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

A number of old 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

Restaurants, Night Clubs, Museums, Youth Hostels, Conference centres etc
NOTE : Restoration is underway on the following vessels with the hope of a future return to service :  Maid of the Loch, Medway Queen

It was a shock when PS Wilhelm Tell (above, built in 1908) was withdrawn from service on Lake Lucerne in 1970, mobilising local steamer enthusiasts into a campaign to save her.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. 


Compton Castle

Location : Truro
Original use : Small excursion steamer on the River Dart

Built : 1914
Current Use : None
Engines : Removed
Notes : Future uncertain. Compund diagonal engine is owned by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society and are in storage

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
Current use : Museum
Engines : In situ. Compound diagonal


Location : Oderburg
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 1882 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


Benalmadena, Spain

Former US Coastguard cutter, built in 1925 by the Dubuque Boat & Boiler Co in Iowa for the Lighthouse Sevice on the Mississippi. 200 feet long with an extremely large breadth of 65 feet, she served until late 1944 when she was involved in a collission and paid-off in 1945. She became an accommodation boat for the US army Corps of Engineers, having had her machinery removed. Sold in 1962, she went to Florida 10 years later but lay abandoned until sold to Themes International based in the UK, crossing the Atlantic to Southampton on a semi-submersible in 1989. She went to Antwerp, Belgium for refurbishment but Themes went out of business and Willow remained at Antwerp until 1995 when she returned to the UK, this time to Birkenhead. Her next move was to Spain in 1996 for operation as a restaurant ship. In 2019 the ship had partially sunk at her mooring.

Photo of Willow in service :


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, has 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. 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. 

** In 2022 the hotel vessel was towed from Budapest to Visegrad ***



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)
Operators :
Based in Kiev 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

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

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