Newsletter for    I


After scheduled boat services on the River Aare largely ground to a halt for more than two generations after being displaced in the 1860s following construction of the railways, entrepreneur W. Kölliker tried to revive public boat services. In 1952, he commissioned the Neuchâtel metal construction company Decker to build a boat also suitable for river transport - the motor vessel Romandie I.

The MS Romandie I served as a passenger boat between Neuchâtel and Solothurn. Replaced by larger boats, it was sold in 1960 to the Lake Hallwil shipping company. The boat soon became a favourite with passengers there and was accordingly maintained with particular affection.

Until 31 October 2009, the Romandie I operated under the name of Seetal on Lake Hallwil, where it finally had to make way for a new model which met the demands of modern scheduled boat services. I more I

After a spectacular night-time transport of the boat overland, it was extensively refitted in a boat building facility in Biel/Bienne. The modernisation focused on all safety-related systems, structure, interior design and power supply. During the implementation of all measures, everything was done to ensure that the unique character of the boat was maintained.

Under the care of the Biel/Bienne supporting association the boat was returned to its original stretch of water as early as 13 November 2010 after exactly 50 years under its first name, Romandie I, but with the addition of 1952. This time, it had a home port in Biel/Bienne. After the completion of the interior fit-out, the boat was given its new role as a private passenger boat.

Technical details

Length: 19.5 metres
Width: 5.5 metres
Displacement: 19 tonnes
Motor: Detroit 4-71 Diesel
Power rating: 117 HP
V max.: approx. 19 km/h

Registered until 2010 for: 130 persons
Currently registered for: 60 persons
Standard layouts: 2 to 40 persons