About us

Past / Present / Future

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

In 1921, Peter Kolb went into business for himself and bought a small motorboat that could navigate the Moselle.

This motorboat was given the name of his wife “Maria”, and in 1924 a scheduled service between Cochem - Beilstein - Briedern was opened.

In 1934, the motorboat “Fortuna” was purchased, which was used for scheduled services and special trips.

In 1937, Peter Kolb acquired a third flat-bottomed (50 cm) motorboat, which was named after his daughter “Brunhilde”. This was used for special trains of the Deutsche Reichsbahn.

In 1945, our motorboats were sunk by artillery fire from the Americans as a result of the war. Peter Kolb and his son Karl Michael were able to make a makeshift seal on the motorboats and transfer them to the shipyard in Trier. Here the boats were repaired and the engines overhauled. 

In 1945 as the reconstruction began our motorboats were used as tugs. We used the boats to maintain passenger traffic.

In 1946, the French occupying forces confiscated our motorboat “Fortuna”. Under the French “Fortune”, this boat was used as a tour boat for the inauguration of the road bridge in Treis-Karden.
The resumption of regular services from 1950 was very difficult for Peter Kolb and his son, as it was only gradually possible to record a small upturn in tourism, not least due to the fact that well-known films were shot on the Moselle.

Between 1958 and 1964, the Moselle was canalized as a major shipping route. During this time, we were active as tugboats with our motorboats and also acquired two more tugs, the “MS Nikolaus” and the “MS Bebbi”. After completion of the Moselle expansion, our motorboats were no longer suitable for passenger transportation. Nevertheless, we operated the Cochem-Beilstein and Traben-Trarbach-Bernkastel regular services with two rented passenger boats.

In order to meet the increasing demands of passengers, two new passenger boats were put into service in 1966 and 1967. The first passenger boat was named “Traben-Trarbach”, the name of the town. The second boat was named “Maria von Beilstein”. 

Karl Michael also went down the aisle. His marriage to his wife Johanna, née Klingenhäger, produced six sons (Siegfried, Josef, Rudolf, Nikolaus, Martin and Matthias) and three daughters (Maria, Mechthild and Franziska), who actively helped out in their parents' business. In order to provide the children with their own livelihood, further passenger boats were purchased in the following years. The passenger boat “Moselland” (formerly “Neckarperle”) was added in 1975 and the passenger boat “Stadt Zell” (formerly “Filia Rheni”) in 1976.

In 1979, Karl Michael Kolb leased the family business to the Kolb brothers at the age of 65, but continued shipping on the boats until his death on May 2, 1996. In 1980, a Trier round trip company was purchased with the boat “Zurlauben” and in the summer of 1980 another passenger boat named “Sankt Michael”.

A completely new passenger boat was then put into service in 1986, which became the flagship of Personenschifffahrt Gebr. Kolb under the name “Wappen von Cochem”.

The company also expanded rapidly in the following years, as the “Wappen von Bernkastel” was purchased just one year after the “Wappen von Cochem”. From this point onwards, a second-hand passenger boat was purchased every year: the “Luxemburg” in 1988 (which was renamed “Eurostrand” in 2001), the “Stadt Bonn” in 1989, the “Mosella” in 1990, the “Wappen von Trier” in 1991, followed by the “Romantica” in 1992 and the “Gräfin Loretta” in 1993. Another passenger boat, the “Theodor Heuss”, was purchased two years later, in 1995.

The senior partner Karl Michael Kolb died on May 2, 1996.

Since the 1999 season, the Cochem round trip company Rudolf Botsch GmbH has also been part of the Kolb brothers' fleet with the two boats “Undine” and “Undine II”.

The passenger boat “Rheinland” was added in 2004, the “Marienburg” in 2006 and the passenger boat “Hanseatic” in 2008, which was renamed “Nikolaus Cusanus”. In 2013, three boats, “Moselkönigin”, “Moselprinzessin” and “Berlin” were purchased. In 2016, the shipping company on the Lower Rhine was acquired with the boat “Stadt Rees”. In 2017, the boat “Rheinland” became the boat “Treis-Karden. In 2018, the passenger boat “Germania” from Bingen was added.

With the merger of MST in Bernkastel, the boats "Europa”, “Bernkastel-Kues”, “Moselperle”, “Kröver Reich” and “Bernkastel” were added in 2019.

The “RiverDream”, an event boat, was purchased at the end of 2020.

In 2021, Personenschifffahrt Gebr. Kolb oHG can now look back on 100 successful years. Agencies are located in the towns of Cochem, Beilstein, Alf, Zell, Traben-Trarbach, Kröv, Bernkastel and Trier.

The timetable offers Moselle round trips, lock trips, half-day and day trips, for example to Cochem or Traben-Trarbach as well as Trier or Bernkastel. Today, our company has 28 passenger boats as well as the Beilstein car ferry “St. Josef”. This makes Kolb the largest private company of its kind in Germany. May this company continue to be as successful as ever.

There’s only one thing left to say: