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Wyss of Zurich, Neuchatel sailed on the three connected Swiss Lakes Neuchatel, Biel and Murten until 1972 when she was withdrawn and started a new life as a restaurant berthed alongside at Neuchatel.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 sailings 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.
Kingswear Castle returned to service in 2023 after the first part of a major rebuild which is designed to set her up for the next 25 years running on the River Dart. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust is now fund raising for the second phase of the rebuild. You can read more about the rebuilds and how you can help if you can here.