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Steam ships in Switzerland

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  • Steam ships in Switzerland

    Well, and now for something completely different... maybe it's a bit out of place in this forum. After all, Switzerland is a landlocked country and can only boast steam ships on inland lakes, which certainly aren't the main focus of this more maritime orientated forum. Still, I'm living there, and I thought that our old steamers could be a nice view for readers here nevertheless, so I take the liberty to point to my newest video at Wikimedia Commons...

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lakelucerne.ogv

    ... sporting the five active side-wheel paddle steamers of Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee) in videos and photos taken by me in 2004, 2010, and 2011.

  • #2
    We like ALL kinds of ships and boats in here, Gestumblindi …and very many other subjects too.
    So thank you for that link. What a great ending with all five steamers in a row!

    Hoping you’ll add to this thread in the future.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

      Hi Gestumblindi!

      We had put a few pictures in the 'Other Inland Passenger Cruise and Hotel Boats' thread, http://www.captainsvoyage-forum.com/...se-Hotel-Boats, but you're right, these deserve their own thread.

      Here are a few from that other thread.





      Cheers,

      Mark.

      www.pologlover.co.uk

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

        Thank you both :-) The photo with the five steamers in a row was taken in 2004 on the occasion of a "steamer parade" celebrating the renovated steamer Gallia's re-entering into service. The Gallia, by the way, is said to be the fastest paddlewheeler on European lakes. This is a show race between "Gallia" and "Stadt Luzern" on the same occasion: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi...pferrennen.jpg - "Gallia" won, of course :-)

        The "Unterwalden" has changed her looks considerably since 2004, as she underwent a thorough restoration in 2008-2011, restoring her original appearance, as shown in some images of 2011 in the video. E.g. she received back her elegant funnel whilst retaining the ability to retract it for passing the Acheregg bridge (the funnel constructed in the 60s to achieve this had a rather clumsy look). That's how she looks now: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi...den_2011_6.jpg - a real beauty, I'd say, isn't she? :-)

        Thanks for the three images, PoloUK, I especially like the second one, a very nice angle. And the third... the single steamers "Lötschberg" on Lake Brienz and "Blümlisalp" on Lake Thun are often overlooked a bit, in the shadow of the fleets on Lake Geneva and Lake Lucerne...
        Last edited by Gestumblindi; January 22nd, 2012, 20:42.

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        • #5
          Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

          The French-German culture TV channel "arte" has started a five-part documentary series about famous paddle steamers. The first of these documentaries is about Lake Lucerne steamer "Unterwalden" mentioned above, and I think it's beautifully filmed. It can be watched online: http://videos.arte.tv/de/videos/lege..._-6560308.html - the only available languages are German and French, but even if you understand neither of those, I think you will appreciate the nice images of the ship and landscape in this film. Some parts aren't about the ship at all but rather about the landscape and the people working in the mountains as alpine herders etc.

          And, by the way, the second part of the documentary is about Norway's "Skibladner", also online: http://videos.arte.tv/de/videos/lege..._-6562312.html

          (Part 3: Elbe steamer "Diesbar", Part 4: "Belle of Louisville" on the Ohio River, and part 5: "Waverley" in Scotland)

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          • #6
            Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

            Thank you so much for sharing those links... perfect for a lazy Saturday on the sofa!
            With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

            Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
            Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com
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            Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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            • #7
              Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

              Now, that's really ship-shape on board those vessels.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

                And here's something different again... not a steam ship, just a small motor boat, but it's on Lake Lucerne and it's old, so not entirely inappropriate in this thread, I think: The "Reuss", built in 1926 by Gebrüder Sachsenberg, oldest motor boat of the Lake Lucerne company. Still occasionally in regular scheduled service, but as the company has built a new medium-sized motor boat (they have their own shipyard), they consider the "Reuss" expendable and it seems they will retire this charming little vessel later this year. This video I made yesterday, on Good Friday, on a regular trip from Lucerne to Meggen: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reuss.ogv

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                • #9
                  Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

