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Queenstown Steamer ‘Earnslaw’ at 100

First-hand report on vintage steamship’s 100th anniversary

"Earnslaw" celebrants on Queenstown lakefront.

Cannons fired, vintage steam engines hooted and a huge crowd cheered and waved flags along Queenstown, New Zealand’s picturesque waterfront to welcome the “TSS Earnslaw” as she sailed into the bay to mark her 100th birthday, according to a first-hand report from local tourism spokesfolks. The Lady of the Lake, as this vintage steamship  is  known, marked her official centenary today with a re-enactment of her maiden passenger voyage on Lake Wakatipu from Kingston to Queenstown on October 18, 1912.

The report continued, “Three hundred and fifty guests, dressed in period costume, were on board to make the journey and witness the historic moment when the ‘TSS Earnslaw’ met the vintage ‘Kingston Flyer’ steam train on the wharf at Kingston,  just as the “Flyer” did a century ago when it carried passengers from farther south on the South Island. The ‘TSS Earnslaw’ then headed back into Queenstown Bay with flags flying and whistle blasting, making a victory lap flanked by a flotilla of iconic Queenstown boats which turned out in force to form a guard of honour.”

Not surprisingly, she holds the record as the longest passenger carrying boat built in New Zealand. Following the cutting of the centenary cake a plaque was presented to the “TSS Earnslaw” by the Royal Institute of Naval Architects “to commemorate 100 years of service and recognise the historical significance of the largest steamship built in New Zealand and one of the few remaining coal fired passenger steamers in the world.” Continue reading Queenstown Steamer ‘Earnslaw’ at 100