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LAID-UP PADDLE STEAMERS  (ex-passenger steamers : Europe)

These ships are at severe risk. In recent years several paddle steamers have not survived, although these have generally been derelict ships for which the cost of restoration would have made any project impractical. Information is not up to date so some of the ships will have been scrapped or have deteriorated beyond any reasonable hope of recovery

Click here to see which paddlers have been lost in recent years

Click here for laid-up steamers outside Europe


Patria  (1926)
Como. Italy

Owners : Provincia di Como
Patria is currently out of service and laid-up at a pier at Villa Olmo near Como. There is no immediate prospect of a return to service for the vessel restored in 2009-13

Helvetie (1926)
Lausanne, Switzerland

ex- Diesel-electric, ex- steam paddler HELVETIE (Lake Geneva, Switzerland) is out of service but maintained, by the local shipping operator pending future restoration : See Operational Paddle Ship List

Yakutsk, Russia

Built in 1959. Withdrawn from cruising on the River Lena in 2007 but was understood to be undergoing restoration with a planned reintroduction in 2014. This appears not to have happened

K.M. Stanyukovich

737-series steamer built in Hungary in 1957 is under refurbishment at Gorodets, near Nizhny Novgorod on the River Volga, by a private owner. A new boiler has been supplied by Master-Watt who adapted a boiler from Czech manufacturer TN for Russian conditions and the engine now works under steam. Photographs taken in 2016 show the ship outwardly at least looking to be in good condition at the Gorodetsky yard

Current status : unknown

Recent photos and report :  
Details and photos on the Hungarian Ship Register :

Yaroslavl, Russia

Paddle Tug Bystryi was built in 1955 in Kiev at the Lenin Shipyard and was the last of her type on the Volga when it was mooted in 1996 to preserve her for the Polytechnic museum. This never happened and she was laid up at Volgoreschensk. However she was bought by a company based in Yaroslavl in 2006 for refurbishment for tourist purposes as a passenger steamer in Yaroslavl. Renovation began at Hlebnikovo, in the northern suburbs of Moscow.

Current status : unknown


SMS Krystyna

Zegrze Reservoir, near Warsaw, Poland

Built in 1903 for service on the Vistula River in the Krakow region (then part of the Galician province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). The paddler was one of the local fleet requisitioned for war use in 1914 as part of the Vistula Flotilla. After the end of the First World War when the vessel dought against the Russians, it was taken over by the newly-created Polish State. Those surviving vessels endured the Second World War and returned agin to civilian service. SMS Krystyna continued until 1964 and is now the only survivor of the Vistula Flotilla. The ship found further use by the Warsaw Sailing Association as a marina clubhouse on the Zegrze Reservoir. This use came to an end and the ship was under severe threat until the beginning of the 20th century when a sailing training company purchased her and made a number of renovations. She is in an unrecognisable form from her operational days with her machinery and sponsons removed. 


Neszmely, Hungary

The former MAHART passenger vessel lies on the Danube near Budapest, in a poor condition following a fire. Her machinery has already been removed. MAHART had originally planned to return her to service, but funds were not available. She survives, in very poor condition, on the Danube at the Neszmely Ship Museum on the Danube. She is in good hands, however, as part of the Zoltan Foundation collection (named after a paddle tug in the museum collection). Finance for her restoration is not available at the moment.

Tsar Nikola II

Kladovo, Serbia

Former Danube cargo and passenger boat built in 1898, withdrawn in 1992 and then used as a restaurant in Belgrade as "Split",the name she assumed after World War II. Now out of the water and deteriorating at Kladovo shipyard



Until recently, earmarked for restoration in Switzerland , to recreate the vessel "Wengi" of 1856 which sailed on the River Aare. Now slipped on the Danube in Romania, her hull was found to be in good condition. The project has now been abandoned.


A number of the 65 long-distance river cruise ships of the Soviet 737 project built between 1951 and 1960 in the USSR and Hungary are believed to be in existence, many beached and in very poor condition. However, Krasnoyarsk is still in operation and the motor conversion Bogdan Khmelnitskiy has been returned to operational service in the Ukraine. K.M. Stanyukovich is under restoration in Russia.

Kiryensk, Russia

Has been out of service since 2005 but there are reports that she is now under reconstruction for service

Aleksandr Polezhaev

Samara, Russia

Sergey Alymov

Near Saratov, Russia

Appears to be on dry land near Volsk with paddle wheels missing. One source suggests she got to that position around 50 metres from the riverbank during flood conditions on the river. 



