:  The Internet's leading website for Side-Wheeled Paddle Steamers

A number of paddle steamers have been saved for further static use : see below

Others have been out of service for some while without any immediate plan for their future and are at immediate risk :
Follow link :
Laid up Steamers with uncertain fate

STATICALLY PRESERVED PASSENGER PADDLE STEAMERS : In various uses and open to the public

NOTE : Restoration is underway on Maid of the Loch with the hope of returning her to service.  Medway Queen is being fitted out for possible future service 

It was a shock when PS Wilhelm Tell (above, built in 1908) was withdrawn from service on Lake Lucerne in 1970, mobilising local steamer enthusiasts into a campaign to save her. In what was one of the earliest concerted campaigns to save a paddle steamer, the vessel was not saved for service, but by restauranteurs whose family still own her today. She is moored at Luzern, very close to the steamer piers and her old contemporaries still pass closely by her daily in the main season. Wilhelm Tell must rank as one of the most successful of statically preserved steamers. 


Maid of the Loch

Location : Balloch (West Dunbartonshire)
Original use : Excursion steamer on Loch Lomond

Built : 1953
Current Use : Open for visitors as an attraction
Engines : In situ.  Triple expansion diagonal 
Notes : Her charitable owners are working towards restoring her for a return to service on Loch Lomond

Medway Queen

Location : Gillingham
Built 2009-2013 : Replica of original vessel built in 1924
Use of the original vessel : Ferry and Excursion ship on the outer parts of the River Medway and Thames Estuary
Current Use : Open for visitors as a heritage attraction

Engines : Saved from the original vessel. In situ.  Compound diagonal
Notes : Continuing work towards completing her fully with the hope of eventual operational service

Tattershall Castle

Location : London (Embankment)
Original use : Ferry on the Humber Estuary between Hull and New Holland
Built : 1934
Current Use :  
Open to the public as a pub with nightclub
Engines : In Situ.  Triple expansion, diagonal
Notes : Substantially altered from original form. Paddles removed

Wingfield Castle

Location : Hartlepool
Original use : Ferry on the Humber Estuary between Hull and New Holland
Built : 1934

Current Use : Exhibit and cafeteria at the town's Municipal Museum at Hartlepool Marina
Engines : In Situ.  Triple expansion, diagonal
Notes : Currently closed on safety grounds and awaiting major refurbishment (2020)



Location : Portalban
Original use : Excursion vessel on the Lac de Neuchatel
Built : 1913

Current Use : Restaurant
Engines : Removed.  
Notes : Out of the water. Attached to Motel-Restaurant St Louis around 500 m from the lakeside



Location : Geneva
Original use : Excursion vessel on Lake Geneva
Built : 1896

Current Use : Social centre for disadvantaged youth but with public access
Engines : In situ.  Diesel-electric. 
Notes : Engines still able to operate.
Original compound diagonal engines replaced in 1932 in a pioneering conversion


Location : Lucerne
Original use : Excursion vessel on Lake Lucerne
Built : 1848

Current Use : Exhibit at the Swiss National Transport Museum (Verkehrshaus)
Engines : Removed.  Engines displayed separately within the museum building
Notes : Out of water at museum since 1958. Recently rebuilt to close to her original form

Wilhelm Tell

Location : Lucerne
Original use : Excursion vessel on Lake Lucerne
Built : 1908

Current Use : Restaurant
Engines : In situ. Compound diagonal  
Notes : Substantially as she was when withdrawn from service in 1970




Location : Mannheim
Original use : Public transport service and excursion steamer on River Rhine
Built : 1929 for KD as Mainz
Current use : Museum
Engines : In situ. Compound diagonal


Location : Oderberg
Original use : Public transport service and excursion steamer on River Elbe
Built : 1897 (as Habsburg)
Current use : Museum
Engines : In situ. Compound oscillating



Location : Utting, Bavaria
Original use : Public transport service and excursion steamer on the Ammersee
Built : 1907
Current use : Yacht club clubhouse
Engines : Removed

Andechs (1907-1955) is preserved as a floating yacht club clubhouse at Utting on her home lake, Ammersee in Bavaria.


