PICTURES OF THE MONTH - September 2018
Lake Neuchatel Paddle Steamer Neuchatel
Built in 1912 by Escher Wyss of Zurich, Neuchatel sailed on the three connected Swiss Lakes Neuchatel, Biel and Murten until 1972 when she was withdrawn and started a new life as a restaurant berthed alongside at Neuchatel. In 2007 plans were hatched to return her to service and fit her with the steam engine taken from the Chiemsee paddle steamer Ludwig Fessler which had been removed when she was converted to Diesel hydraulic propulsion in 1973. Trials were run towards the end of 2013 and Neuchatel returned to service the following year with regular summer saiings linking Neuchatel with Cudrefin and Potalban, trips through the canal to Lake Murten and occasional sorties down Lake Neuchatel's shore to Yverdon-Les-Bains. Neuchatel's funnel collapses and she has no masts in order to be able to pass under the bridges in the Murten canal.
Here she is ready to set off from Neuchatel for Cudrefin at 09.50 on Saturday 28th July.
No Swiss pier is ever complete without flowers to cheer everyone up.
At 48m in length Neuchatel is a little bit bigger than Kingswear Castle although when you are aboard she feels closer in size to KC than any other operational Swiss paddle steamer.
The Swiss paddle steamers don't go in for varnish but the paintwork is always immaculate.
As on some of the Lake Geneva paddle steamers there is a section of glass deck to enhance the view of the engine
Ludwig Fessler's former machinery now installed in Neuchatel.
Looking forward over the machinery's completely open viewing gallery.
The deck aft of the engine is now enclosed by a glass structure to improve passenger comfort when the weather isn't great. When it is fine the large glass panels slide back making the area partly open once again. This part of the ship, which is also used for dining, can accommodate about 70 seated at tables.
Looking out towards the stern with further undercover seating outside for 24.
Looking forward into the now glassed in deck area.
The aft dining saloon on the lower deck has windows and can accommodate about 40 seated at tables.
Looking forward in the aft dining saloon.
The food is excellent but the maximum number of covers served is around 70 and everything is prepared ashore and brought aboard for the final stages of laying out and/or being kept warm before service.
The town of Neuchatel recedes into the distance. You can get a clearer idea of how the glass panels work in this picture.
Rope handling is skillfully done.
Au revoir Portalban.
Take a look at Neuchatel's sister Fribourg now beached and part of a hotel
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