THE DANUBE SHIPPING WURM & NOÉ – A SHIPPING COMPANY WITH A LONG TRADITION
Today, the Danube shipping company Wurm & Noé stands for innovation and progress and is the largest excursion company on the Danube. But it can also look back on a long company history: the roots of the Danube cruise Wurm & Noé, formerly the Danube cruise Wurm + Köck, go back to the 19th century. The Ludwig Wurm company was founded in 1893, it operated professional fishing in the Danube and ran a Danube rope ferry between Irlbach and Waltendorf. The parents of the company‘s founder Ludwig Wurm have been running a treadmill and rowing boat trip for generations, based in Wischlburg, Deggendorf district.
Transition from freight to passenger shipping
In 1896 the first wooden barge was purchased, in the following years an extensive freight shipping with five barges was built. From 1934 onwards freight shipping was operated with its own diesel engine tug. One of the barges was always built in such a way that it could be used for passenger transport by means of brewery benches. Against the current, horses pulled the barge from the bank, with the current it was steered with large oars. This passenger transport was used exclusively for the transport of pilgrims who arrived in Irlbach and thus made their pilgrimage to the Bogenberg, Bavaria‘s second largest Marian pilgrimage site.
Passenger shipping between Regensburg and Passau was built in 1965 with the construction of the motor ship “Agnes Bernauer“. Since the middle of the 19th century, this line had not been regularly operated by passenger ships. The “Agnes Bernauer” was immediately successful in business, carrying 18,200 passengers on the Regensburg – Passau and Passau – Obernzell routes in 1965. The company quickly established itself on the Danube and continued its growth course with the takeover of the “Dreiflüsse-Rundfahrten” from brothers Klinger in Passau in 1973.
Date of birth 1974
The 19th of March 1974 is the birthday of the Danube shipping company Wurm + Köck, which today is known as the Danube shipping company Wurm & Noé: The company Wurm then merged with the Passau shipping company Köck and has been sailing the Danube to Vienna ever since. The owners Erich Wurm and Günter and Gisela Köck led the company on a course of unbroken success to this day. In 1984 it exceeded the magic limit of half a million passengers for the first time and is able to maintain this level to this day.
The fleet grew steadily over the years to currently twelve ships. The company always focuses on innovation. It received high national attention for the first time in 1992 with the luxury ship MS Regina Danubia. The gala ship was even allowed to lead the opening convoy of large shipping on the Main-Danube Canal on 25 September 1992 with the then Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker on board as flagship. The company also shows its flagship in Austria and has had its own branch in Linz since 1996. The design ship MS Linzerin was located there in 2014.
Successful generation change
Another milestone in the company’s history was the christening of the Passau Crystal Ship – EXCLUSIVELY MADE WITH SWAROVSKI – in 2007. At the same time, it symbolizes a generational change: the owner family Köck left the company for retirement, and new partners joined the company – the married couple Margit and Florian Noé. In 2012, the founder Erich Wurm died at the age of 86. Since then, the Noé couple run the business together with Erich Wurm‘s great-niece Franziska Wurm-Lallinger. In 2018, the name was changed to Donauschifffahrt Wurm & Noé in line with the new ownership structure.
Among other things, Franziska Wurm-Lallinger manages the Regensburg location and thus three notable vessels: In 2011 and 2012, the Regensburg Crystal Fleet was completed in a new collaboration – consisting of the “Kristallkönigin” and the “Kristallprinzessin“. The Regensburg fleet was completed by the MS “Bruckmadl” in 2015. This ship embodies the history and philosophy of the company like no other. Because it is the former “Agnes Bernauer“, which has been completely renovated for its new home port and now impresses with its modern, casual maritime design. And even with the latest ship conversions, the MS Johanna was rebuilt in 2020 together with the famous actor and entrepreneur Til Schweiger into the Barefoot Boat by Til Schweiger.
Tradition, innovation, sustainability
In 2022 the next innovative milestone followed: The convertible boat SUNliner, which has been in service since 2017, has been sailing through Passau with an electric motor since this year – in this order of magnitude, the boat is currently unique on Germany‘s rivers and symbolizes the company‘s innovative spirit: Innovation and sustainability in combination with a long tradition go hand in hand on the Danube cruise Wurm & Noé. Convince yourself and join us on board – we look forward to your visit!