Feb 22, 2022
After three years of renovation, the flagship of the Compagnie Générale de Navigation (CGN) is once again sailing on Lake Geneva.
After three years of renovations, the "Rhône", flagship of the Compagnie Générale de Navigation (CGN) and the last Belle Epoque style steamboat with paddle wheels built entirely in Switzerland, is once again sailing on Lake Geneva. Inaugurated in 1927 for the Vevey Winegrowers' Festival, it embodied at the time the best of Swiss know-how in terms of machinery.
Popular with passengers for its wide covered deck and rustic appearance, the "Rhône" is especially popular for its engine, the last steam engine of its kind designed by the Sulzer company for a Swiss ship. It is the most musical steamer in the fleet, thanks to a unique mechanism that emits extraordinary sounds. In order to allow the most curious to appreciate the mechanics of this jewel, the device has been covered with a transparent cover allowing the pistons to be seen from the upper deck.
Among other renovations, the historic interior fittings, including the woodwork in the Belle Epoque 1st class lounge and the historic staircase, have been restored according to the original plans.
CGN now has all seven of its historic paddlewheelers back in operation, the largest fleet in Europe. The "Rhône" will sail all year round, summer and winter, from Lausanne and Geneva.