The Iris speedboats were deployed on Lake Neuchâtel, Lake Biel and Lake Murten during the national exhibition. The two large boats offered space for 400 passengers and travelled between Neuchâtel and Yverdon-les-Bains. The four smaller boats each offered 204 seats. These travelled from Neuchâtel to Biel and Murten.

The journey time between Neuchâtel and Yverdon-les-Bains was around 40 minutes, from Neuchâtel to Bienne 80 minutes and between Neuchâtel and Murten 65 minutes. 

Expo.02 rented six Iris catamarans from the manufacturer Iris Catamarans. The rental costs totalled CHF 18 million including transport, assembly and dismantling.

Expo.02 welcomed the Fifth Switzerland

One Swiss in ten lives abroad. At the end of June 2000, 591'660 holders of the white cross passport were living outside our borders, mainly in Europe, but also in America and to a lesser extent on other continents. In other words, Switzerland is more than just its territory and its inhabitants. It has exported and continues to export many of its citizens. And while today at least two-thirds of expatriates hold dual nationality, the Swiss have always left the Jura, the Plateau or the Alps to seek their fortune, a change of scenery or a daily meal elsewhere. Some have gone to sell their military ardour, others to preach the good word, to start, train or be trained. Together, they make up the Fifth Switzerland, alongside the German, French, Italian and Romansh-speaking regions. 

Expo.02 reflects the reality, dreams and hopes of an open country, of which foreign communities are an integral part. The National Exhibition salutes these Swiss from abroad. It has chosen to name its six Iris catamarans after the consular district where the largest number of Swiss nationals are registered on each continent.

Lyon for Europe, New York for North America, Buenos Aires for South America, Sydney for Oceania, Tel Aviv for Asia and Johannesburg for Africa.

Photos: © Michael Studt; © Eugen von Arb; © Philipp Zanatta; © Archive Ralph Ammann

Iris 6.2

Iris 3.1