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Schonbrunn                                                                                                                      Operating Area : River Danube

Schonbrunn (seen above at Linz in 2003) is the last paddle steamer on the Austrian section of the Danube, which once boasted an enormous fleet of similar vessels, including some of the largest European paddle steamers used on overnight services along the mighty river. After several years out of service, Schonbrunn was restored and taken over by the Austrian Railway History Society and offers a range of cruises on the Danube. She is mainly based at Linz but often cruises at other points along the Danube, especially Melk and Krems in the spectacular Wachau Valley portion. Click on the link to the OGEG website (see below) for details of the cruises. Schonbrunn has extensive and comfortable covered accommodation and plent of open deck space. She is an excellent example of a paddle steamer being owned and operated by enthusiasts and deserves the best of support from the public.

Built in 1912-13 by DDSG at Obuda Shipyard, Budapest, Hungary
Engines : Compound Diagonal
Dimensions : 74.6 metres x 8.0 / 15.6 metres
Draught : 1.7 metres
Speed (maximum, still water) : 26 km/h
Passenger Capacity : Now carries 600 maximum (originally 1400)
Crew (2015): 7 nautical, 3 engine room and 4 boiler room - plus customer service staff

Built by her operators DDSG (Erste Donau Dampfschiffahrts Gesellschaft) at their own yard at Budapest
Employed on the DDSG's long distance services from Budapest to Passau and fitted with overnight passenger accomodation.
Extensively refurbished in 1954 with the addition of extensive covered accomodation on the main deck.
Converted to oil burning in 1954
Another major refit in 1974 was complete, seeing her through until her withdrawal in 1988
Laid up at Korneuburg near Vienna
Remained under DDSG ownership, but moored at Budapest from 1990 to early 1994 and used as restaurant and casino
Towed to Engelhartszell, Austria in 1994 as the centre-piece of a local exhibition, sustaining damage at Gabcikovo lock.
Moved to Linz in November 1994 after the end of the exhibition
The ship's fuure looked bleak in 1995, withthe break-up of the DDSG company including the sale of passenger operations.
Sold in October 1995 to the OGEG, the Austrian Railway History Society, with a view to eventual further operation
Narrowly avoided sinking at Linz on 11th November 1998 as water entered one of the steam vents
Despite continued worries that she would never sail again, the OGEG was able to complete the restoration of the vessel
October 17th 2000 saw her "trials", sailing successfully from Linz to the Abwinden locks
Her passenger certificate was obtained in May 2001.
A return trip from Linz to Aschach took place on July 8th, with invited guests aboard.
Schonbrunn saw limited passenger service in 2002, primarily on charter but now offers public cruises
July 22nd 2009 : Schonbrunn was rammed by the river cruise boat "Avalon Tranquility" whilst tied up at Linz and missed the rest of the 2009 season




Cruises from Linz require the passage under many low bridges. The funnel is winched down by hand.

The Danube is a much "improved" river. Numerous massive locks have to be negotiated

There is plenty of open deck space aboard Schonbrunn for enjoying the passing scenery.




Her engines are impressive

She has plenty of comfortable inside accommodation

Grein is one of her full-day trips from Linz


2003   -  have a look around Schonbrunn (selected on-board photos from 2003)
2003   -  photos of cruises from Linz to Grein and to Aschach plus on-board views

Above : Photo by kind courtesy of Markus Graf


Schonbrunn Budapest 2012 ZS.jpg

2012  -  Schonbrunn's trip to Hungary and visit to Budapest (August 26th - September 1st) in photos kindly supplied by Florian Pausch, Enrico Crosti and Zsolt Szabo

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