of 110 cm and generating 380 hp and a normal top speed of 18 km/hour.
Rarely in use but is available for charter and in recent years has been chartered for cruises generally of 2-3 nights by a local travel agency. In 2010/11 she was under internal renovation costing 40 million roubles and returned to service in 2012 offering a  7-night river tour in June and a three-night trip in July from Archangelsk for the Pomor Tours company      Photo (2002) courtesy of Bill Worden
Internet resource : http://www.autoreview.ru/archive/2009/15/vyezd/

Click here
River Lena, YakutskKrasnoyarsk1959Withdrawn in 2007 but underwent restoration and was expected to return to service in 2014 on the River Lena at  Yakutsk for the Lena Steamboat Company. However, it is uncertain whether she is currently in operation as she is not listed by the operatorClick here

Other Countries (non-European) : Click on the country for more information :

United States of America

Canada

Australia
New Zealand
Egypt
Bangladesh
Burma
North Korea


MOTOR PADDLE VESSELS (CONVERTED FROM STEAM)

Goethe St Goar 2000.jpg


These vessels have been converted from steamers, usually as an economy measure undertaken when the original boiler was requiring replacement. The dates of conversion are shown in the column "MPV". The Year column shows the date of original construction.
The uproar which accompanied the decision of the Rhine's KD company to convert Goethe (seen at St Goar in 2000, above) to diesel operation after the 2008 season raised the question as to whether such ships have any real value. In Goethe's case she had only recently been "modernised" and although a fine ship, had very little of historical value left in her. Many enthusiasts declared that the converted Goethe would turn the Rhein into a type of Disneyland and vowed not to sail on the ship (or any other KD vessel) again.
Some of the earlier conversions were understandable : nostalgia for steam was still not a factor and it would have been a matter of scrapping the ship outright if the new technology had not been fitted. At least in these cases, the historical fabric of the ships remained. The Dutch vessel, Kapitein Kok, had diesels fitted to an old and almost derelict vessel - in reality, the only way the historical ship would have found a new life.


Country / Operating Area / Operator

Paddle Vessel Fleet

Year

MPV

Basic Service Pattern / Link to Operator page in this database

Website

Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) Vevey

1907

1956

Compagnie General de Navigation sur le Lac Leman (CGN) 
Withdrawn at the end of September 2010, she went into the Bellerive dry-dock on May 29th 2012 after running under her own power from her temporary mooring at Geneva for work to begin on a major reconstruction estimated to cost CHF 13 million. Returned to service on November 16th 2013.

 

Lac Leman (Lake Geneva)

Italie

1908

1958

Compagnie General de Navigation sur le Lac Leman (CGN) 

Italie was withdrawn at the end of the 2015 season. The local supporters' group the ABVL has collected funds to contribute greatly to her CHF 13.6 million ( 9 million) renovation with work starting in 2015. Returned to service with a programme of short celebratory cruises from Geneva on  12/11/16 and Lausanne-Ouchy on 13/11/16

 

Lac Leman (Lake Geneva)

Helvetie

1926

1977

HELVETIE IS OUT OF SERVICE
Helvetie has been out of service since early 2002. She lay at the CGN Dockyard in Ouchy as the company desperately wishes to keep her - but she is one of the largest ships in the fleet at almost 74 metres, and not only would her total refurbishment be very costly, her operation would also be so. There is also the issue of how to integrate such a large vessel into any future timetable. Even before her withdrawal she spent much time as a reserve ship. The supporters' group ABVL have, however, the aim of ultimately assisting in her refurbishment, but if CGN and public funds are not available, this will not take place.
In 2011 Helvetie entered the dry dock at Ouchy for a major, albeit cosmetic only, refurbishment so she could be used at the nearby Museum of the Olympics as temporary exhibition space. Whilst this is no guarantee of her future with CGN, it is a major step towards saving the fabric of the ship for an eventual full renovation.  

