Posts Tagged ‘István Széchenyi’

175th Anniversary of the Lake Balaton Shipping Day

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Saturday, September 18, 2021 on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the Balaton Shipping Day (organized by the BAHART – Balaton Shipping Ltd.) has come to the series of events ending this year’s of the summer shipping season. Due to the closing in honor to the history of Balaton Shipping, from the port of Siófok at 7.30 a.m. on board invited VIPs, special guest, media representatives to the St. Nicholas motorcyclist and onwards to Balatonfüred to welcome, take part in the inspection of the line up to all the fleet of ships.  (In brief about: St. Nicholas motorcyclist, has a capacity of 550 people. This ship is the biggest on Lake Balaton. It actually replaced the former Beloiannis, which was in service on Lake Balaton until the late ’90s and was then scrapped. The ship sailed every day during the summer season departing at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. When She was out of the system the shipping company planed to be replaced. Thereafter, St. Nicholas arrived to Lake Balaton from Istanbul in 2003 and was released into the water in 2006.)

Upon arrival to Balatonfüred greeting speeches followed by Miklós Mod – Deputy CEO – Representing the Hungarian Tourism Agency Ltd., Dr. Károly Kontrát – Member of Parliament, Mihány Witzmann – Member of Parliament, Dr. István Bóka – Mayor of Balatonfüred, Gábor Veigl – CEO of BAHART and thereafter flag raising took place. After the greeting speeches and flag raising in connection with the 175th anniversary was held the Széchenyi Memorial Ceremony on the Tagore Promenade, wreath-laying at the Széchenyi statue on Tagore promenade.

The 175th anniversary ceremony continued with the lined up, infront of the shore of Balatonfüred BAHART’s fleet … 18 passenger ships and ferries, ships belonging to other Lake Balaton shipping companies, and passenger shipping companies among them from private shipping companies were also present at this celebration. The fleet arrived upon the smooth waves to Balatonfüred from Csopak and stood lined up side-by-side on the Hungarian Sea in front of Tagore Promenade forming a picturesurous view of the 750 meters long line with their noses towards the promenade. An indescribable spectacle greetings saluting to the welcoming VIP visitors, invited guests and media representatives on board the St. Martin ship. Whilst the standing audience on the port welcomed ships by waving – applauding. The audience on the port whom could not be close to the spot to follow the awesome scene of the line up were able to watch the spectacular sight through the giant projector placed at the port of Balatonfüred.The Tagore promenade and the pier at Balatonfüred were absolutely full by visitors interetsed to watch the ships go by.

The István Széchenyi sailing memorial competition, which bypassed the peninsula also was added…. „Steadfastness, depth, accuracy, this is what characterizes geniuses, this is what characterized István Széchenyi to whom we owe many other merits to modern shipping. He wanted to connect the capital with the countryside.  He brought a lively life to Lake Balaton as well” – said by István Bóka – mayor of Balatonfüred at the ceremony.

The boats lined up at the port of Balatonfüred provided an unforgettable awesome sight. A total of 33 watercrafts and passenger ships lined up on the water surface. As the ships roll by, colorful smoke columns shot from the water surface also was amazing…(see snaps)

This was a one time event, a real curiosity, as a large-scale parade of ships can only be seen every 25 years! So those who missed it may come around next time to view the ships roll by in 25 years from today.

Highlighting a couple of ships … each of the 33 ships have an interesting history, yet to update of all the lined up 33 ships would be a very long reading, therefore will only talk about a few. Starting with a total of 4 watercraft on the Lake Balaton. As was told on the spot, the Kossuth Lajos ferry was built ’64 at the Balatonfüred shipyard, and later in the ’80s ship was extended with the funding of the army and a double-density ribbing was installed in the part below the carriageway.

There were two prominent representatives of the nostalgia fleet… „Kelén” and „Helka”. The iconic watercraft got their name from the love couple of András Fáy’s fairy tale “Sió”. Both ships were built in year 1891, practically separated from the water for three months. Both ships Kelén and Helka were sinked during 1945 in their shipyard by the crew, cause did not want the German aircraft hit them by bombing them. The crew was confident that after the front will be retreated and be again on the Lake Balaton. Counting the years in service means today in 2021 they are 130 years old, so these “grannies” are the oldest ships regulary operated at Lake Balaton. Both are ships with a capacity of 120 people and are 35 meters long. By-the-way, Helka in the late’70s served as a restaurant ship on the port at Balatonfürdő again until ’92.

Not only the smallest, active but certainly famous boat named “Luszi” also roll the waves at Lake Balaton. She is to transport passengers all year around. This boat is operated by a private shipping company, BL YachtClub.

Closing the 175th anniversary, memorial plaque inauguration and wreath-laying at the port of Siófok

Last come the presentation of awards and announcement of the results of the BAHART 175th anniversary art competition, whereas awards were presented to the winners previously selected jury of five.

Enjoy by rolling though the snaps … they speak for themselves.

Riport and snaps Aggie Reiter