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falstaff
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Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:26 pm

What is the oldest ship in regular commercial service? Passenger and freight?

I would think the St. Mary's Challenger would be one of the oldest ships, still making a living hauling cargo. She was launched in February of 1906 and has been working ever since. She was repowered in 1950, with Skinner Uniflow steam engines. The ship 551' x 51' with a draft of 31 feet. With a capacity of 10,250 tons.

 photo st_mary5-13-7wb_zpsdbd2cd7e.jpg

http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/stmaryschallenger.htm

I know there are a large number of museum ships that are as old or older, but not too many ships have been steaming for 107 years.
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Scooter01
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:30 am

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
but not too many ships have been steaming for 107 years.

As everybody understands, most of the old steamers are being well looked after,
meaning travelling under as ideal conditons as possible (not cutting through ice etc).

Here are two good candidates that I feel qualify, they both have published timetables:

Candidate #1
from Europe:
http://i41.tinypic.com/2chawrk.jpg

http://www.skibladner.no/engelsk/index.htm

Candidate #2
from Norh America
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Segwun

I am happy to say that I have been travelling on both of them.

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falstaff
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:40 am

Quoting Scooter01 (Reply 1):
Candidate #2
from Norh America

That isn't all that far from Detroit. I will have to go up there one of these days and check that ship out.
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:38 am

I'll have to throw our local lady in the ring, though according to Wiki she is the second oldest ship that sails regularly (which I think you are looking for something that is a regularly scheduled/in service ship):
Quote:
Star of India was built in 1863 at Ramsey in the Isle of Man as Euterpe, a full-rigged iron windjammer ship. After a full career sailing from Great Britain to India and New Zealand, she became a salmon hauler on the Alaska to California route. Retired in 1926, she was not restored until 1962–63 and is now a seaworthy museum ship home-ported at the Maritime Museum of San Diego in San Diego, California. She is the second oldest ship still sailing regularly and the oldest iron-hulled merchant ship still floating. The ship is both a California Historical Landmark and United States National Historic Landmark.

She does now sail almost every year, and is normally kept in "sailing condition".

The other one I will offer is the PS Waverley, the last seagoing passenger carrying paddle steamer in the world. Built in 1946 and now doing tourist service regularly on the Clyde in Scotland. There something hypnotic watching those giant arms driven and moving the paddles.


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alberchico
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:19 am

The oldest ship in NY harbor still operating would be the John Harvey built in 1931. It operates several charters during the summer season.

http://www.capecodfd.com/Pics%20Fireboats/FB%20FDNY%20Blessing%20%20Harvey%20%20Gov%20071611%20%20bw-3549.jpg
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:19 am

Now they may not be as old as some of the other ships mentioned in this thread, but the Alaska State Ferries Malaspina

Matanuska

and Taku

each built in 1963 still serve in there original roles, carrying people, cars, and cargo around Alaska. They serve in some of the harshest weather conditions (I've ridden the Taku in 25-foot seas) with impressive reliability that surpasses nearly every other vessel in the fleet, all newer.
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:00 am

I took a cruise on the Daphne in 1979 when she was with a tiny company called Costa. She was already old, built in the early 50s, but converted to a cruise ship in the 70s.

Here's how she looked as originally built



Here's what she looked like when I sailed on her. I have very fond memories of that cruise. A small ship, but a lot of character.



And she is still sailing today... This picture was taken just a few weeks ago in Crete.

http://photos.marinetraffic.com/ais/showphoto.aspx?photoid=1264393
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:49 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
Built in 1946 and now doing tourist service regularly on the Clyde in Scotland. There something hypnotic watching those giant arms driven and moving the paddles.

There are older ships on the Great Lakes.
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:00 pm

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 7):
There are older ships on the Great Lakes.

Well, I think Falstaff shows that with his contribution.

Note quite what he was asking about but there is a charter company that does lots of excursions on sailing ships around that old:

http://www.sailingshipadventures.com/index.cfm?event=ourFleet
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:32 pm

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 7):
There are older ships on the Great Lakes.

Oh yes, I very much realize that, there are many, many much older ship out there. It is the parsing that goes on, of what is what and what category does something fall into that makes for a fun discussion. The Waverley is considered the oldest seagoing PW steamship. There are older sailing ships, and non-steam powered ships, sea vs freshwater (the Great Lakes are freshwater but there are sea-ships that ply their waters), sail vs powered, steam vs whatever, paddle vs screw, lots of categories. And what is "regular"? Annually? Daily? Weekly?

