The history of the Achenseeschiffahrt
In the course of its eventful history, the Achenseeschiffahrt met challenges with the same attributes that laid its foundation: vision and courage. In 2017, the shipping company Achenseeschiffahrt celebrated its 130th anniversary. The foundation stone for its success story, albeit costly, was laid by the abbot of Fiecht abbey, Albert Wildauer (1841-1915). The clergyman took out a loan of 23,500 gulden (equivalent to ca. 240,000 euros) to commission a ship, which did not find favour with everyone. But Wildauer, who also held a captain’s licence, stuck to his decision, showing vision and courage. The parts for the steam vessel were brought by rail to Jenbach and transported by horse and cart to Pertisau for assembly. Launched on 27 June 1887, the “St. Josef” marked the beginning of the Achenseeschiffahrt. Passenger numbers increased steadily and just two years later, a new and bigger steamship was introduced into service.
The “St. Benedikt” was the second member of the Achensee fleet. It was scrapped in 1958, and this heralded the end of the steamship era on Lake Achensee. The “St. Josef” had already been converted from steam to diesel operation a few years before. The MS Stella Maris went into service in 1912. It was the first diesel-powered vessel to cruise on Lake Achensee and the first one in Austria. In the following decades, ships came and went, taking passengers across Tirol’s biggest lake. While the Achenseeschiffahrt went through tumultuous times, the lake remained a constant. No matter if the waters are calm and placid or turbulent and churning: Lake Achensee is a magical place and rightly one of Tirol’s most popular excursions.