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Kiel Canal

Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

17th June, 2018

Well it was a beautiful day here in the Kiel Canal. Last night I was informed that there was a bit of a queue at the Holtenau end of the Canal due to the fact that only the big lock was available at Brunsbuttel, so we decided to arrive a little earlier than schedule so we could get into the queue. Well we arrived at the pilot station this morning at 7am and entered the lock at Holtenau at 9am. We were squeezed into the lock with 3 other ships and at just after 10am we made our way out of the lock and started our daylight transit.

It was a special transit today as our Executive Chef Dirk was transitting the Canal by bike, in aid of our partner charity Silverline. He raised just over £1100 – so a great effort, Dirk!!! We enjoyed the sunshine and had a wonderful German Beerfest and lunch on the aft deck, wow – wish I were a guest!!! Now some interesting facts about the Kiel Canal:

Length of the Kiel Canal is just under 99km, at a depth of 11m. Its width at water level for the most part is 162m and the clearance height for all bridges is 40m, so our new Spirit of Discovery will not fit. Interestingly the Canal has around 50,000 passages a year with an average of 140 ships passing through the canal each day – busy busy!!!

Now we were at Brunsbuttel at just on 6pm – and who was there to greet us – Yes – Our Executive Chef Dirk who had done a record time on his bike. Well at least we can have our full 3 meals a day now he is here, rather than sandwiches and cold cuts if he were not!! Out of the big Brunsbuttel lock and then out of the River Elbe on the ebb tide meant by 9pm it was all over and we were back in the North Sea.

A nice day here in the canal. After a relaxing seaday tomorrow it will be our homeport of Dover. I hope everyone has enjoyed this cruise, as we have certainly enjoyed looking after everyone and taking them to new destinations.

Captain Nick Sunderland

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