And while I am fairly sure Falstaf is thinking a regularly scheduled (and probably weekly at least) ship of any type that carries paying passengers, to me the fun is talking about and presenting all the different ships that are older and doing the task well past their "prime". I have experienced both the ships I posted and thought they warranted being mentioned.

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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:03 am

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
The other one I will offer is the PS Waverley, the last seagoing passenger carrying paddle steamer in the world.

eh

PS Skibladner is a paddle steamer operating on the lake of Mjøsa in Norway.

Skibladner is a sidewheel design, and her maiden voyage was on 2 August 1856, making her the world's oldest paddle steamer still in timetabled service


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skibladner

Quoting Scooter01 (Reply 1):
Candidate #1
from Europe:


http://www.skibladner.no/engelsk/ind...x.htm
 
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Tugger
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:53 am

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 10):
PS Skibladner is a paddle steamer operating on the lake of Mjøsa in Norway.

Yes, but the Waverley is the oldest seagoing paddle steamer and is in regular service. As I said, gotta love the parsing of what is what. Not taking anything away from the Skibladner, it is the oldest PS (in service). Period.

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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:09 am

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
seagoing

What sea is that ?
 
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:49 am

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 12):
What sea is that ?

She sails the Firth of Clyde most regularly, which opens to the Irish Sea. However she also operates around Britain, down to Southampton.

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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:04 am

Liemba .. going strong for exactly a century now:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Liemba

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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:05 pm

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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:34 pm

The SS Stockholm (famous for colliding with the Andrea Doria in 1956) is still going strong as the Athena, actually just changed her name to the Astoria. I went round Norway with her in 2011, very interesting to be aboard such a piece of history. I took an ice bucket from the Andrea Doria recovered from the Atlantic seabed in the early 2000s with me, reuniting the two items (ice bucket + Stockholm), they hadn't been in such close proximity since one foggy night more than fifty years earlier!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Athena
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:02 pm

The steamship The RMS Segwun was built in 1887 and has been steaming around Lake Muskoka. Here is a link to the history and to the other ships in the fleet.

http://realmuskoka.com/muskoka-steamships/our-ships/
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:58 am

In Wanganui the paddle steam PS Waimarie is still used for tourist trips up the Wanganui river, she has been paddling since 1899.

 
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:20 pm

How about the U.S.S.Constitution? She was built in 1797, and still sails sometimes. She's probably the oldest sailing ship.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US..._2012_by_Castle_Island_cropped.jpg


source : Wikipedia.org

Don't miss her if you are ever in Boston. She looks brand new, even now. Impressive ol' gal.



[Edited 2013-07-13 11:28:33]
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racko
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:10 pm

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c6/PD_Diesbar.jpg/800px-PD_Diesbar.jpg

Diesbar, built 1884

Coal-fired paddle steamer which still has its original engine, which was already 43 years old when it got put into it (built 1841).

Passenger service on the river Elbe.
 
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:57 pm

Most of the entries seem to be excursion/museum type ships. The one that Falstaff posted is a regular commercial ship in real regular commercial service.
 
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:34 pm

Quoting johns624 (Reply 21):
Most of the entries seem to be excursion/museum type ships. The one that Falstaff posted is a regular commercial ship in real regular commercial service.

True. Personally I find still-operating ocean-going cruise ships/passenger liners more interesting.

Doing a little digging, I found out that the Daphne that I posted earlier is the oldest still operating cruise ship/ocean liner in the world, except for one. The only older ship still going is none other than the MS Athena, formerly known as the MS Stockholm, which gained imfamy by ramming the Andrea Doria in 1956 and sending her to the bottom.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/81/Athena_%28ship%2C_1948%29_IMO_5383304%3B_in_Split%2C_2011-10-22_%282%29.jpg/800px-Athena_%28ship%2C_1948%29_IMO_5383304%3B_in_Split%2C_2011-10-22_%282%29.jpg

http://www.allatsea.co.za/oldestships.htm
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:34 am

Quoting johns624 (Reply 21):
Most of the entries seem to be excursion/museum type ships. The one that Falstaff posted is a regular commercial ship in real regular commercial service.

How is an "excursion ship" that takes paying passengers on regularly scheduled trips not a "regular commercial ship"? I guess some may be seeking only ships that go out for several days/nights before making port?

I will also point out that it is very possible for many of the ships that are "museum ships" if they are kept "ship shape" to one day re-enter regular commercial service, there just has to be a way to do it profitably. As long as people pay for it and that supports the operation, it is doable and nostalgia sells especially when there is a unique history to go with the ship.

