Winter Paddling

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

Winter Paddling

Pining for a paddle steamer trip? Suffering from withdrawal symptoms as the long winter nights draw in because you can’t get aboard a paddle steamer? Can’t wait ’till next summer? Then help is at hand. Take yourself off to Dr Switzerland where no less than two paddlers are scheduled to be in service on Lake Geneva every Sunday up to Christmas.

Rhone’s engine room telegraph

Every Sunday from now up to Christmas the paddle steamer Rhone is scheduled to make a double run between Lausanne and Evian at 9.25am and 11am before setting off from Lausanne at 12.40 for a cruise to Villeneuve due back 3.55pm.

Rhone’s engine

Rhone has just returned to service this summer after a major rebuild in line with the Swiss practice of rebuilding their ships every 25/30 years to keep them in immaculate operating condition.

Vevey

Also in service from now to Christmas is the Vevey which is scheduled to run a lunch cruise to Nyon every Sunday from Geneva at 12.35pm due back 3.05pm. After that she is due to offer two 50 minute cruises from Geneva at 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Also on Fridays Vevey is scheduled to run two 50 minute cruises from Geneva at 3.30pm and 4.30pm followed by an evening Fondue Cruise due away at 7.45pm due back 10.15pm.

Vevey’s engine room during her rebuild

Vevey was given a major rebuild between May 2012 to August 2013. The picture above shows her engine room during the work. This was followed between 2015 and 2016 by a major rebuild of her sister Italie. Then Rhone received the same treatment between 2019 and 2021. Meanwhile down the road in Lucerne the PS Stadt Luzern received a similar major rebuild between 2018 and 2021. The fact is that steel corrodes. Wood rots. And it does so at an accelerated pace in all those parts of a ship which are not easily accessible or easily seen. Of course you can extend a ship’s life by careful maintenance but of all the UK paddle steamers which had longer careers in days gone by all had extensive rebuilds, once, twice and sometimes thrice in their operational lives to keep them in service for those extended periods. These major rebuilds in which the ships are taken back to nothing and then rebuilt up again with steelwork replacements as necessary, new decks and much else are very much the template we are using for KC’s current rebuild in Dartmouth..

KC at Dartmouth October 2022.

Anyway, before you set out for your winter paddle steamer fix on Lake Geneva first check out the progress on KC’s rebuild, hear why we are doing it and what additional finances we need to complete the next phase: 30th October 2022: KC Rebuild Update – Kingswear Castle