 

Germany

 

 

 

 

 

River Rhein
Goethe

1913

2008

KD - Koln-Dusseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt 
Long season from late Spring through to mid-autumn on a full day trip from Koblenz calling at all piers to Rudesheim and return. For 2009 : 25th April - 4th October, usually from Koblenz (09:00 back 20:10) to Ruedesheim (15:15 / 16:15).

Click here

Chiemsee
Ludwig Fessler

1926

1973

Chiemsee Schiffahrt Ludwig Fessler 
Integrated into the lake's public scheduled timetable from Prien.

Click here

Austria

 

 

 

 

 

Wolfgangsee
Kaiser Franz Josef I  

1872

1954

Salzkammergutbahn GmbH 
Public sailing schedule on Wolfgangsee

 

Italy

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Garda
G Zanardelli
Italia

1903
1909

1983
1980

NLG - Navigazione Lago di Garda 
Limited use as part of local lake scheduled timetable in summer season

Click here

Netherlands

 

 

 

 

 

Amsterdam
Kapitein Anna

1911

1977

Until recently known as Kapitein Kok juntil a change of ownership and a thorough refurbishment in 2013. .
Can be chartered to sail from Amsterdam or other ports for parties, corporate events, conferences, executive training courses etc  

Click here

Bulgaria

 

 

 

 

 

River Danube

Radetzky

1954

1993

Converted from a 732 Series Soviet tug in 1966 to resemble a passenger ship with an important role in the Bulgarian independence struggle in 1876, taking the name of the paddler she was modelled on. She was rebuilt with steam engines but lost them to two diesels when the ship was totally renovated between 1988 and 1993. She is primarily a museum celebrating the national revolutionary hero Hristo Botev at Kozloduy but remains operable and is in service from time to time on educational trips.

Click here 

Ukraine

 

 

 

 

 

River Dnepr, Kiev

Bogdan Khmelnitskiy

1954

2004

One of the famous "Project 737 design", built at Obuda, Hungary in 1953, she was originally called "Nekrasov" and deployed on sailings between Kiev and Kherson in the Ukraine until decommissioned in 1976. Damaged by fire in 2002, she was substantially rebuilt and re-engined. Under her current name she now operates as a hotel ship based in Kiev during the winter when 31 rooms are offered for use. The banquet room and restaurant are open for private hire for functions and entertainment can be provided. In summer she can be chartered for cruises along the Dneipr river.
Internet photo resource : http://www.panoramio.com/photo/34922929

Click here


MOTOR PADDLE VESSELS (BUILT AS MOTOR SHIPS)



By the time diesel power became widely available for excusion ships in the late 1920s, new ships around most of Europe were screw-driven. Only on the Clyde in the UK did the London & North Eastern Railway experiment with diesel electric drive for their paddler "Talisman" of 1935. Their attempt was not entirely successful, although on Switzerland's lake Geneva a number of paddlers received diesel drives with various methods of transferring power to the paddle shaft and several of these sail on today (see above).
The Austrian DDSG's Stadt Wien and Stadt Passau (now Grof Szechenyi), with geared diesel drives, were unusual and unique. The experiment with diesels and paddles was not repeated until Elias Lonnrot (1986) which replicated an older steamer but with a more economical propulsion system. Diesels were also chosen for the brand new "Herrsching" (2002, see photo taken in 2003, above) on Germany's Ammersee and when "Diessen" on the same lake was heavily rebuilt in 2006 she was re-engined with diesels rather than her old steam engines which had been removed in 1975.
MPV Stadt Wien and Grof Szechenyi have cabins for overnight accommodation but these ships are no longer used on original service pattern so these are not used in service. Stadt Wien is open for overnight accommodation at Tulln, Austria.

