Archive For The “Germany” Category

Colmar, France

Colmar, France

On the second day of our Rhine River cruise, we visited beautiful Colmar in France’s Alsace region. The city is full of centuries-old half-timbered buildings lining winding cobblestone lanes. And when we were there, the Christmas markets were in full swing with holiday decorations everywhere. Colmar also is notable for being the hometown of Frederic-Auguste…

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Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

In late December we flew to Basel, Switzerland to embark on a week-long Rhine River cruise back to Amsterdam. Lying just south of the Rhine River border between France and Germany, Basel is the second-largest economic center in the country and the third-highest in population. We arrived mid-morning for a 10pm ship departure and spent…

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2019 Summary

2019 Summary

For us, 2019 was the “Year of the Canal”. We spent much of the year cruising the Baltic Sea, and passed through an incredible 98 locks while transiting several major and minor canal systems, including the Kiel Canal across Germany, the Saimaa Canal through Russia to Finland’s Great Lake Saimaa system, and the Gota and…

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Heligoland to Vlieland

Heligoland to Vlieland

We departed Heligoland shortly after daybreak on a 132nm run to Vlieland, Netherlands through the German Bight. The body of water, at the southeast corner of the North Sea, can be a nasty stretch and is our last offshore run off the year. We had blissfully calm conditions through much of the trip, with the…

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Dune and Bunkers

Dune and Bunkers

The tiny island of Dune was connected to the Heligoland main island until 1720, when a storm flood destroyed the land bridge between them. As the name suggests, sand dunes cover much of the island and beaches ring the shores, making it a popular summer destination. The island’s healthy seal population also is a major…

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Heligoland Storm

Heligoland Storm

On our third day in Heligoland, a storm came through bringing southwest winds over 40 knots. In the large port basin, Dirona was moving around a bit in the wind and waves, and the boats in front of us on the dock were really tossing. The harbour would be removing the dock for the winter…

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Exploring Heligoland

Exploring Heligoland

Heligoland is a dramatic archipelago thirty miles offshore from mainland Germany. Attractions include incredible natural beauty, extensive seabird life, seal colonies, naval ruins and many excellent restaurants. On our second day in Heligoland, we toured throughout the main island and particularly enjoyed the views and scenery from the cliff tops at the north end. Below…

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Duty-Free at Heligoland

Duty-Free at Heligoland

Heligoland, Germany is part of the EU, but is not inside the EU Customs Union or VAT area. The duty-free sale of fuel and luxury items such as alcohol, cigarettes and perfume make up a big part of the island’s economy. This is the reason we’ve stopped here for fuel three times in the past…

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Kiel Canal to Heligoland

Kiel Canal to Heligoland

From Lake Flemihude, just inside the Kiel Canal, we made a 97-nm run to Heligoland, a small island 30 miles offshore from mainland Germany. Despite adhering to an 8.1-knot speed limit in the canal, the delays in locking through, and an initial negative current in the river Elbe, we got enough positive current later on…

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Copenhagen to Kiel

Copenhagen to Kiel

After an excellent week in Copenhagen, we reluctantly departed to continue south towards Amsterdam. Over two nights, with an overnight stop in the Smalandsfarvandet, we ran 153nm to just inside the Kiel Canal at Lake Flemhude. Shortly after departing Denmark and entering Germany, our US registration again attracted an official inspection, this time from the…

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Kiel Canal

Kiel Canal

Following an overnight run from Amsterdam, we made a brief pit stop in Heligoland to top up our diesel tanks with duty-free fuel and were underway again in time to catch the last half of the Elbe River flood tide and reach the Kiel Canal that afternoon. We arrived at the canal in a fog…

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Amsterdam to Heligoland

Amsterdam to Heligoland

Just over four months after arriving, we departed Amsterdam on a calm but chilly morning and exited the canal system into the North Sea at IJmuiden. From there we made a 200nm overnight run to the German holding of Heligoland to pickup a load of duty-free diesel. Conditions were wonderfully settled most of the way…

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Germany to the Netherlands

Germany to the Netherlands

On our run from Germany to the Netherlands, we’d hoped to exit the German Bight on the border at Delfzjil and take the sheltered Netherlands canals through Leeuwarden to Harlingen. But the least depth through some of the waterways is an optimistic 1.9m, too shallow for our 2.1m draft. So we instead returned to the…

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Cuxhaven, Germany

Cuxhaven, Germany

Cuxhaven, Germany sits at the mouth of Elbe River and the North Sea. For centuries the location was a stronghold to control sea access from the river and continues that tradition as an Elbe River pilot station. While the river provides much positive value to the city, it also has negatives. Dangerous seas form when…

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Brunsbuttel to Cuxhaven

Brunsbuttel to Cuxhaven

After three exceptional days on the Kiel Canal, we followed five large commercial ships into the Brunsbuttel lock and out into the busy Elbe River. We made a short run downriver to our final stop in Germany at Cuxhaven, where we had a berth waiting for us at the YC marina. Below are trip highlights…

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Kiel Canal Day 3

Kiel Canal Day 3

Our third day on the Kiel Canal was the longest and the most exciting. After an aborted first attempt due to fog and traffic movement restrictions in the canal, we made a 36-mile run from Rendsburg to Brunsbuttel at the western canal entrance. During the transit, we ran at wide-open-throttle for a time in order…

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