When the American Robert Fulton launched the first paddle-steamer in the United States 180 years ago, the phenomenon was known as ‘Fulton’s folly’. When the new Elias Lönnrot paddle wheeler first began services in Keuruu 1986, people were also filled with excitement over it; Fulton’s vessel became a great success and so did the Elias Lönnrot. During its first season the Lönnrot served over 21 000 passengers.
The Elias Lönnrot was built the copycat the original, which was built in Tampere subsequently, moved to Lake Keurusselkä during the year if 1897; the original had been named identically and was very similar to the present one. The old Elias Lönnrot was hugely popular and great tales are about it – even to this day.
The vessel’s names originate from the collector from of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. The writer Elias Lönnrot worked as a private teacher with the wealthy family Törngren and after Lönnrot had become well known, the younger Mr Törngren named his biggest and the most beautiful vessel after his former teacher. Both vessels, the new and the original, are not altogether identical due to the current navigational safety regulations.
The new Elias Lönnrot occupies two small venues, in the front of the vessels a salon giving a view on to the lake ant at the rear, a bar. The interior of the Lönnrot was built in 1920 according to a miniature model crafted after the original vessel.
Elias Lönnrot’s stats
- lenght 31 m
- beam 9 m
- top speed 10 knots
- draws 1.1 m of water
Cruises on the beautiful Lake Keurusselkä from May to September. Charter cruises and regular service. Restaurant.