Country / Operating Area

Paddle Steamer Fleet

Year

Basic Service Pattern / Link to Operator page in this database

Website

Austria

 

 

 

 

River Danube, Wachau valley
Stadt Wien

1939

Herr W Stift 
Sunday cruises from Tulln into the Wachau valley are to continue in 2009 from July 12th to 23rd August, with some special cruises and charters also undertaken (see website). Open as a restaurant at Tulln when not cruising and cabins are available for overnight stays

Click here

Hungary

 

 

 

 

River Danube, Budapest

Grof Szechenyi

1940

Greenhill Rendezvenyiroda Zrl 
Moored at Budapest and used on occasional short cruises but only for charters (such as conferences or special parties) for which high quality catering is provided. Not available for public timetabled sailings

Click here


MOTOR PADDLE VESSELS (MODERN VESSELS CONCEIVED IN "RETRO" STYLE)

Some have said that building modern paddle steamers in "retro" style is basically creating a pastiche with no real soul or legitimacy. This is surely true for many of the numerous sternwheelers built worldwide in recent years, but can it be also said of the Ammersee's "Herrsching"?  She is a fine paddler, modern yet with reference to traditional styling, but without steam engines does she have a heart and soul ? When it came to replacing the worn out paddler Diessen, the same operators decided not to scrap the ship but build a new one incorporating much of the old. In reality she is a new ship and reinstalling her original steam engines which are held in a museum was rejected on cost grounds. 


Finland

 

 

 

 

Lake Keuresselka
Elias Lonnrot

1986

Keurusselan Laivamatkat KY
Summer weekday services from Keuruu to Keurusselka Hotel, and to the town of Mantta on Sundays.

Click here

France

 

 

 

 

Disneyland Paris Molly Brown

1992

Very short trips of around 20 minutes through an artificial lagoon with riverbank "attractions" in the Disney fun park. Runs on a guided rail.

 

Orleans, River LoireInexplosible No 222007Mairie d'Orleans 
Built in 2007 (by Delavergne shipyard at Avrille in the Vendee region) for the city of Orleans  this vessel is a reasonable visual replica of the original vessel of this name built in 1837.  It is unclear how often the ship sails, but it is a major attraction when it is in operation during the biennial Festial of the Loire at Orleans when many river boats take part in public celebrations. Otherwise she is open as a bar and restaurant in central Orleans
Hungary
Lake BalatonKisfaludy2014A recent reconstruction of a historical paddler of the same name from Lake Balaton which sailed from 1849, the new build closely resembles it predecessor although has an enclosed saloon aft. The paddles are powered individually by electric motor and there is a Deutz diesel-powered auxiliary screw aft.Click here

Germany

 

 

 

 

Ammersee
Herrsching

2002

Bayerische Seenschifffahrt GmbH 
Integrated into the lake's public scheduled timetable

Click here

Ammersee
Diessen


2006

Bayerische Seenschifffahrt GmbH 
Completely rebuit in 2005/6 based on the lengthening the hull of the original Diessen (built 1908 and converted to diesel operation in 1975) and retaining important historical parts from its predecessor. Integrated into the lake's public scheduled timetable

Click here

River HarleConcordia IILength : 14.4 m, Breadth : 5.7 m. This 100-passenger capacity motor paddler is owned by the Reederei Albrecht and runs on the river Harle between Carolinensiel and Harlesiel, close to the German North Sea coast in Friesland.

Click here 

Poland
River Wisla, WarsawGloria Mechanica2015Built and owned by Zbigniew Selerowicz. .   Length 14.6 m, Breadth 3.2 / 5.0 m.  Engine - 136 HP (by Mercedes). Hydraulic drive. Launched 6/6/15. Made her inaugural trip from Plock to Warsaw in August 2015

MOTOR CRUISE VESSELS WITH ACCOMMODATION

River cruising using luxury boats with passenger accommodation for on-board holidays, often up to two weeks in length, has become increasingly popular in Europe. Whilst Danube paddlers such as Stadt Passau and Stadt Wien were built primarily as transport ships, these are purely leisure holiday cruise boats and are familiar sights on the Rhine, Moselle and Danube in particular. A modern phenomenon, they have been built with the most modern propulsion systems and employed diesel engines. 

