History of the ferry service Bremerhaven-Blexen

A ferry connection across the River Weser between the villages Lehe and Blexen seems to have existed as early as the middle ages, but the first written source dates from 1573. Then, primitive boats were the means to transfer passengers and goods across the wide river. This old-fashioned form of transportation was not abandoned until 1861. In 1862, the North German Lloyd of Bremen inaugurated a steam ferry service between Geestemünde and Nordenham and Blexen. This lasted until 1871. From 1876 to 1884 a captain offered a service with his own steamer, the NORDENHAM. In 1884, the then leading Bremen tug company, the “Union” (established in 1873) was granted a licence for the ferry service by the government of the Grand-Duchy of Oldenburg. From then on, the company operated with its own double-ended ferries between Geestemünde and Nordenham, including Blexen after 1905.

Suffering from mismanagement after about 1890, the “Union” lost its former place in the tug business at the turn of the century. The ferry service also faced more and more problems, so the Oldenburg government deliberately waited until the expiry date of the contract in 1911 and then looked for a new operator. A new company, Weser-Schiffahrtsgesellschaft, had been founded by Nordenham firms and the surrounding communities in 1910 and now took over the ferry licence. New ferries were built and commissioned and the service between Geestemünde, Nordenham and Blexen was started anew. This company (named Weserfähre GmbH since 1921) still serves the connection today with the two ferries BREMERHAVEN and NORDENHAM shuttling between Bremerhaven and Blexen. The present ferry ramp at Bremerhaven came into service on August 19th 1954.

Link to Weser Ferry: www.weserfaehre.de

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