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Schonbrunn : Operating Area : River Danube
(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
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
SCHONBRUNN - FROM THE paddlesteamers.info PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION
2003 - have
a look around Schonbrunn (selected on-board photos from 2003)
- photos of cruises from Linz to Grein and to Aschach plus
- 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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