One ship is remarkable in that side paddle-wheel propulsion was chosen for this otherwise state-of the art vessel (her owners have also commissioned a similar vessel with stern-wheel propulsion for a different operating area to commence in the 2016 season) :

LOIRE PRINCESSE

A new ship was put into service in 2015 with sections being built by Mecasoud at St Nazaire (France) for use on the River Loire in France. The 90-metre long ship, designed by Stirling Design International (SDI) and assembled at the STX dry dock provides luxury twin berths for 96 passengers and very much follows the lines of modern European river boats - long and low, to pass under the large number of low bridges on European rivers. Remarkably, however, this ship, named Loire Princesse, has two side paddle wheels and all documentation and advertising for the vessel indicates that these will be the primary means of propulsion, powered by 2 x 500 HP diesel engines wkith direct drive to the wheels. The wheels are to be 4.5 metres in diameter. The designer's information regarding the choice of paddle wheels for the vessel was that they were the most suitable as the River Loire is very shallow in places  - and this technology gives the first opportunity to use a boat of this size on the river. The draught is reported to be only 80 cm (approx 3 feet). Manoevrability will be aided by waterjet thrusters fore and aft.

Loire Princesse is operated by the CroisiEurope company and is expected to sail as far upstream as Angers

Designers presentation :   http://www.stirlingdesign.fr/presses/press_release/stirling_design_croisieurope_2014_02_fr.pdf

During the opening 2015 season, Loire Princesse encountered a number of difficulties coping with the currents on the Loire and reportedly had to resort to being "pushed" by a small motor boat on occasion


MISCELLANEOUS SMALLER PADDLE VESSELS


SMALL COMMERCIAL PADDLE STEAMERS (UP TO 12 PASSENGER CAPACITY) and "HOBBY STEAMBOATING" PADDLE STEAMERS IN EUROPE


In European maritime safety legislation terms, boats with a passenger capacity of up to 12 are subject to different rules and regulations than larger vessels and operate in a different market sector, although several do operate on a commercial basis. So-called "hobby steamboating" is a poular pastime for many, and it is possible for individuals to build and operate small launches for personal use and for carrying a small number of passengers. There are numerous such steam launches in the world - but very few are paddle steamers



United KingdomMonarchVery small paddle steamer built in 1994 offering short commercial trips on the River Frome for up to 12 passengers at Wareham in Dorset. Click here
United Kingdom Heron

 

 

United Kingdom

Autumn Breeze

located on the Norfolk Broads

Click here

United Kingdom

L'Aigle

built and owned by Peter Shott. 14 feet x 5 ft 6 in. Simple expansion, three cylinder diagonal engine

 

United Kingdom

Walkin' Belle

owned by L Spencer on Thames. 17 ft 6 in x 6 ft 6 in. 2-cylinder walking beam engine

 

United Kingdom

Firecrest

owned by D Garrick at Sleaford. 15 ft 3 in x 5 ft 10 in. Built in 1972

 

Switzerland Liberty Belle owned privately by Beat and Martha Bolzern of Emmenbrucke. Transportable by road to sail wherever required

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Switzerland

Waldstaetter

Based on lake Lucerne but can be transported elsewhere and has sailed on Italian Lakes

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Netherlands

De Jonge Wachter

Based at the De Wachter Mill Museum at Zuidlaren which has numerous steam engines in store and display, this small paddle steamer (10 m long with single cylinder engine dating from around 1920) was built by enthusiasts and entered service in 2003 with a maximum passenger capacity of 12

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Czech Republic

Hrebeny

Based on River Vltava near Prague

 

FranceL'ArrouxBased at Blois on the Loire this 8 m long wooden paddler with wooden side wheels was built in 2008  by the Marine de Loire historical group, loosely based on the design of the (larger) Inexplosible No 21 which operated on the Loire from the late 1830s. Her wheels are turned by an oil-hydraulic mechanism powered by an old Citroen 2cv motor.  

