Crime drama on board the Loreley

The KD boat was the filming location for an episode of Cologne-based crime series “Tatort” for two weeks
“Quiet on set. Thank you. We’re rolling.” Unusual sentences on board the KD boat “MS Loreley”. But that’s not quite right. We are on the “MS Agrippina”. The Loreley launched her television career under this stage name at the end of February with a starring role in Cologne-based crime series “Tatort”. In the episode “Hubertys Rache” (Huberty’s Revenge), inspectors Max Ballauf (played by Klaus J. Berendt) and Freddy Schenk (Dietmar Bär) do most of their investigating on the water. Filming took place on board the boat for two weeks, spread over eight days.

KD Captain Danilo Schulz as silent participant

Throughout the shoot, which ended in early March, the “Agrippina” sailed on the Rhine between the old town and the bridges Deutzer Brücke and Südbrücke, with both banks of the river creating an impressive backdrop. Most of the scenes were filmed on the upper deck and the tween deck. Danilo Schulz, the real captain of the MS Loreley, played a special role. Although he will not appear in the finished show, he steered the boat during filming. “It was an exciting time with extraordinary experiences. For example, it was incredibly impressive how long it takes before a scene is in the can. And how much equipment is required. I enjoyed it very much”.


Radio contact with the director

The skipper has worked for KD since 1994 and has been the boss in the wheelhouse of the MS Loreley for six years. Instead of sailing to the Siebengebirge, “Tatort” went a maximum of 200 metres forward and back again. “I was in constant contact with the director by radio to adjust the speed or to change the direction of travel.” The last day of shooting was particularly challenging, with many scenes taking place in the MS Agrippina wheelhouse. For these scenes, Danilo Schulz swapped places with an actor and steered the boat from the outside. In normal operation, this only happens when docking and casting off.

Klaus J. Behrendt praises good conditions

“The teamwork with the entire crew ran smoothly. We had a great crew, downstream and upstream. The boat’s crew and the film crew worked really well together!”

The KD captain has fond memories of his time as a silent participant in “Tatort”. “The teamwork with the entire crew ran smoothly. Everyone was nice, friendly and very accommodating.” Klaus J. Behrendt felt the same way. “We had a great crew, downstream and upstream. The boat’s crew and the film crew worked really well together!” While working, he also discovered the perks of being on board the KD boat. “During the breaks in filming, we could even enjoy the spring sunshine on deck while the Rhine skyline passed us by. It felt wonderful and normal. But it wasn’t – and in Covid times it was only possible because we all followed the rules and were tested regularly”.

“Tatort” episode called “Hubertys Rache” (Huberty’s Revenge)

Understandably, those involved did not reveal much about the content of the show. But the RheinZeit editorial team was allowed to peek over the railing just a little bit and talk to producer Jan Kruse from Bavaria Fiction, Cologne branch. “The ‘Tatort’ episode ‘Hubertys Rache’ is set in cold February, in other words in the low season, when the main restaurant areas on the upper decks are not open yet. The action then shifts further and further inside the boat until we finally end up on the lower deck. What happens there is still top secret. But what we can say is: it’s going to be very exciting!”

A peek at the script

Why does the episode take place on a boat at all? According to the script, a prosecutor falls into the hands of a desperate man during a private boat trip. He claims he was wrongly convicted. He wants to have the verdict against him overturned. He takes the prosecutor hostage and demands that all the witnesses to his trial are brought on board the boat. Since there is one witness who was represented by his lawyer rather than appearing in court in person, Chief Inspector Max Ballauf can be smuggled onto the boat in his place. While he keeps an eye on the situation there, Chief Inspector Freddy Schenk (Dietmar Bär) tries to investigate the background to the trial on land.

“Pizza Colonia” filmed on the Goethe

A KD boat was the backdrop for a major film production many years ago. In early November 1990, the then decommissioned steamboat “Goethe” served as the location for the German crime comedy “Pizza Colonia” starring Mario Adorf, Willy Millowitsch and Ulrike Bliefert. The boat was towed to a jetty at the Frankenwerft shipyard in Cologne, and the “Goethe” became the floating restaurant “La Linea”. The paddle steamer “Goethe” has since been restored and is back in action for KD.


Weekend trips
with MS Swiss Crystal

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