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Vltava, Prague, Czech Republic
Passenger Shipping (Prazska Paroplavebni Spolecnost) -
The largest of the two remaining steam paddlers, "Vysehrad",
in Prague where locks and channels are used to allow passage through
the shallow river and its weirs.
Picture : courtesy of Nigel
The operators of the two
remaining sidewheelers is the PPS, successor to the Prague operations
of the Prague City Transport Company, which took over the local fleet
of the Czech state Shipping Company (CPSL) in 1961. The company has
reverted to the name used until 1937 and little changed from that
used since its grounding in 1865.
The largest of a number of shipping companies established in Prague
in the wake of the liberalisation of the economy in the
post-Communist era, the PPS has operated a rather unpredictable
service of local cruises plus longer trips to the Slapy Dam, the
traditional destination of cruises from Prague. Recently, PPS has
operated a limited number of cruises northwards along the Vltava to
the confluence of the Vltava and Labe (Elbe) at Melnik.
Paddlers Vltava and Vysehrad (ex-Devin) have been restored. The
planned refurbishment of Vysehrad (III) stalled due to lack of funds
and the vessel, having lost its name to Devin, remains tied up and in
poor condition. PS Labe has been sold for further use in Germany.
A close cooperation agreement has now been signed with the second
largest local cruise firm, EVD (Europska vodni doprava) and the fleet
is marketed under the PPS-EVD banner. As well as four smaller motor
vessels to complement seven motor vessels in the PPS fleet, the EVD
also brought to the fleet the motor stern-wheel paddler Sumava, a
LAID UP PADDLE STEAMER
(name now allocated to steamer above)
STERN WHEEL MOTOR PADDLER
STERN WHEEL DIESEL PADDLER
ON THE VLTAVA
MV Tyrs, a former tug, is operated by Spolecnost
Bohemia (SB). Originally named Lipno when in the service of the
CSPLO, the vessel was rebuilt for passenger operation by the Brnak
yard at Decin in 1992. Originally in service between Decin and
Hrensko on the Labe (Elbe), she was moved to Prague in 1993 and
operates only on charter.