Nobiskrug is a shipbuilding company located on the Eider River in Rendsburg, Germany, specializing in building luxury yachts. It is now a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi MAR. The shipyard currently employs some 400 people.
The name Nobiskrug is taken from the ancient land register designation for the site on which the shipyard is located. In mythology, Nobiskrug means the last stop in this world on the way to the next. Linguists and historians categorise Nobiskrug as a name used in northern Germany for taverns, inns and public houses.
Nobiskrug was founded in 1905 by Otto Stork. The company changed to a limited liability company (GmbH), November 12, 1908, and a canal expansion work brought a steady stream of waterway construction vessels to the shipyard for repairs and refits. By the start of World War I, the shipyard had built a total of 70 vessels, mainly pontoons, barges and lighters.
During the war, the company built a number of auxiliary ships for the Kaiserliche Marine and started building minesweepers. They also launched its first two cargo steamboats in 1917 for German owners.
Germany’s defeat in World War I temporarily halted the country’s export shipbuilding industry, but the company switched production to deep-sea fishing steamers and later, again, cargo steamers. In 1930 the company scored a major coup with contracts for a series of three-mast schooner yachts.
During the period from 1935 to 1939, the shipyard supplied the German Ministry of Finance with three customs cruisers, the Nettelbeck, the York, and the Freiherr von Stein. Shortly before and during World War II, the Kaiserliche Marine and Luftwaffe placed orders with Nobiskrug for a range of auxiliary ships including several ocean-going tugs and tankers.
During the immediate post-war years, the company concentrated on ship conversions and repairs. From 1945 to 1955 advanced in building larger vessels.
In 1963 the shipyard delivered the then highly sophisticated navy training ship Deutschland. One year later, Nobiskrug built its first ferry, the Prins Bertil. Four more ferries were built up until 1968. This period also saw the completion of a number of conventional freighters and asphalt tankers as well as heavy goods and RoRo vessels.
The early 1980s saw the construction of the research vessel Polarstern, and the diving support vessels Seabex One and Seaway Condor. In the mid-1980s the fortunes of the shipyard took a turn for the worse, leading ultimately to the verge of financial collapse in 1986.
Under these difficult circumstances, the yard lengthened the ocean cruise liner MS Berlin operated by Peter Deilmann Cruises. This ship is known to German TV viewers as cruise line in the German version of the Love Boat. The successful completion of this project was a sign of better things to come.
Nobiskrug was acquired in 1987 by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft and the shipyard was modernized into a compact shipyard, its maritime division specialising exclusively in repairs and conversions. Staffing levels were reduced dramatically, from more than 1,200 at the start of the 1980s to approximately 400.
Today Nobiskrug is part of the Abu Dhabi MAR and its focus is the construction and conversion of mega-yachts.