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Paddle Steamer "Hohentwiel" English summary The age of steam is alive again on Lake Constance. PS "Hohentwiel" is cruising the lake again, proudly and elegant as in the old days. 11 years ago the ship came back into service after restoration and almost complete rebuilding. Since her re-launching in May 1990 the only steamship left on the Lake Constance is available for private charter and scheduled cruises for the public. "The probably best restored steamship in the world“ (German and british shipping magazines wrote). A Brief History of PS "Hohentwiel" Vessel and engine were designed and built by Escher Wyss & Cie. engine factory and shipbuilders, Zürich, Switzerland in the years 1911 – 12. The ships‘ sections and engines were assembled at Friedrichshafen on the the slipway of the Royal Württemberg State Railways owner of the new vessel. PS „Hohentwiel“ was enthusiastically welcomed by the press and the public as the most up-to-date steamship design of the period. When the king spent his holidays in his summer palace at Friedrichshafen PS „Hohentwiel“ was occasionally used as Royal yacht. Most of the ships underwent major modernization in the early 30s mainly in order to enlarge the passenger capacity, since the Lake attracted more and more holidaymakers. She got additional cabins on the foredeck and on the boat deck. The bigger wheelhouse with a proper bridge was put one deck higher. A mizzen mast was set up. Buoyancy tanks had to be fitted on both sides of the hull in the waterline to secure stability. Painted in camouflage grey the vessel survived World War II. Given back to the German railways shortly later „Hohentwiel“ remained there in service till 1962. Her main steam valve blew up during a summer night cruise and subsequently the vessel was deleted from the fleet list. The ship was sold to the Bregenz Yacht Club on the Austrian side of the lake, whose members used her as a floating club house for more than 25 years. The restoration work began in November 1986. The careful examiniation of the remains of the formerly proud ship proved the real extent of the destruction: her chimney top was cut, both paddle-wheels had been cut horizontally to create more space for the beer storage of the club restaurant, the high pressure piston rod of the main engine has been cut through and 200 sq. metres of the steel hull plates were heavily corroded and had to be replaced. The early weeks in 1990 saw the first sea trials for ship and engine and the old lady performed brilliantly. The surveyors of the American Bureau of Shipping ABS, responsible for classification, were impressed. Last not least by the maximum speed of 31.0 km per hour (appr. 16 knots), which makes the veteran still the fastest vessel on the lake. The maiden trip in May 1990 was a glorious event. Wherever the paddle steamer was moored around the lake crowds of enthusiastic locals and tourists welcomed the „beauty of the lake“ being happy that steam had come back providing a nostalgic attraction in this number one holiday area. Maritime Splendour "Hohentwiel“ has been restored as she was at her maiden voyage in 1913. Wide promenade decks with teak furniture and brass fittings, the powerful steam engine and the "belle époque“ interiors recall the pre First World War period. The ship offers a stylish ambiente for all kinds of special events: private parties, conferences or business functions. 130 passengers can be seated at tables in the fore cabin, the entrance hall and the luxury aft cabin, formerly 1st class only! Approx. 150 seats at tables are available on deck, protected by awnings. Cruising à la carte Enjoy unexpected views and see the lake shores with romantic villages, castles and green vineyards pass slowly at steamboat speed. As our charter client you decide where to start and where to head for. Stopovers are possible. We can make suggestions: visit the flower island of Mainau, the romantic city of Meersburg, the Bregenz open air opera festival or make an excursion with one of the steam trains available around Lake Constance.
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