Two old wooden boats can be booked for tours on the Neckar – Used for the first time during “Summer on the River

From the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung No. 192 of Saturday/Sunday, August 20/21, 2022 – By Jonas Labrenz

For city marketing boss Mathias Schiemer, a long-cherished dream has come true: Since Friday, two solid wooden sloops from the 1920s and 1930s have been sailing on the Neckar. Sloop – the word comes from the French: “chaloupe” means the largest dinghy of a ship.

In the future, the boats can be booked by groups of up to ten people. It’s not quite cheap: the one-and-a-half-hour trip costs from 349 euros. They will also be in action at events such as the Castle Illumination, the Heidelberg Autumn or the Wine Village. The only thing Schiemer doesn’t want is bachelor parties: “We don’t want a remmidemmi.” Instead, it should be relaxed rides with a little beer, wine and food. “No boozing on board,” Schiemer clarifies.

The sloops will be in action for the first time this weekend: At the “Summer on the River” event, they will travel back and forth between the Neckar beach at the Stadthalle and the Alte Brücke. The boats were purchased by Georg Bloss and Tjard Hansen from Neuenheim through the specially founded Riverboat Event GmbH. A tip led them to Mainz, where the sloops had previously been on the Rhine. One was a lifeboat on a larger ship before it was converted into a motorboat, the other a so-called feeder boat that took passengers from the harbor to ships anchored outside. In the Netherlands, however, such ships also sail through the canals. “It fits Heidelberg like a glove,” says Hansen.

However, the two do not want to compete with the “White Fleet”. They immediately approached Florian Hofstätter, who runs the business with his father Karl – “and they were also very enthusiastic,” reports Bloss. Together with Heidelberg Marketing, they also asked around among restaurateurs and hoteliers: “We met with positive reactions throughout,” says Hansen. They have many ideas: The sloops could be booked not only for corporate events, by tourists and with gastronomic offers, but also for wedding photos, the transfer from the registry office to the pub. Or one step before: for the marriage proposal. “We can also anchor,” Bloss tells us. In general, the guests decide where things go on the Neckar. At the helm is always a skipper with a boat license. The normal tour takes place between the lock at Karlstor and the Wieblingen weir, but guests can also book a longer trip. “We can also smuggle,” Bloss says. Normally, driving is done during the day, but tours at sunrise or sunset are basically possible, Bloss said.

Info: Bookings are possible at, by e-mail to or by phone 0172 / 5738089.