On April 20, 2022, 31 alumni were able to visit the CGN shipyard in Lausanne. What a visit! First of all, we had the privilege of an introduction by the General Manager of CGN, Andreas Bergmann, then it was the turn of its Technical Director Irwin Gafner (GC’01) to present the “technological” evolution of CGN’s boats. He presented those used on the public lines with the future NaviExpress – which has a capacity of 700 passengers and will sail between the French and Swiss shores from the first half of 2023. This ship is currently under construction and is entirely made of aluminum (construction costs of 30 million CHF per unit).
Not to mention the renovation of the “Belle Epoque” fleet thanks to funding from the cantons and the Confederation, as well as private support through the ABVL (Association des amis des bateaux à vapeur du Léman). The cost of renovating the last jewel, the “Rhône” (built in 1927), was in the order of 16 million CHF. It has benefited from significant technical improvements and it took almost 3 years of work to restore this boat while respecting its historical identity.
This beautiful visit ended around a drink where participants were able to ask a last time their numerous questions to Mr. Bergmann and Mr. Gafner.