TSS Earnslaw set sail on her maiden cruise of the
2009-10 season on Saturday after a month-long annual
The 96-year-old "Lady of the Lake", the last
passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship remaining in the
southern hemisphere, carried about 200 passengers and was
skippered by Steve Donaghey.
Work between May 29 and July 3 included the installation of
combustion fans on both main steam boilers to optimise
coal-burning efficiency and reduce emissions.
The historic vessel underwent regular maintenance to her
boilers and engines and had a new butyl covering installed
over the promenade deck roof.
The vintage twin-screw steamship makes daily trips to the
Walter Peak High Country Farm at noon and 2pm.
The frequency will increase to six daily trips from November
The category one heritage protected steamer returns to the
Kelvin Heights Slipway for her biennial overhaul, out of the
water, in June 2010.
A week of festivities is planned by Real Journeys to
celebrate the Earnslaw's centenary, in October 2012.
The commemoration will coincide with the 150th anniversary of
the European discovery of gold in Queenstown and Arrowtown.
Photos by James Beech; prints available from otagoimages.co.nz.