10 of the World’s Best Canal Adventures

1. The Panama Canal, Panama

Panama Canal

This famous 50-mile canal joins the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It saves endless hours off of a journey and is used by thousands of ships of all sizes every year.

It takes about a day to complete the journey, but that’s nothing compared to the time it would take to go the long way around from one ocean to the other. There are three sets of double locks in the canal.

2. New York State Canals, New York, USA

Erie Canal

The New York canals were built in the mid 1800s and there is just over 500 miles of waterways which can be travelled between the cities of Buffalo and Albany and Buffalo in the state of New York.

One of the most famous is the Erie Canal, which winds its way through the picturesque city of Rochester. When in Rochester, you can take a tour of Susan B. Anthony’s home. You can rent boats for the canals as well as hire crews to take you.

3. Baltic Sea Canal, Russia

Baltic Sea Canal

The White Sea is connected to the magnificent city of St. Petersburg via an Arctic extension in northwest Russia. This is a canal system that stretches for 140 miles on the Baltic which was built mainly by manual labor by prisoners in the 1930s.

You’ll witness some charming wooden chapels and traditional Russian villages when sailing the canals here.

4. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

One of the most enjoyable ways to explore the Danish capital is to travel on the hop-on, hop-off water buses which travel the numerous canals. They run all year long and are glass-roofed in the winters and open-aired in the summers.

5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

This beautiful city is filled with canals. You’ll witness historic narrow houses and low bridges that add to the charm and beauty. Dinner and sightseeing cruises are a great way to relax and take in the view.

You can also rent houseboat hotels on the canals. Walking and biking along the waterways is also a great way to explore the town.

6. The Black Sea Canal, Romania

Black Sea Canal, Romania

This canal was built in 1984 and is 40 miles long. It reaches from a Romanian resort known as Constant to the town of Ruse, which is on the Danube River in Bulgaria.

The canal belongs to a wildlife area in the Danube Delta region and you’ll find a wide variety of birds here, such as herons, pelicans, egrets, and about 300 other types.

7. Gota Canal, Sweden

Gota Canal, Sweden

This Swedish canal joins a series of lakes, which enables you to almost cross the entire nation from the Baltic Sea to Lake Vanern, which is close to Gothenberg. There are 58 locks in the canal.

This is a popular canal and you’ll find people cruising them for pleasure for day trips or for a week at a time. You can also paddle the canal in canoes and kayaks, etc.

8. Brandenburg, Germany

Baltic sea

There’s a whole network of canals and lakes between the Baltic Sea and Berlin which flow by charming towns and enchanted castles. You’ll also be able to see colorful turquoise kingfishers and herons in the waterways.

Most of the waters are excellent for fishing and the local restaurants serve the freshwater catch at night.

9. English Channel to Mediterranean, France

English Channel to Mediterranean

There are about 5,000 miles of canals in France which criss-cross the country. It’s an excellent way to explore the quaint villages and towns in the countryside.

The Canal du Midi in the south flows past walled cities and vineyards. Stopping to taste the local wine and cuisine is an excellent idea and many towns have bustling markets.

10. Shropshire Union Canal, England

Shropshire Union Canal

The northern section of this canal in the West Midlands winds through beautiful rolling landscape. When you get south of the town of Nantwich it goes straight across valleys and through wonderful hills. You’ll sail beneath some fantastic bridges along the way.

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