|A report by Captain ret. Hans-Rudolf Gries|
The Austrian Marine Association (ÖMV), the Naval Fellowship Archduke Ferdinand Max CSLI (MK-EFM) and friends cruise the Wachau
On Sunday the 30th June 2013 the historic side-wheeler, ‘Stadt Wien’, built in 1938 in the Korneuburg shipyard, carried us very comfortably from Krems to Melk. We began, after getting the Captain’s consent, by hoisting the Flag of the Austrian Marine Association.
The saloon had been reserved for a total of 30 people, and, after a short speech by the President of ÖMV, Anton Karl Skrivanek, this beautiful day’s event was initiated with a glass of sparkling wine. Comrade Ing. Reiter (I hope I have his name correct) who, as Captain, piloted the ship for 8 years, then told us some anecdotes about it until, passing Dürnstein with its many wine and fruit gardens and imposing castles, we reached Melk.
But first, in Emmersdorf, many cruise boats blocked our landing place. For the brass band this was no obstacle, they had come over by bus and played on magnificently. Our President ‘helped out’ by conducting the playing of The Radetzky March, though unkind commentators noted that the musicians looked only at their music!
I myself got hold of tickets for a visit to Melk Abbey. This Benedictine monastery was established in the 11th Century under the direct control of the Pope. The present baroque building was erected in the years 1702-1746 by Jakob Prandtauer. As the symbol of the Wachau, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also houses the oldest school inAustria, the Stiftsgymnasium. The guided tour took 40 minutes and was very interesting and enlightening. After that we took the bus back to the pier in Melk.
There waiting for us was the paddle steamer ‘Schönbrunn’, which was once the Parade Ship of the DDSG. This ship was built in Budapestin 1912 and recently proudly celebrated its 100th birthday. The journey downstream to Krems was much faster than the journey upstream. Jacket swapping and suggesting designs for an appropriate banner resulted in much hilarity and, with excellent sausages and on-board music, time quickly passed. So it was that by seven o’clock we were once again in Krems.
My conclusion: Cultural as well as informative, it was a very beautiful and enjoyable day. A big ‘thank you’ to the organizer. A small suggestion: next time the Vienna-Bratislava trip?
Technical Data: Ship “Stadt Wien”
Length: 77 M., Width: 16 M., Draft: 1.4 M. Displacement: 600T. 4 decks.
Passengers: 550 persons.
2 Sulzer diesels Mod.8 DDA 22, min. speed 500 Normal Performance Engine 460 hp powering 2 generators built in 1939 each with 298 kW/240V/550AMP driving 2 electric motors, each with 244 kW/485V/550AMP acting on the blades.
Technical Data: Ship ” Schönbrunn “
Length: 75 M., Beam: 16M., Draft: 1.7 M.
Passengers: 450 persons.
Steam engine with 712 hp -524 kW. Max speed: 15.6 knots 29 km/h.
Hannes Hochmuth, Pressefotograf,
Hans-Rudolf Gries und Wolfgang Steinhardt
We thank the photographers!