Location : Dresden
Original use : Public transport service and excursion steamer on the River Elbe
Built : 1963
Current use : Hotel at Dresden-Neustadt harbour
Engines : Removed (formerly diesel-electric)

J F Bottger

Location : Dresden
Original use : Public transport service and excursion steamer on the River Elbe
Built : 1963
Current use : Youth Hostel at Dresden-Neustadt on riverbank
Engines : Removed (formerly diesel-electric)

Bremerhaven, Germany

The central section of the German river paddle steamer Meissen (1881-1968) has been preserved as an exibit in one of the halls in the Deutshes Schiffahrts Museum. The ship sailed out of Dresden on the Elbe until 1907 and after then on the River Weser out of Hameln.

Website : 

Graf Moltke (trading as Seeperle)

Former Elbe steamer Graf Moltke of 1892 which was known as Lobositz after 1919 (briefly being Konigin Maria in 1936 and Konigstein in 1948).

Location : Seeburg
Original use : Public transport service and excursion steamer on the River Elbe
Built : 1882
Current use : Restaurant (on dry land) in much-altered form
Engines : Removed


Princess Elizabeth

Dunkerque, France

The former Southampton-Isle of Wight (England) paddler of 1927 was moved to Dunkerque on the northern French coast after being moved from her berth at Paris where she served as a floating art gallery and conference centre at Pont Mirabeau and is now a floating restaurant at the Pole Marine shopping centre.


Arona, Italy

The former Lake Maggiore paddler serves as a floating restaurant at Arona, where she has been moored since 1969. She served on the lake from 1908 until 1958 and was first used as a restaurant at Baveno.


Hugo Basedow  (trading as Jos Franken)
Nijmegen, Netherlands

Former lower River Elbe steamer now used as a floating church for itinerant workers and sailors in Nijmegen harbour

Budapest, Hungary

Close to the Chain Bridge (Szechenyi lanchid) on the Pest side of Budapest, Hungary, Kossuth (1914-78) , serves from Spring to Autumn as a bar/restaurant, with maritime museum exhibits on the lower decks. She emerged after substantial reconstruction in 1953 named Kossuth, having carried three previous names, being built in 1914 as Ferencz Ferdinand Foherczeg. She assumed her current role in 1986 and is now owned by a museum organisation with the restaurant operated privately. In 2008 she was extensively refurbished, including considerable attention to her hull.

Pamjaty Azina  (trading as Hotel Aquamarina)
Visegrad, Hungary

Trading as the Hotel Aquamarina. This former Russian river Volga paddle steamer, built in 1903, was been restored to act as a good-quality hotel moored on the Buda side of the Danube in the northers suburbs of Budapest, having been bought by the MINOL company in 2005. In 2022 the ship was moved to Visegrad

Originally called "Grand Duke Alexander Mihkailovich", she became "Kharkov" in 1917. In 1924 she became "Pamjaty Tovaritscha Azina". In 1950 it was substantially rebuilt and became "Pamjaty Azina". Withdrawn in 1991 it is believed to have been bought for use in Albania but this never materialised. 



Vysehrad (ex - Dr E Benes)

Prague, Czechia
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 was tied up on the river Vltava near Prague, with all her superstructure has been removed. In 2011 she was  moved to central Prague and opened up as exhibition space and remains as a floating bar (as at 2022)

Vysehrad  (ex - Devin, ex - T G Masaryk, ex - Karlstein, ex - Antonin Svehla)

Prague, Czechia

In good condition and still listed in the PPS fleet, Vysehrad is moored in central Prague as a bar and restaurant pending a decision about reactivating her for operational service 


