Meyer Werft

The Meyer Werft GmbH & Co. KG is one of the major German shipyards, headquartered in Papenburg at the river Ems. Founded in 1795 and starting with small wooden vessels, today Meyer Werft is a builder of luxury passenger ships. 700 ships of different types have been built at the yard. Its "Dockhalle 2" is the third largest shipbuilding hall and the building with the fifth-largest usable space in the world.

Meyer Werft GmbH
HeadquartersPapenburg, Germany
Key people
Bernard Meyer, CEO
ProductsCruise ships
Livestock carriers
Research vessels
Number of employees
3300 (2017)
ParentMeyer Neptun Group

Meyer Werft has been owned and managed by the Meyer family for seven generations. Since 1997, it has been part of the Meyer Neptun Group together with Neptun Werft in Rostock. In 2014 the company added the Turku shipyard in Finland to the group.

The shipyard is an anchor on the European Route of Industrial Heritage.[1]

Five of the ten largest cruise ships in the world have been built at the shipyard in Papenburg, and three more at Meyer Turku Oy shipyard.


The shipyard was founded at the beginning of 1795 by Willm Rolf Meyer as a wharf for the construction of small wooden vessels. Josef Lambert Meyer started the construction of iron ships in 1874.[2] Until 1920 there were more than 20 dockyards in the Papenburg area, but today Meyer Werft is the only remaining shipyard in Papenburg. For seven generations it has been a privately held and family-owned company.


Meyer Werft gained international recognition through the construction of Roll-on/roll-off ferries, passenger ferries, gasoline tankers, container ships, livestock ferries and most recently luxury cruise ships.

Meyer is one of the largest and most modern shipyards in the world with about 3300 employees, and home to the largest roofed dry docks in the world. The first covered dock was inaugurated in 1987 and was 370 meters long, 101,5 meters wide and 60 meters high. In 1990/91 the dock was extended by an additional 100 meters. In 2004, a second covered dock was built, which is announced to be extended to a full length of 504 meters, a width of 125 meters and height of 75 meters in order to compete with Asian shipyards. Meyer Werft will as a result of this be able to build three cruise ships a year.[3] Due to its upstream location on the river Ems, the giant ships to be delivered have to make a 36 km voyage to the Dollart bay and which each time attracts thousands of spectators. Up until the completion of the Ems river barrier ("Emssperrwerk") in 2002, the journey was only possible at high tides.

In September 2014 Meyer Werft acquired 70% ownership of STX Finland and the Turku shipyard STX Finland Oy from STX Europe with the state-owned Finnish Industry Investment owning the remaining 30%. The shipyard was renamed Meyer Turku Oy.[4][5][6] Meyer Werft acquired the remaining 30% in 2015.

Ships built at Meyer Werft GmbH

A large variety of ships have been built at Meyer Werft, including car carriers, cargo ships, container ships, cruise ships, ferries, fishing vessels, gas carriers, lightvessels, paddlesteamers, passenger ships and Seebäderschiffs.

List of shipyards


Hans Jürgen Witthöft, Meyer Werft- Innovative shipbuilding from Papenburg, Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Hamburg

  1. "ERIH Entry: Meyer Shipyard". European Route of Industrial Heritage. 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  2. MEYER WERFT GmbH. "Triton".
  3. "Meyer Werft baut größte Dockhalle der Welt". Spiegelonline. 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  4. MEYER WERFT GmbH. "Press Release".
  5. "Valtio ja Meyer Werft ostavat Turun telakan - kauppahinta ei julkinen".
  6. MEYER WERFT GmbH. "Press Release".

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