The company history of the Papenburg MEYER shipyard goes back to the year 1795, and the traditional shipyard has been family-owned for seven generations. The MEYER Group maintains shipyard locations in Papenburg, Rostock, Turku/Finland and recently in Wismar (formerly MV-Werften).
A look back
The city of Papenburg originally had 23 shipyards, of which only MEYER survived. Since it was founded, the company has continued to develop. Originally called "Thurm Werft", the company first built wooden ships. In 1872, the "Triton", the first steam-powered steel ship, left the shipyard.
Steamship Triton - Photo © MEYER Werft
In 1913, the "Graf Goetzen" followed, a ship that is still in use today. After completion, the combination ship for passengers and cargo was disassembled into its individual parts, packed in crates and transported to Lake Tanganyika in today's Tanzania. There it was reassembled. Even today, the ship, which is now in need of rehabilitation, sails irregularly under the name "Liemba".
The MEYER shipyard specialized in this early on specific ship types. The company's website names container ships, ferries, research ships, gas tankers and livestock transporters. – The cruise ships delivered by the MEYER Group for rivers and the high seas are held in particularly high esteem by shipping companies.
Shipyard hall of the MEYER shipyard
Expertise in the construction of cruise ships
The first cruise ship, Homeric, was completed in 1985. The Homeric still sails today under the name Marella Dream for Marella Cruises (TUI UK Ltd.). MEYER Werft has built 1985 cruise ships for well-known shipping companies since 50. Among the ships are names like that AIDAcosma, the Celebrity Eclipse, the Disney Wish, the Anthem of the Seas or the Norwegian Getaway. At the beginning of November 2022, the newest newbuild, the Arvia of P&O Cruises, successfully passed the Ems in the direction of Eemshaven.
MEYER Werft - undocking of the Ovation of the Seas
In 2020, MEYER Werft currently employed 3.625 people at the Papenburg site. Before the start of the global corona pandemic, an annual average of three ships were being built in two huge construction dock halls.
The MEYER Group
In addition to the MEYER shipyard in Papenburg, the MEYER Group has two other shipyard locations. In 1997, MEYER took over the previously ailing Neptun Werft in Rostock. The former STX shipyard in Turku / Finland has been part of the MEYER Group since 2015. The three companies employ around 7.000 people in total.
Norwegian Getaway in the construction dock of the MEYER shipyard
In 2000 the Neptune shipyard acquired the first orders for river cruise ships in Rostock-Warnemünde. 700 employees now build river cruise ships, ferries and gas tankers. In addition, the company supplies the shipyard in Papenburg with engine room modules. To date, the Neptun shipyard has built more than 70 river cruise ships. Neptun claims market leadership for river cruise ships.
Neptun Werft - River Cruise Ship- © Neptun Werft
The one acquired in 2015 Meyer Turku OY-Werft in Turku, Finland, builds icebreakers, ferries, research vessels, ice-going freighters, gas tankers, naval and cruise ships at three locations with 2.000 employees.
In mid-November 2022 it was announced that the MEYER Group was completing the "Global Dream" of the former Genting Group for Disney Cruises, which was affected by the insolvency of the MV shipyards. For this purpose, at the Wismar shipyard, the Meyer Wismar established. The company will temporarily employ several hundred employees from the MV shipyards for the realization of the cruise ship.
Having matured into a group operation, the company sees itself in a position, thanks to the investments made in the three established locations, to produce the sections required for the construction of the ships in a shorter throughput time and with higher quality. This creates competitive advantages. The Papenburg division in particular claims to be one of the most modern shipyards in the world.
MEYER shipyard - prefabrication hall
Using modern computer technology, the construction plans are prepared before construction begins. As early as the planning phase, computer simulations ensure clarity as to whether the innovations intended and desired by the client can be implemented in practice. Printed construction plans are almost a thing of the past. The production stages can be called up in digital form. Efficient production is guaranteed. The time when ships were built by hand on Helgen with welding equipment and riveting hammers goes back a long time. Internal logistics are also computer-aided. The components are delivered to the building docks just-in-time. The measures lead to productivity increases and cost reductions and make the Group's shipyards competitive.
MEYER shipyard - building dock
In the visitor center in Papenburg, visitors can follow the construction of cruise ships up close. On an area of 3.500 m², onlookers are informed about shipbuilding and cruising. From two visitor galleries, visitors look down at the new ships. Every year, 250.000 guests take the opportunity to witness the construction of cruise ships on site. Visits can take place below www.papenburg-tourismus.de get booked.
MEYER shipyard - transition to the visitor center
As a family company, Meyer understandably only mentions as many company figures as necessary. The fact is that the Papenburg part of the business will be busy with orders for the construction of cruise ships until 2024.
Update November 2022