Steam nostalgia 

The Danube crosses several capitals : Prague (BOHEMIA 1841, first steamer of the country) Vienna (FRANZ I, built in 1830 length overall: 58,3 m) Two Englishmen found the first company of steamers on Danube (Donau-Dampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft, DDSG) in 1829, and develop the way between Vienna and Budapest.
Budapest (ARPAD built in 1837 for DDSG, 53 x6.7 x 2.9 m 320 hp)

SZECHENYL built in 1853 at Óbuda (Hungary) for DDSG, 
length overall: (m) 60.96 ; beam: (m) 7,92 ;  draught: (m) 1,22

Other great rivers in East Europa like river Elbe (Germany)...

DRESDEN 1926 68.7m x 6.9m, 75 hp steam engine ; 610 Passengers In service on Bad Schandau-Schmilka route then used for cruises

...the Rhine river 

30. Juli 1837 1st voyage of KONIGIN MARIA on Elbe river between Dresde and Meissen

...or  the Vistula river, along 1047 km (Poland) are run from long time by passengers vessels, first powered by steam.
KSIAZE KSAWERY built in 1830 at Yarmouth DEVIN 203' long, with 885 passengers, in service on a tributary of Elbe river, the Vltava river, in Czech Republic.  She enters in service in 1938 as Antonin Svehla on Vltava and Elbe up to Dresde ; rebuilt in 1961, ishe stays today at Praga as Vysehrad.

DELIGRAD first steamer on the Danube under Serbian flag in 1862

Built in 1836/37 at Obuda yard, Budapest, MARIA ANNA is a wooden paddle steamer of dimensions 45.0 x 6.7 x 2.7m, powered by a 60 hp giving her a speed of13 km/h.
Capacity 200-300 passengers.
13 Sept. 1837 maiden voyage between Vienna and Linz.
1844 her wooden hull is replaced by an iron one and a new 76 hp engine is installed .
From 1845 she runs down Danube from Vienna to Budapest.
En 1890, Romania inaugurates  a service between Braila and Galati ; in 1895, ORIENT, built for DDSG is bought and renamed STEFAN CEL MARE TUDOR VLADIMIRESCU, built in 1854 at Budapest, is a former tug transfered in 1918 to Romania ; rebuilt in 1958, she steams until 80's.
On the Rhine, run steamers of the "KD" (Koln-Dusseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt), 
Built at Cologne in 1926, 81.32 metres long, RUDESHEIM operates for Koln-Dusseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt under the name of Rheinland ; sunk in 1945 then rebuilt,she is today in Netherlands with the name of Majesteit.
A huge and rich float is running from long time the lakes of Alpe's area (Switzerland, Austria) 

IL VERBANO 1826 1st steamer on lake Maggiore Postal service between Magadino and Sesto Calende

WINKELRIED 1871 199.5 ' 60.8076 m 1100 passengers 60 metres long she can  embark 1100 passengers. She is equipped of four boilers, and her Compound engine with oscillating cylinders of 850 hp give a speed of 28.5 kilometres per hour. She is the fastest steamer at that moment.


LA SUISSE is the largest paddle-steamer on lake Léman Length: 78 metres ; beam: 16 metres; she can carry 500 passengers Refurbished in 71 and 2003

In Austria (Traunsee), GISELA, (on Achensee or lake of Achen) 52 m long , carries 500 passengers from her first tests in 1871

FERENCZ DEAK 1896. M.F.T.R. One of the first vessels of M.F.T.R. . Present dimensions : 78.17m, x 15.24 m. over paddle-boxes, 7.73 m. at waterline. She is fitted with a triple expansion steam engine of 840 hp., and can carry 1,200 passengers. One of the first four vessels owned by M.F.T.R.,(Magyer Folyam Tengerhajozasi R.T.) the Hungarian river-sea transport shipping company, she was restored in 1912, survived to wars and was again rebuilt in 1955.

