Welcome on board - Bienvenue a bord - Welkom aan boord

Aquaduct over de Elbe
Park Sanssouci Potsdam
Martin Luther King, Hannover
sluis bij Minden naar de Weser
Mittelland kanaal


Travel plans for 2017

Learning from our experiences, we now know that re-routing is a regular exercise for a variety of reasons.
Broken locks or bridges, too much or too little water in the canal we are heading for, collapsing banks or a current too strong to pleasantly cruise due to heavy rains or a interdiction for bigger ships to name a few.
So, we will describe our plans with absolutely no guarantee that the actual journey will be like it.

Most of last year we spent in the Netherlands. The ship has been certified, we did a lot of work, more than we planned, but in a leisurely way, whilst still being able to enjoy the weather.
The boat looks all shiny right now.

However nice it is to spend time nearby, we both have the itch to do some serious barging, so we’re heading this year for Germany.

In the aftermath of last years work and because our batteries had to be replaced this winter, we still have a few t’s to cross. So when we leave Amersfoort late March, beginning of April, we will first head back to Vreeswijk.

We arranged with friends (also bargees) to more or less sail together as far as Berlin, starting on May 15th, just south of Haren (Germany), a bit north of where the Mittelland canal starts off.
Beginning of May we leave Vreeswijk and we will amble along the river Vecht, the Randmeren and a few canals to the meeting point.

Before 2013 you had to go by way of Groningen to get to Germany - unless you have a licence for the river Rhine – and then head south to reach the Mittelland canal.
Opening theKing William Alexander Canal at Nieuw Dordrecht makes a big difference, mainly for pleasure craft. This 6 k stretch enables you to cross the border near Haren, making a 55 k detour obsolete.
Looking at our dimensions we should be able to navigate this shortcut, leaving us with very little margin.
We suppose we’ll make it, but if anything is in the way we still have to take the detour. We’ll see!

Via theMittelland canal we cruise directly to Berlin, about 540 k from Haren; we will make good speed because it is a wide canal with comparatively fewer locks than we are used to travelling Belgium, France and even the Netherlands where several locks a day was the minimum.

We expect to have plenty of time for exploring along the way, like Hannover, Potsdam and Charlottenburg. If we want to spend more time there, or elsewhere, we will save it for the return trip.
For we arranged for a mooring early June in Berlin at the Museum Insel, centre of town near Alexander Platz, for a whole week.
We don’t want to arrive late and are really looking forward.
After Berlin we will see where we go and whether we do it alone or in company.

We are keen to discover the lakes around Berlin and a bit to the North. We also might carry on to Frankfurt on the Oder (the German-Polish border) and we will lower our pace on the way back.

We could take the northern route, going west, on the Weser and enter Holland via Groningen, we’ll see.
We will take it as it comes, not defining our plans too strictly.

Right now it looks, this year again, we will be back in Amersfoort in October.
We like it there and, after all, in winter we have to babysit, looking forward to it already when leaving.

click on the map to enlarge

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