Latest news

Timetable changes and news from on board. We recommend that you check the day before your departure to see if there are any changes to the timetable.

Ebb and flow, wind and waves characterise the Wadden Sea National Park and are the rhythm of the north. Occasionally, we may have to bow to the forces of nature.
It is therefore not always possible to avoid changes to the timetable, but we always endeavour to inform you in good time.

Extreme low water levels on the North Sea coast are generally to be expected during easterly winds, as the water is driven by the wind and runs off more strongly than normal. From a predicted water level of 0.40 m below the normal low water level (NTnw), ferry services are temporarily restricted or suspended for safety reasons, as it is often no longer possible to navigate safely and without delay across the shallows in the fairways or the ships already run dry in the harbours. In such a situation, our ships only leave the harbour of departure when the water level makes it safe to continue the journey without grounding. It can also very rarely happen that a ferry leaves the harbour before the scheduled departure time in order to at least transport the passengers and vehicles already on board to their destination on time. Please bear in mind that the water level in the North Frisian Wadden Sea is constantly changing by approx. 1 cm per minute. This means that a departure time that is brought forward by just 10 minutes can make a decisive difference as to whether a ship can still sail over a shallow spot or runs aground. This decision is very annoying for passengers who are on time for departure but still miss the boat. Nevertheless, we must ask for the understanding of the passengers and freight customers affected by this sensible decision, which has been taken in the interests of our customers.

In the event of a storm from westerly wind directions, we must also reserve the right to temporarily suspend shipping traffic for safety reasons or due to flooding of the piers. In contrast to a disruption due to low water, the end of a storm can often not be precisely predicted.

Very rarely does the ice situation in winter lead to changes in the timetable. In particular, ice pushed up by wind and tide can lead to considerable problems with safe and speedy manoeuvring operations. The ice crushed by the tide drifts back and forth between the islands with the tidal current and the wind. As a result, it often happens that one harbour basin is completely free of ice, while ice floes pile up in the other harbour, making it almost impossible for our older ships to dock.

Every schedule change is a nuisance - for you as a customer and for us as a shipping company. W.D.R. never cancels ferry services without good reason, but acts solely in the interests of ship safety. It is of no use to anyone if an attempt is made to keep to the timetable at all costs and then a ship has to visit the shipyard for several days due to damage. We ask for your understanding in this situation.

Incidentally, since the beginning of the 2000s, only one connection has had to be cancelled for technical reasons. Our new double-ended ferries in particular have very good redundancy with 4 independently operating drives (4 x motor, gearbox and propeller). If one drive fails very rarely, the 3 remaining drives enable the ship to continue its journey without any problems.