In 1962, Ulm was the fifth stop on a seventeen-day canoe trip that I took with some German friends down the Danube River to Vienna. We camped at an official campsite on the riverbank in Ulm, as I recall, and spent part of one day exploring the city.
Here in Ulm is where the Danube (which in German is called the Donau) starts to be navigable for river boats. Above Ulm you would have to have a canoe or kayak, but even then you might have to get out and wade in some places where the water is low — at least we did on our canoe trip in 1962.
There are now several dams along the Danube between Ulm and Regensburg, so it’s more a series of lakes than a river.
There is a small ferry boat crossing the Danube from Ulm to Neu-Ulm, in addition to several bridges.
The Danube is the boundary between the cities of Ulm, in Baden-Württemberg, and Neu-Ulm (= New Ulm), in Bavaria, which means that the school children in Ulm have different vacations than their friends across the river in Neu-Ulm.
When I was last in Ulm, excursions were being offered from May to October on this river boat, the MS Donau.
In 2012, however, the MS Donau failed to pass its technical examination and was no longer allowed to operate. According to the local newspaper Südwest Presse, the boat remained chained to the riverbank until January 2017, when a sudden drop in the water level caused it to capsize, fall apart and start leaking oil. About a hundred people were involved in trying to salvage the boat and stop the oil leak. Finally they had to raise the boat out of the water with a crane and transport the remains to a junk yard.
As of 2019, there was still a court case going on about who had to pay for all this — the boat’s owner was bankrupt, apparently.
My photos in this post are from 2005. I revised the text in 2021.