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River Elbe Paddle Steamers
Weisse Flotte - Sächsische Dampfschiffahrt
Page 1: 2016 Fleet
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The Sächsische Dampfschiffahrt of Dresden, Germany is the oldest and biggest paddle steamer fleet in the world. It consists of nine wheel steamers, two salon ships and two motor ships. It was formerly known as the White Fleet (Weisse Flotte in German). All the ships have names of Saxon towns and cities or Saxon people like August the Strong. The ships connect Meißen via Dresden to Saxon Switzerland along the river Elbe where they pass some remarkable castles, vineyards and villa quarters.
Steam navigation for passenger transport on the River Elbe can look back on a history of 175 years. It was on 8 July 1836, that twelve Dresden citizens received a royal privilege for steam navigation within the borders of Saxony. Shortly afterwards, the “Elbdampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft” was founded. The company’s name has changed several times over the course of many decades. In 1910, the fleet moved to its present moorings on the Dresden Terrassenufer quayside below the famous Brühlsche Terrasse, and in 1911 the company already owned 33 steamers. After 1945, sadly, their number were reduced to eight. During the GDR years, the fleet operated under the name “Weisse Flotte Dresden”. German unification, however, heralded a new period of uncertainty. In 1993 and 1994, the new owner of the fleet, Sächsische Dampfschiffahrts GmbH & Co. Conti Elbschiffahrts KG, initiated the restoration of the eight remaining paddle steamers, devoting careful attention to original historical details. The Dresden fleet was thus preserved as the oldest and largest paddle steamer fleet in the world. In December 1999, the Sächsische Dampfschiffahrt repurchased the passenger steamer “Krippen”, which was subsequently reconstructed at the Laubegast shipyard in the summer of 2000, prior to joining the fleet once more as the ninth historical paddle steamer.
IIn the fleetlist below the vessel numbers refer to those assigned in the Gűnter Niemz/Reiner Wachs book Personenschiffahrt auf der Oberelbe (1981) and later also used in Mit Dampf und Schaufelrad auf der Oberelbe by Frank Műller and Wolfgang Quinger (1988).
Ships on this Page
37: Diesbar 1884 - (ex-Pillnitz 1884-1927)
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