SMALL MODERN DIESEL POWERED PADDLERS WITH SIDE WHEEL


The attraction of "paddles" for tourist boats is recognised although this has primarily been for stern-wheels (Mississippi-style". However,  some small excursion boats have been built with side wheels, whether as the main source of propulsion or ancilliary to a screw. These small vessels provide a useful service for tourists wishing short trips, for example on a river in a city centre and are out of scope of this database, but vessels for which there are photos in the webmaster's collection are included



Prague, Czech Republic

Elbis 

 

Poznan, Poland

Jagienka 

 

Nieszawa, Poland

Nieszawa

Modern side-wheel car ferry crossing the Wisla (Vistula) at Nieszawa

Yaroslavl, Russia

Aksenovy

http://www.goldring.ru/news/show/99441/
Built by private businessman Yuri Litnitsky. Powered by a tractor motor engine. Capacity - 12


ABOARD PADDLE STEAMERS



All Aboard


We take a detailed look around some of our paddle steamers, going on deck, looking into the deck houses, cafeteria and restaurant and, of course, the attraction specific to paddle steamers : the engines.

All Aboard - click here


All aboard queue.jpg


STERN-WHEEL PADDLE STEAMERS


Paddlers with a large wheel at the back of the ship are typically associated with the USA and large shallow rivers such as the Mississippi and its tributaries. The design has been copied for use as tourist boats worldwide. 
A separate section of this database is dedicated to stern-wheeled paddle steamers........
More.

In view of the large number of modern motor powered excursion ships with stern wheels, whether for propulsion or primarily for show, this database is limited to ships built as genuine steamships and to steamers subsequently converted to diesel operation.

ORGANISED TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES


Do you want to go on a short European steamer-sailing break? http://www.vintage-tours.co.uk/ could be exactly what you are looking for. John Woodhams organises mini-tours taking in as many steamers as possible in the areas visited, making it easy for you to ensure you don't miss anything - and you will be in the congenial company of like-minded people.


REFERENCES


The essential reference book for Paddle Steamer enthusiasts is:

Paddle Steamers in the 1990s
By Russell Plummer
Published 1994 by GMS Enterprises, 67 Pyhill, Bretton, Peterborough, England Tel (0)1733-265123
IBSN 1 870384 27 X
This book gives extensive details of all known paddlers remaining in Europe, including motor powered paddlers

Also the following which also includes screw steamers and diesel conversions, including those in static roles

Steam Ships of Europe
by Alistair Deayton
Published in 1988 by Conway Maritime press Ltd, 24 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8DR
ISBN 0 81577 478 4


paddlesteamers.info      The internet's leading source of paddle steamer information and photographs


Homepage

 

Operational Paddle Steamers
Paddle Steamer Reactivation Projects
Laid up Steamers
Statically Preserved Paddle Steamers

Paddle Steamers Under Construction
Lost Paddle Steamers
Paddle Steamers of the past
Paddle Steamer Engines
Clyde Steamers
British Paddle Steamer Index
Paddle Tugs
Stern-wheelers

In public service, their operating companies and website links (includes motor paddlers)
Paddle Steamers under restoration for a possible return to service
Paddle Steamers out of service with no current plans for renovation
Paddle Steamers decommissioned and now with new roles as restaurants, museums etc
Projects for new paddle steamers
Vessels scrapped in recent years
By country and area : Paddle Steamers and service operators of the past
General Description and link to view Operational and preserved paddle steamer engines
The ultimate fleet of coastal cruising steamers
Search here for British Paddle Steamers
Preserved paddle Tugs
Steamships or diesel conversions propelled by a stern wheel (Mississippi-style)

paddlesteamers.info photograph archive

The webmaster's extensive paddle steamer photograph portfolio in reduced size


 

Rddampfer in betrieb : Bateaux Vapeurs roues aubes en service : Swiss paddle steamers
Boat trips, days out excursions, holidays with historic ships