Built in 1836/37 at Obuda, Budapest, MARIA ANNA is a wooden paddle steamer of following dimensions: 45.0 x 6.7 x 2.7m, with a 60 hp engine giving her a speed of 13 km/h. Capacity 200-300 passengers.between Vienna and Linz.
1844 wooden hull is replaced by an iron hull and a new 76 hp engine is installed. From 1845 she goes downstream on Danube from Vienna to Budapest.

Nostalgia on Swedish canals

In Sweden, Göta canal has been since 1978 a touristic way crossing 2 lakes and Göta Alo river along 190 kms.  
built in 1874 has been converted to oil combustion and carries 150 passengers. 

SKIBLADNER 2 August 1856  maiden voyage on Mjřsa lake from Eidsvoll , with passengers and cargo for Lillehammer Converted to oil burning in 1921, she is saved of two wrecks in 1937 and 1967. Maximum number of passengers: 230 
For lack of bridge, steamers used to link the banks of British estuaries: MEDWAY QUEEN, built in 1924, is used in Thames and Medway estuaries until 1963. Saved scrapping, she has been restaured. She is a paddle steamer 180 feet long and 316 tons, built in riveted steel plates. 
LUCY ASHTON 1888/1949 (North British Steam Packet, 1888, 224 t ) was a small steamer in service during more than 60 years, able of a sizeable 16 knots after change of the boiler in 1902. It sails on many roads, of which Greenock with Helensburgh, Craigendoran with Gareloch and various excursions.

In Australia and New-Zealand

Murray River long 2530 km forms the border between the state of Victoria and the New South Wales; its development starts at the end of 1840 and continues until 1930. The steamers which established the link between the coast and the interior of the grounds, were restored and transformed for tourism

  COONAWARRA (1884), used for the transport of wool, is rebuilt in 1950 as boat for passengers. Saved after having run up against a stump in 1959, it operates starting from Mildura, on southern bank of the Murray river, at 550 km of Melbourne. 
ADELAIDE, steamer launched on 27 June 1866, was restored in 1982; she is used for excursions starting at Echuca, Victoria. She is the third older steamer, the oldest being SKIBLADNER.
PYAP 1896 - Westergaard & Sons, Mannum Dry Dock; Gt.78, nt. 58; with a 10 hp compound engine, she is used as transport ship the first years, leaving Murray Bridge Monday at midday and going up Murray River. About 1943, transformed into floating house, rebuilt in 1978, used today as tourists boat.
MARION 1897 107'11" x 22'7" x 5'3"; One of the first paddle steamers engaged for cruisings on Murray river; it is from now the single steamer in service burning wood  accomodating passengers for the night. It is used as passenger ship for Murray Shipping Company between 1934 and 1952, Marion crosses between Renmark, Goolwa and Morgan. It is repurchased by the National Trust in 1963 for preservation at Mannum, until the decision, in 1989, to put it back in state of operation. 
RUBY 1907 Gt. 205, 130.9' x 18.9' x 6' used for the service of passengers on 777 miles of Murray between Morgan and Swan Hill, via Mildura Disarmed in the 30's, it is restored in 1968.
OSCAR W, #1 in the steamers register at Melbourne in 1909, carries wool on Darling river, about 1960, it transports tourists at the day; repurchased by the government of South Australia , it is restored in 1986

Appearing as an old steamer, MURRAY RIVER QUEEN is built on the Hindmarsh island in 1974; it is a luxurious cruising ship for 67 passengers in a 2 hours cruise starting from Adelaide via Barossa Valley.

WAKATERE is built in 1889 for Northern Steam Ship Company Ltd on Thames River, old name of the Waihou river, which runs in the North island of New Zealand. She carries 1500 passengers, including 375 in cabins, before being scrapped in 1933 in Auckland.