Propeler (trading as
Bratislava, Slovakia

After lying in a dilapidated condition alongside the bank of the Danube at Nove Pristavisko, near Rusovce on the very short part of the river lying entirely in Slovak territory near Bratislava, the paddler Propeler was renovated and reopened as a museum on the southern bank of the Danube at Petrzalka (Bratislava) by the culture and heritage protection organisation as an art gallery. She spent most of her life as a ferry at Bratislava named Devin and her latter years first as a restaurant moored in Bratislava and then a night clu


Tulcea, Romania

A former naval tug, she was maintained in working condition in the ownership of the city of Tulcea since 2003 and was reboilered (to burn oil rather than coal). In 2008 Republica was listed as a national cultural heritage "monument".  She is maintained in operational condition but it is understood that these are now halted on account of the condition of the boiler and she serves as a restaurant with attached museum in Tulcea.


Bogdan Khmelnitskiy   (1954, converted in 2004)
Kyiv, Ukraine
Operators :
Based in central Kyiv with 31 hotel rooms available. Could be hired for corporate and private events and can sail on charter in the summer months

One of the numerous Soviet Project 737 river paddlers, but built at Budapest, Hungary. sailed in the Soviet Ukraine on the Dneipr until 1976. Rebuilt with new motor engines after extensive fire damage


Sviatitel Nikolai
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Built in 1887 by Tyumen factury at Kurbatova for businessman Alexander Sibiryakov, it had the distinction of carrying crown prince Nicholas (later the last Tsar) in 1891 and then, communist agitator V.I. Lenin into exile in 1897. 56.2 m x 8,25 m in dimension. In 1927 she was concerted to an oil barge and laid up in 1960. She now lies as a museum ship at Krasnoyarsk, the point deep in Siberia to where Lenin was taken over 100 years ago. The ship has now been taken out of the river Yenisey, but lies only feet from the waters on which she once sailed. She is open to the public for a small entry fee.


At Kozloduy, Bulgaria the paddler Radetzky, a 1966 reconstruction of an earlier paddle tug rebuilt to resemble an earlier Austrian-owned Radetzky which was built in 1852 and later commandeered by Bulgarian independence fighter Hristo Botev in a revolutionary struggle against Turkish control of the country, lies as a mueum ship, but is also operable. She is listed in the Operational Paddle Steamers section of this database

In 2011, the laid-up paddle steamer Vysehrad (I) whose name is now used by an operational paddler in the same location, was moved to central Prague from her upstream berth for use as temporary exhibition space. She is listed in the "laid Up Steamers" section of this database


Above : A replica of PS Comet, built in 1962 to celebrate 150 years since the inauguration of a service between Glasgow and Helensburgh promoted by Henry Bell to bring customers to his shoreside hotel and is regarded as the first commercial use of a steamship in Europe. This replica, owned by the local authority (Inverclyde Council), is located alongside the main road through Port Glasgow on the Clyde estuary.
A wooden-hulled closely faithful replica with an engine built to closely approximate the original (held in the Science Museum collection) sailed from Glasgow to Helensburgh in association with events for the commemoration of the original vessel. Restored in 2011, is was reported in 2019 that the wooden-hulled ship was deteriorating badly and beyond economic repair. A decision to remove and scrap the hull was made by Inverclyde Council in January 2023. Photo by Gordon Stewart

For Statically preserved side-wheelers in the rest of the world, click here

PRESERVED PADDLE TUGS (including those with secure futures and those "at risk")

Although no side-wheel steam* paddle tugs remain in operation, a remarkable number of these "working" boats survive. Closely linked with local trade and industry,they are poular candidates for preservation. Their generally smaller size helps to minimise the cost, but their public appeal is surely more limited than for a passenger steamer.....
* A number of motor powered side-wheel paddle tugs are believed to be in operation in Russia and the Ukraine

Click Here for more details of preserved paddle tugs 


It is more practical to preserve paddle steamer engines than the ships themselves. Many sets have found their way into museums of transport and technology. These showcase the engineering rather than the ships themselves, but they do "tell a story" as museums now require their exhibits to do, even if it is only part of the whole story.

Click here for more details of preserved Paddle Steamer Engines

Return to