Benalmadena, Spain

Former US Coastguard cutter, built in 1925 by the Dubuque Boat & Boiler Co in Iowa for the Lighthouse Sevice on the Mississippi. 200 feet long with an extremely large breadth of 65 feet, she served until late 1944 when she was involved in a collision and paid-off in 1945. She became an accommodation boat for the US army Corps of Engineers, having had her machinery removed. Sold in 1962, she went to Florida 10 years later but lay abandoned until sold to Themes International based in the UK, crossing the Atlantic to Southampton on a semi-submersible in 1989. She went to Antwerp, Belgium for refurbishment but Themes went out of business and Willow remained at Antwerp until 1995 when she returned to the UK, this time to Birkenhead. Her next move was to Spain in 1996 for operation as a restaurant ship. In 2019 the ship had partially sunk at her mooring.

In February 2023 it was reported that the legal matters sorrounding the ship had been resolved and that it was planned to raise and remove the vessel for scrapping in late April 2023. However, the legal proceedings continued. In March 2024 it was reported that a resoluton was close but would likely involve the local authorities having to pay for the removal and scrapping  

Photo of Willow in service :

Compton Castle

Truro, UK

The small ex-River Dart paddler (1914-1962) is moored at Lemon Quay, Truro in Cornwall, south-west England and was used as a flower shop and cafe until 2008. She is an almost identical older sister to PS Kingswear Castle, but has been rebuilt significantly from her original form. Compton Castle has been at Truro since 1984. She was sold in 2008 and expected to be re-opened in fully refurbished form as a nautical-themed restaurant with a traditional tea room in the lower deck, run by renowned local chef Kevin Viner. However, that plan did not come to fruition but property developers Porthia who now own the boat are reported to be pressing ahead with refurbishment of the ship whilst looking for a company to lease her.
Her engines are preserved and were exhibited at the Blackgang Chine Fantasy Park on the Isle of Wight for many years, but in 2015 were sold to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society and are to be exhibited at Dartmouth, where her cousin, PS Kingswear Castle operates 

In March 2024 it was reported that the local authorities had received quotes for the removal and scrapping of the remaining hull. 


Small privately-built paddle steamer in the UK which latterly offered cruises at Wareham Dorset

Smialny (ex- Gresham)

Lazy, Poland

Former London County Council waterbus service paddle steamer, built in 1905 which found its way to Poland via germany, was finally used as a clubhouse survives as a hulk on land in a lagoon at Poland's north coast at Lazy


Cologne, Germany

Dating from 1886 and in service until 1924, Hansa is the oldest Rhein paddler still afloat. She was photographed at Cologne - stripped of superstructure. Plans to move her to the Netherlands and install the engines of former Rhein paddler Cecilie have come to nothing so far.



Former Yugoslav royal and presidential "yacht" on the Danube, badly damaged by fire in January 2007
Length : 50 m. Built in 1927 at Ubigau (Dresden, Germany) and taken in pieces to the Danube and reassembled at Regensburg. Originally called "Dragor", she became "Gernot" in 1941, and in the aftermath of World War II became known as "California" when commandeered by US forces. Yugoslav President Tito was known to have used the yacht but her main role became as an inspection ship for the Yugoslav Inland Waterways authority. It is believed that her engines were removed some time after the fire


33.7 metres long x 4.9 metres breadth
Built in 1865 by Crichton & Co in Turku and assembled at Lahti as a paddle steamer and used on Lake Paijanni in Finland. In 1904 she was converted to screw propulsion and given new steam engines and new superstructure and renamed "Lahti"
In the 1920s she was used as a “tar” transporting steamer and later as a barge after removal of her engine, being renamed "Iloniemi 6" 
She changed hands several times and was in sunken condition in 1974 when bought by a private preservationist, a Mr Hoyla, who was a car mechanic by trade. A steam engine was fitted in 1975. Side paddle wheels were also fitted in 1978. Sold for a failed museum enterprise in 1984 she was then bought by Captain Hannu Hilden in 1989. She was taken to dry-dock in Jyvaskyla before being sold once again to a preservation society in 2003. 
The ship was located at the Noukanniemi Restaurant at Vaajakoski until transported overland in May 2014 in two parts to the Noukanniemesta Arts centre. She is now owned by the charitable Kauko Sorjonen Foundation, which hopes to restore her and bring her back into operational service, with the support of the Lahtis Paddle Steamer Society which is raising funds for the restoration

Above : The original Lahtis in the 1890s : Photo original held by the Museum of Central Finland

Website :

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