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TSS Earnslaw Returns to Service After Extensive Refit

TSS Earnslaw Returns to Service on Lake Wakatipu After Extensive Refit

The Lake Wakatipu heritage steamer TSS Earnslaw returned to service today (July 14), after several weeks in dry dock undergoing an extensive overhaul to prepare her for her centenary celebrations, which will centre around a re-enactment sailing from Kingston to Queenstown marking her official 100th birthday on October 18.

Real Journeys CEO Richard Lauder said the company had made a major investment this winter to ensure the steamship is in first class condition befitting her 100-year status.

“We have pulled out all stops and she has resumed her tourist duties today with a smart new image and appearance which people travelling on her on her scheduled trips to Walter Peak will undoubtedly appreciate. We are very proud of the high standard that has been achieved by everyone involved in the refurbishment.”

The TSS Earnslaw was slipped on to her slipway at Kelvin Grove in mid-May and the eight week biennial survey involved a comprehensive “future proofing” overhaul and upgrade, including the unforeseen replacement of 50-year-old steel plating under the lower deck, which was more corroded than anticipated.

Among other improvements timber on the foredeck was replaced and new foredeck handrails fitted. New flooring was installed on the lower deck, salon seats were reupholstered and a comprehensive interior and exterior paint job was carried out.

Mr Lauder said 2012 is a significant milestone for the Lady of the Lake and there is strong public interest in the centennial celebrations planned from October 14 -22.

“There is a lot of passion for the TSS Earnslaw and the centenary programme has been developed to allow as many people as possible to participate in a variety of sailings highlighting 100-years since her launch at Kingston.”

ENDS

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