After a total renovation in the shipyard in Sugiez, the steamboat "Neuchâtel" navigates again on the three lakes.
Built by Escher-Wyss in Zurich to carry 550 passengers, the "Neuchâtel" has a length of 46 m at the waterline and a displacement of 153 t. During 57 years of activity, she covered 194'657 km (annual average 3415 km).
The steamer "Neuchâtel" was launched on May 9, 1912, just in time for a triumphal race, carrying singers with the official banner from Le Landeron, the cantonal border, to Neuchâtel. But the largest steamer in the Jura lakes was built to fulfill a dream: it was to restore navigation on the Biel-Yverdon tourist route after a fifty-year interruption.
With the advent of the railroad, navigation had been reduced to the utilitarian services from Neuchâtel to Estavayer and Murten. In 1913, the "Neuchâtel" inaugurated the daily service from Biel to Neuchâtel, while an identical boat, the "Fribourg", provided the connection to Yverdon. Unfortunately, this attractive offer was short-lived: it ended the following year already, because of the war. Since then, the two large steamers have been sailing mainly on beautiful summer Sundays. In 1954, the "Neuchâtel" began a new life with the installation of oil burners.
Good to know
- Carrying capacity: 300 persons
- Length: 46m
- Largest width: 11m
- Displacement: 153 T
- Max. Speed: 23 km/h (at 56 rpm)