The lake, the ship, the Hohentwiel
The lake, the ship, the Hohentwiel
On 11 January 1913, the Hohentwiel was launched as the seventh steamship of the Royal Württemberg State Railways. Named after the fortress of the same name and the Hohentwiel volcanic cone near Singen, this half-saloon steamer primarily covered the longitudinal routes across Lake Constance from its home port of Friedrichshafen starting in May 1913. Today, travelling with the Hohentwiel is like being transported to a different time. With its elegant lines, the Hohentwiel embodies the great functional and aesthetic quality of its time like no other historic ship. For those who would like to spend unforgettable hours on Lake Constance, the Hohentwiel offers a wealth of trips from April to October. What is likely the most beautiful location on Lake Constance can of course also be chartered – for private and corporate events.
The start of a great journey
The public loved it. The Hohentwiel soon became one of the most prominent ships on Lake Constance. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin celebrated his birthday on it, and William II of Württemberg invited the King of Saxony on board for a beautiful excursion.
On the night of 24 April 1944, Friedrichshafen, the former home port of the Hohentwiel, was bombed and reduced to ashes and rubble. That day, the Hohentwiel set course for Friedrichshafen from Konstanz, when it was held back by a warning. At the end of the war, there was only one steamship left on Lake Constance, the Hohentwiel.
A Sleeping Beauty awakens
After a number of turbulent decades, the Hohentwiel finally dropped anchor. From 1962, it served as a restaurant and clubhouse for the Bregenz Sailing Club for many years. At the beginning of the eighties, the fate of the Hohentwiel seemed to be sealed for good. But at the last minute, it was saved. In 1984, the association "Internationales-Bodenseeschifffahrtsmuseum e.V." (International Lake Constance Shipping Museum) acquired the steamship, which was in need of much renovation. With the help of donations and the efforts of numerous association members and volunteers, former district administrator Klaus Henninger from Lindau and ship engineer Reinhard E. Kloser managed to restore the Hohentwiel in the Hard industrial harbour and bring it back to its original state.
As good as new
State-of-the-art technology and historical substance were seamlessly combined, with every detail perfectly restored. After six years of tireless research and restoration work, the Hohentwiel was once again able to set off on its maiden voyage on 17 May 1990. The ship is operated by the specially founded operating company, "Hohentwiel Schifffahrtsgesellschaft m.b.H.", and its home port is in Hard, Austria. Reinhard E. Kloser was tasked with steering the Hohentwiel across Lake Constance until the end of the 2003 season, with his successor being Captain Adolf F. Konstatzky. Adolf F. Konstatzky has been the captain and managing director of Hohentwiel Schifffahrtsgesellschaft m.b.H. since 1 January 2004.
Haute cuisine on board
With Heino Huber, the Hohentwiel has a culinary star in its kitchen. With the help of his professional team, he has been conjuring up incomparable menus since 2011. Cosmopolitan but, at their core, deeply connected to home and tradition – that's how the ingredients now used for the Hohentwiel's outstanding cuisine are best described. The first-class on-board gastronomy of the Hohentwiel is included on all trips – whether as a booked multi-course dinner, rich buffet, catering for all kinds of events or small and fine à la carte menus.
A date for the history books
In 2013, the Hohentwiel celebrated its 100th anniversary. This jubilee year was celebrated on board the Hohentwiel with numerous events, exhibitions, concerts and many friends and companions.
2 eras – 2 ships
On 20 April 2019, the two historic ships the Hohentwiel and the Oesterreich went on a joint "journey through time" for the very first time. Beautifully restored and polished to perfection, both ships have a joint age of almost 200 years. Both ships meet on the lake for this unique voyage and sail together to the next port, where the guests switch ships. Within a very short time, this voyage with two ships became a major attraction.
30 years of Hohentwiel cruises
Hohentwiel is an independent shipping company, a novelty in today's domestic shipping industry. For 25 years, the Hohentwiel shipping company has remained on an extremely successful course. What started as a great burden developed into a special state of freedom over the years. Gradually, the company's range of cruises was expanded. Today, the Hohentwiel – along with the Oesterreich – offers a program under the umbrella of "Historische Schiffahrt Bodensee" that truly leaves nothing to be desired.