Whether river cruise, excursion or liner shipping - passenger navigation on the Danube enjoys great popularity. In 2018 the number of river cruises increased again by around 3 percent (compared to 2017) and is continuing to grow.

In order to accommodate this growth with adequate land-based infrastructure, supply and disposal options must also be adapted to a state-of-the-art technology and, where appropriate, extended by additional facilities. Integrative and user-friendly concepts form the basis for sustainable planning.

On 4th of April 2019, a roundtable chaired by the Federal Minister of the former Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT, now: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology - BMK) launched a quality offensive on wastewater and waste management for passenger vessels on the Danube. Around 60 representatives of the federal states, shipping companies, berthing operators and ministries (BMVIT, BMNT) took part and discussed sustainable solutions for inland navigation on the Austrian Danube. In addition, the present shipping operators committed themselves to a clean Danube in form of a declaration on the voluntary documentation of wastewater and waste disposal.

News and status of activities

Implemented measures (2019 - 2021)

  • Regular inspections of passenger vessels by the Austrian navigation surveillance authorities and surveys of captains regarding waste and waste water diposal

  • Frequent water quality sampling of the Danube by state authorities (see report on download section)

  • Online survey on needed disposal infrastructure for passenger vessels along the Austrian Danube (shipping companies) by viadonau (completed)

  • Concepts for establishment/ installation of additional supply and disposal stations along the Austrian Danube - draft planning of a pilot disposal station ongoing

Following the Roundtable chaired by the Austrian Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology, three working group meetings have taken place from May 2019 until September 2020 among key stakeholders of passenger navigation and authorities.

The activity makes a substantial contribution to the implementation of the measures ‘07. Increase the quality of berthing places and towpaths along the riverbanks’ and ‘19. Implement harmonised ship waste management systems’ of the Action Programme for the Danube 2022.