According to Real Journeys, the company that runs the lake cruises, Queen Elizabeth and Bill Clinton are among the famous people who have experienced the old-world charm of TSS Earnslaw. Sadly, when I was down in Queenstown with my wife recently, we couldn’t join that elite list. However, we did fall in love with the Earnslaw.
She made for a wonderful sight steaming in at sunset. Can you believe TSS Earnslaw turned 100 on 18 October 2012? And she has aged beautifully. Apparently, she is the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying, coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere (Wikipedia).
Here’s a bit about her history from the official website (www.tssearnslaw.co.nz)
“Launched by New Zealand Rail in 1912, the TSS Earnslaw is the last surviving and grandest steamship to have ever graced Lake Wakatipu. Named after Mount Earnslaw (the highest peak in the region), she is 168 feet in length, 24 feet across the beam and weighs 330 tonnes.”
If you are ever in Queenstown, do not miss out on taking a cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw. I am sure it’ll be a wonderful experience. The next time we are in Queenstown, I will definitely be queing up to get on board this timeless steamer.