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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:57 am

Quoting tugger (Reply 23):
How is an "excursion ship" that takes paying passengers on regularly scheduled trips not a "regular commercial ship"? I guess some may be seeking only ships that go out for several days/nights before making port?

The same way that paying for a ride in the Yankee Air Force's C47 around Detroit is not the same as a trip on a Delta 744 to Narita.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:17 am

Quoting johns624 (Reply 24):
The same way that paying for a ride in the Yankee Air Force's C47 around Detroit is not the same as a trip on a Delta 744 to Narita.

I understand the difference, what I am commenting on - and I really don't want to derail this enjoyable thread with a trek down the Absurdium Detailus trail - is that regular commercial service is just that, regularly scheduled commercial operations. It doesn't have to be continuous and everlasting throughout time, routes of most operations are seasonal or at least change over time.

Many of the ships mentioned here are real and carefully maintained and serving the paying public on a regular commercial basis. Sure my mention of the Star is a stretch but many of the other mentioned fit the general bill of operating commercially in regular operations. Engine type, power source, hull construction, freshwater or sea based, they all can be elements for how one defines the OP's question. This discussion is all in good fun, otherwise why do we have these threads, its what we do here.

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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:25 pm

Steam sloop S/S Gerda built 1865 is probably one of the oldest ships still in service:

Video clip (recorded/made by me) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIa72OLy8WU
web page: http://dnn.gerda.nu/Default.aspx

There are also a whole bunch of old passenger boats still in service in Stockholm, doing either
cruises or line traffic in the Stockholm archipelago.

Some of them:

S/S Stockholm "only" 82 years old: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/S_Stockholm_%281931%29
Djurgården 7, former harbour ferry, now sightseeing boat built 1886:
http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djurg%C3%A5rden_7
M/S Enköping built 1868: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/M/S_Enk%C3%B6ping
S/S Blidösund built in 1911: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/S_Blid%C3%B6sund

Strömma Kanalbolag: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Str%C3%B6mma_Kanalbolaget
Waxholmsbolaget: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waxholmsbolaget#Klassiska_fartyg
and Rederiaktiebolaget Göta Kanal http://www.stromma.se/en/Gota-Canal/Our-Ships/

all have several very old ships of which some are over 100 years old.
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Flighty
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:26 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 25):
is that regular commercial service is just that, regularly scheduled commercial operations. It doesn't have to be continuous and everlasting throughout time, routes of most operations are seasonal or at least change over time

The word "commercial" is central to this thread. A charity or enthusiast organization offering paid trips is by no means a commercial service. Part of why this is interesting is to see how long ships are commercially useful -- ie profitable.

But I, for one, am glad people are use a wide interpretation. It is great to see everything still being used at all.
 
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:14 am

Did the SS Badger have anything to do with this thread?  
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:58 pm

There is also the 110 year old steam ship S/S Mariefred, built in 1903 and
still doing schedules passenger traffic on the same route as when she was built.

A picture of three old steamers with Mariefred in the foreground:
http://www.mariefred.info/img/kortege_stor.jpg
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:14 pm

I don't know what the oldest is, but I'm guessing it's operated by Carnival Cruise Lines.  
 
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falstaff
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:42 pm

Quoting DIJKKIJK (Reply 19):
How about the U.S.S.Constitution? She was built in 1797, and still sails sometimes. She's probably the oldest sailing ship.

That is a great ship, but being a navy ship she was never in commercial service. She very well may be the oldest commissioned navy ship in the world.

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 28):
Did the SS Badger have anything to do with this thread?

That is a cool ship, but it isn't even close; she was built in 1953.

Quoting racko (Reply 20):
Diesbar, built 1884

I think I saw her in Dresden, in 2008. Does her stack come down to go under bridges? If I would have known she was that old and coal fired I would have taken a ride on her.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 17):
The steamship The RMS Segwun was built in 1887 and has been steaming around Lake Muskoka. Here is a link to the history and to the other ships in the fleet.

I was watching ships in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan last week and met a kid and his dad who had just been on that ship (they both had RMS Segwun hats on). The kid had a video, on his phone, of the engine. They both said the crew was very friendly and showed them all around the ship. I am definitely going to see that one of these days.
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RE: Oldest Ship In Regular Commercial Service?

Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:11 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 31):
She very well may be the oldest commissioned navy ship in the world.

Actually, HMS Victory (Nelson's Flagship at Trafalgar) holds that honor. But since she is kept in dry-dock, USS Constitution can claim to be the oldest commissioned navy ship still afloat.
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