Kolb Passenger Ship Service


About us

1910 - 1945

Peter Kolb, son of a ferryman from the village Fankel on the Moselle, married his wife Maria, née Boos, in 1910.

Peter Kolb became self-employed in 1921 and acquired a small motorboat capable of running on the Moselle.

He christened this motorboat “Maria” after his wife, and from 1924 on it was used for scheduled public transport between Cochem, Beilstein, and Briedern.

The next motorboat, “Fortuna”, was purchased in 1934 and used for public transport and special trips.

Peter Kolb acquired a third motorboat in 1937, this one with a shallow draft (1.6 ft/0.5 m), which he named “Brunhilde”, after his daughter. This one was used for special transports for the German Reichsbahn (state railway).

By the year 1945, our motorboats had been sunk by the effects of war, having been hit by American machine gun fire. Peter Kolb and his son Karl Michael were able to provisionally seal the motorboats and convey them to the shipyard in Trier. There, the motorboats were repaired, and their motors overhauled.

With the end of the war in 1945, the rebuilding also began, and our motorboats were used as tugs. We also maintained passenger services with the boats.

1946 - 1976

The French occupation forces seized our motorboat “Fortuna” in 1946. Under the French name “Fortune”, this boat was used as an official transport during the inauguration of the bridge in Treis-Karden.

It was very difficult for Peter Kolb and his son to re-establish regular passenger services in 1950. Tourism returned to the region only slowly, over a long period, in part supported by several well-known movies being filmed in the Moselle region. The river was canalized from 1958 to 1964, turning it into a shipping lane for larger crafts. During this period, we were again active with our boats, using them as tugs, and acquiring two further tugs, the “MS Nikolaus” and the “MS Bebbi”.

Our boats were not suitable for passenger transport anymore after the development of the Moselle. Still, we operated passenger services on the lines Cochem – Beilstein and Traben-Trarbach – Bernkastel using two rented passenger boats.

Two new passenger boats were commissioned in 1966 and 1967 to meet the increasing requirements of passengers. We christened the first of these boats after the town “Traben-Trarbach”; whereas the second boat was given the name "Maria von Beilstein“.

Karl Michael also went down the aisle. His marriage to his wife Johanna, née Klingenhäger, resulted in six sons (Siegfried, Josef, Rudolf, Nikolaus, Martin, and Matthias) as well as three daughters (Maria, Mechthild, and Franziska), all of whom energetically helped in their parents’ business.

To provide their children with their own living, we acquired several further passenger boats in the following years. The year 1975 saw the addition of the passenger boat “Moselland” (formerly “Neckarperle”), in 1976 the passenger boat “Stadt Zell” (formerly “Filia Rheni”).


In the year 1979, at the age of 65, Karl Michael Kolb leased the family business to the Kolb Brothers, but continued to travel on his boats until his passing on May 2, 1996. In 1980, the brothers bought a Trier-based excursion company and its boat “Zurlauben”; a further passenger boat named “Sankt Michael” followed in summer of that year.

A completely new passenger boat was put into service in 1986; it is named “Wappen von Cochem” and has become the flagship of the Personenschifffahrt Gebr. Kolb.

In the following years as well, the company expanded more rapidly; as soon as a year after the “Wappen von Cochem,” the company purchased the “Wappen von Bernkastel.” From this point on, a new passenger boat was acquired every year, in 1988 the “Luxemburg” (renamed “Eurostrand” in 2001), 1989 the “Stadt Bonn,” 1990 the “Mosella,” 1991 the “Wappen von Trier,” 1992 then the “Romantica,” and in 1993 the “Gräfin Loretta,” Another passenger boat, the “Theodor Heuss,” was purchased yet another two years later, in 1995.

Karl Michael Kolb, the senior partner, passed away on May 2, 1996.

The Cochem-based excursion company Rudolf Botsch GmbH along with its two ships “Undine” and “Undine II” has also belonged to the fleet of Bros. Kolb since the 1999 season.

In 2001, our company, Personenschifffahrt Gebr. Kolb oHG, was able to look back on 80 successful years. Agencies are located in Cochem, Beilstein, Alf, Zell, Traben-Trarbach, Kröv, Bernkastel, Treis, as well as in Trier. Our regular service offers Moselle excursions, lock and dam excursions, half-day and day trips, for example, to Cochem or Traben-Trarbach, as well as Trier or Bernkastel.

The “Undine” was renamed “Kloster Machern” in May 2007.

The “Rheinland,” used on the Cochem – Beilstein run, was acquired in 2010. This boat was brought into the shipyard for extensive refitting at the end of 2011; it is expected to resume service in 2016 under the new name “Treis-Karden.” The “MS Berlin,” built in 1959, as well as the “MS Rheinfels” from Boppard were purchased from the company Gilles in Neuwied in 2013; in 2014, the “Stadt Vallendar” followed. The latter boat was renamed “Moselkönigin” in 2015.

Our business numbers 21 passenger boats in 2015, in addition to the car ferry “St. Josef” in Beilstein, although this boat is leased. As a result, the Kolb company is the largest private business in Germany of this kind.

May this company continue to be as successful as it has been thus far.

There’s only one thing left to say:


PERSONENSCHIFFFAHRT GEBR. KOLB oHG Brunnenstraße 4, 56820 Briedern / Mosel