Lake Zug, 24.01.2023

Who will save the MS Yellow from being scrapped?

The MS Yellow is a striking sight on Lake Zug. But it could soon disappear. The owner, the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft Zug, is discontinuing operations for cost reasons.

The yellow ship has been chugging across Lake Zug for almost a quarter of a century. But it now seems that MS Yellow will soon have to set course for the scrap yard: the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft Zug (GGZ) as the owner and the GGZ@Work as the institution responsible for its operation will now be discontinuing the operation of the ship. This was announced in a media release by the GGZ on Tuesday. The "Yellow" is expected to go on a final voyage with a farewell party in the summer of 2023.

The GGZ had used the ship as a guest ship since 1998. The original and actual purpose of the ship is work integration, with GGZ@Work supporting unemployed welfare recipients and asylum seekers. In winter, it is used as a lunchtime restaurant for entitled persons who, in addition to an inexpensive hot meal, can also receive initial counselling on everyday problems.

The ship was used in the summer months for groups and school classes from other cantons, for example for holiday camps, and was also rented out to companies, associations and private individuals. This has now come to an end; however, and the lunchtime snack bar will now also be offered on land in Podium 41 during the winter.

Yellow on blue: the MS Yellow in Lake Zug.                           Photo: PD
Jubla Neuheim was also a guest on the "Yellow"                
Photo: Matthias Jurt
The MS Yellow used to travel on Lake Zug as the MS Schwyz, carrying passengers                
Photo: Schiffs-Agentur
The GGZ will hand over the "Yellow" free of charge if a new owner can be found
.                      Photo: PD

The reason for the ship's demise is financial: as the "Yellow" was not self-supporting through its income, the GGZ always made up the deficit. The media release goes on to say: "The increasing costs for maintenance and an upcoming revision would, however, lead to a considerable increase in costs that the GGZ is no longer willing to bear - especially because missing funds in other areas of GGZ@Work due to decreased social welfare figures and the loss of contributions from work integration will also have to be compensated."

Another reason is that it has become increasingly difficult to find nautical staff.

The ship can be taken over for free
The GGZ now hopes that someone could save the ship from being scrapped, as it will remain seaworthy for another ten years. "Various uses are conceivable: we are very interested in a successor solution and are also already talking to some people, but nothing is concrete yet," says GGZ managing director Maria Hügin.

The Yellow could also be transported to another lake, "perhaps a shipping company is also interested". The ship used to sail on Lake Zug as MS Schwyz and transported passengers, and the ship was still painted white at that time. The GGZ would pass the "Yellow" into new hands free of charge.

The GGZ very much regrets having to give up the ship now. "It was a difficult decision, the heart said we should continue, but the mind decided against it," says Maria Hügin. The GGZ is now hoping that the ship could still be rescued. Because: "If a new operator is not found at the last minute, the ship will then be taken out of the water and professionally scrapped."