                  Gestumblindi, I have been looking at the photos and some of the videos on your thread and have had a great time. I did enjoy your own two Lake Lucerne videos and the TV Arte one was spellbinding, thank you so much for the links to all of them. I was interested to see that the 5th part of the documentary is to be about the Waverley - although a Scottish boat it does trips down south as well, and a couple start from either Great Yarmouth or Southwold, here on the East Anglian coast. They go down the coast to the Thames estuary and up to London. I hope to go on either the July or the October trip. There are also other trips from London and along the south coast.
                  I do love to see these old paddle steamers. I was born and bred in south-east London where there is a free ferry service across the Thames at Woolwich carrying both vehicles and passengers, having been operating since 1889. I used occasionally to use it in the early 1950's and, as the boats were paddle steamers then, I loved to go down to where you could watch the machinery. Seeing similar scenes in the TV documentary therefore gave me great delight. The Woolwich ferry paddle boats were replaced by modern ones in the '60's.
                  Ivy

                  "To thine own self be true.......
                  Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

                    Hi everyone; I thought you might be interested in this new video I made last Sunday, 7th October. Maybe you remember the little motor vessel "Reuss" from my post #8 in this thread. Now it was her very last day of service... a rainy day on Lake Lucerne. The video shows other vessels, too, all of them small veterans (or not so small, for Swiss lakes): After the "Reuss" (1926) we first see the classic paddle steamer "Uri" (1901). Then the "Schwyz" (1959), a special motor vessel: currently, she's still equipped with her original low-speed Sulzer engines of 1959, a rarity indeed... but now she will be getting a refit and new engines, too. Well, still better than scrapping... much better. And finally, "Rigi" (1955) - she has capacity for 600 passengers, and when I joined at Brunnen on said rainy day for a trip to Flüelen, about five passengers disembarked first (the ship came from Lucerne)... and then I was the only one until Sisikon station, where two others came aboard. Three passengers on this vessel! Surely not very profitable for the navigation company . But this is also a nice example of the "real" navigation on Lake Lucerne: Although profits come mostly from tourists, it's not a "fair-weather-affair". The ships are part of the public transport network in Switzerland, and there's an all-year timetable. Every day of the year, fair or bad weather, there are at least two services from Lucerne to Flüelen and back, and several shorter trips. Of course there are much more in summer, but the overcrowded ships on sunny days are not always the most attractive ones, in my opinion....

                    Well, here's the link: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi...r2012see02.ogv

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                    • #11
                      Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

                      I really enjoyed that Gestumblindi - thanks for posting that link. Gosh but it was wet for you that day! That really added some atmosphere to the video. Sorry to see Reuss retiring - her flag seemed bigger than she is.
                      Cheers,

                      Mark.

                      www.pologlover.co.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

                        Thank you for that moodfull video. It is good to see this wonderful area also on a "regular" autumn day. "Reuss" has a similar size like our famous "Janihudi3". What will happen to "Reuss"? Will she be sold?
                        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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                        • #13
                          Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

                          Gestumblindi, that video was so good to see. As you say, it is "real" navigation on the lake, not just tourist trips. The weather certainly suited the occasion of the final trip for the Reuss! And I was delighted to see the paddle steamer Uri, for as I said before, they are a joy. Thank you for sharing them on Wiki.
                          Ivy

                          "To thine own self be true.......
                          Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

                            Thanks for your kind comments, all of you - I really love this lake and its ships, including the older motor vessels such as in this video, so if my videos manage to transmit something of my affection, I'm really happy

                            Ralf, I have no idea what will happen to "Reuss". It seems she would need quite a lot of restoration work. Some of the woodwork I saw looked rather rotten, don't know about her hull... still, I've heard rumours the navigation company might keep her as a spare vessel. But not more than rumours at this stage...

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                            • #15
                              Re: Steam ships in Switzerland

                              Here is another link to her last day in service. At about 2.20 the speaker on the ship is telling that they are searching for a buyer. And you can clearly see, that there is a lot of work to do on her...

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=lcA01ePOwUU

                              By the way.... your music is much better fitting to the scenery, Gestumblindi!!
                              Last edited by Ralf__; October 16th, 2012, 14:02.
                              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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