Length at keel: 125 feet.
Length overall: 130 feet.Longueur hors tout 39.624
Beam: 16.8 feet.
Depth: 7.3 feet.Draught: 5 feet.
Displacement: 108 tons gross, 66.04 tons net. 
9 knts noeuds
1879 February 11 Launched on Lake Wakatipu.
1932 Withdrawn from service


The missions in Africa travel on the rivers Congo, Oubangui and Alima. The second Leon XIII will make its first voyage in April 1898, up to the missions of Oubangui. Then, PIE X, built in 1909, comes in addition to the float of Mgr Augouard. These boats will serve for new foundations of missions, for their supply, the transport of personnel and the pastoral visitations. The legend "vapor Pie X 1894" is false: the pope Pie X is elected on August 4, 1903. In 1894, the pope is Leon XIII, elected in 1878.

 Noticed by Savorgnan de Brazza at the time of his rise of 1886, Alphonse Fondčre became one of his best collaborators and was one of the founders of French Congo.

In North and South AMERICA


Before the train and the car, the large navigable American rivers are the motorways of the nation, run by large paddle steamer:
  • SYLVAN DELL on Delaware and Hudson in 1872, 
  • FAR WEST on Missouri in 1870, 
  • REBECCA EVERINGHAM in 1889 on Apalachicola river, with 120 passengersand 1000 cotton bolls.
  • BAILEY GATZER in 1890 on Columbia river, 
  • ROBT. E. LEE New Albany 1866 races versus Natchez From New Orleans  to St Louis
  • EXPERIMENT 1788 popular excursion vessel on Delaware; 1st steam barge
  • PHOENIX 1808 New Jersey  1st American steamer: 95 tons, 103.3' loa
  • NEW ORLEANS Pittsburgh, Pennsylvanie, 1811 NO-Natchez
  • WASHINGTON 1815 Ohio River 1st "2 decks" of Western water 
  • WALK IN THE WATER 1818 Buffalo(NY)-Detroit(Michigan) 




Launched in 1895, NAKUSP allows to connect 2 lines of Canadian Pacific Railway through the Arrow lakes.
Kootenay Lake: MOYIE launched on October 22, 1898, carries 250 passengers with freight or 400 passengers without freight. In 1957, last paddle steamer sternwheeler, MOYIE is withdrawn from the service, after a 59 years career for Canadian Pacific Railway
S.S. SAGAMO, built in 1907 Owned by Muskoka Lakes Navigation & Hotel Co Built by Canadian Shipbuilding Co., Gravenhurst 1906. 
Licensed for 730 passengers 1914. Laid up 1916, 1917. Badly damaged by fire 09/09/25 Gravenhurst, rebuilt.

One of the original steamships still running is SEGWUN originally built in 1887 on a former paddle-steamer, SS Nipissing sailing from 1887 to 1915  In 1925 the ship was remodeled and renamed the Segwun which means "springtime" in Ojibway. By the mid 50's the Sagamo meaning "big chief" and the Segwun were the only two steamships still in service. The Segwun in danger of sinking in 1973 was restored. The Segwun began passenger cruises in 1981 and is still used today. 

The steamer VICTORIA is a legend in the history of Nicaragua in the 19th and 20th centuries. During her long life, she makes stopover in the ports of the lake Cocibolca, the largest lake of the Central America, Granada with San Ubaldo, San Carlos, San Jorge and return to Granada, also called Gran Sultana. The building of VICTORIA facilitates commercial navigation on the lake, offering an outlet to the producing coffee areas. Her capacity was 150 tons cargo and she could receive 75 passengers in 1st class and 75 in second. Her two boilers delivered 80 hp. 
On the large Argentinian rivers (Paraguay, Uruguay, Parana) one of the largest mixed companies (river and maritime) has been constituted by the brothers Nicolas and Miguel Mihanovich. In 1908, they make build LAMBARE Tonnage 1.200 tjb. Dim. 75.65 X 10.36 X 3.15m, draught: 2.59 speed maximum 12 knots. Steam engine with 2 boilers of triple expansion delivering 947 ihp. With installations for 108 in 1st class and 92 in 3rd class, the steamer will finish its career in 1948


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