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Steaming into the New Year

The "Uri" becomes the Christmas paddle steamer on December 24

(swiss-image)

Switzerland's oldest working paddle steamer, the Uri, which normally operates only in summer, will be plying the waters of Lake Lucerne from December 24 to January 2.

Santa Claus will help launch the first cruise on December 24, armed with presents for children. For their part, adults will be spoiled by four-course menus while enjoying the winter alpine scenery surrounding the lake.

Everything that makes up an original English cream tea, including warm scones and cream, will also be served for four days starting on December 27. The boat cooks will get back to Swiss basics for the evening trip on December 29, which has been dubbed the "Fondue Cruise". And there is a special gala cruise on New Year's Eve.

The holiday schedule will help kick off birthday celebrations for the Uri. The paddle steamer will be celebrating the 100th year of its launch in 2001.

A voyage on the Uri is also a journey into Swiss history. The boat passes several landmarks on the shores of Lake Lucerne including the Rütli meadow, where the Swiss confederation was born in 1291. There is also Tell's Chapel and a monument to Schiller, the German writer who brought the story of William Tell to the world.

The steamboat connects with the cog railway stations for trips up to the summits of two of central Switzerland's most famous peaks, Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus.

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