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Old 04-19-2009, 08:49 AM   #1
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If one makes the effort to sail to Istanbul and then into the Black Sea, do you have to turn around and sail back out of the Black Sea, retracing your route in?

Or, is it possible to take a yacht to the North Sea via the Danube or Volga rivers/canal systems?

Any information would be appreciated.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:39 AM   #2
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Hello there,

What type of sailing boat - Draft ? and Mast height ? Engine HP ?

I guess it all depends on exactly the passage that you are intending - sure we will have members who will be able to confirm the possibles (or otherwise)

Prague_to_Istanbul_map.jpg

The pale blue arrow indicates southern entrance to the River

Richard
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:53 AM   #3
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If one makes the effort to sail to Istanbul and then into the Black Sea, do you have to turn around and sail back out of the Black Sea, retracing your route in?

Or, is it possible to take a yacht to the North Sea via the Danube or Volga rivers/canal systems?

Any information would be appreciated.
Possible? Yes. Tristran Jones wrote a book about the trip he made on a cat or maybe it was a tri-maran called Outward Leg.

The Rhine-Main-Danube Canal (German - Rhein-Main-Donau-Kanal), connects the Main and the Danube rivers across the European Watershed. It runs from Bamberg via Nuremberg to Kelheim. The canal connects the North Sea to the Black Sea, providing a navigable artery between the Rhine delta (at Rotterdam in the Netherlands) and the Danube Delta in eastern Romania. The canal was completed in 1992 and is 171 km long.

The cross-section of the waterway is mainly trapezoidal, with 31 meters width at the bottom, 55 meters wide at the water surface, 4 meters of water depth, and a side gradient of 1:3. The channel is a European Waterway Class Vb; the largest authorised vessels are 190 m in length and 11.45 m wide. The channel in the Kelheim-bound Bamberg lock has a depth of 2.70 m. In the few sections with a rectangular profile, the width is usually 43 m.

The canal is the easy bit of the trip between the North Sea and the Black Sea. The rivers can both be very fast flowing, particularly the Danube which also forms the border between Serbia and Romania and later Bulgaria and Romania. The Bulgaria-Romania border bit should not be a problem as both are EU countries so the free passage of people, gods, services and money is guaranteed by the treaties of Rome and Maastrecht. The Serbian border, on the other hand, might be a bit of a trouble spot. If doing the trip one must follow the inland waterway rules but I would recommend not berthing on the Serbian side of the river.

Given the strength of the flow of the Danube, I would recommend sailing from west to east and returning via the Med.

The North Sea to the Black Sea would be a tremendous trip. I have always dreamed of doing this, entering the canal system in Northern Germany or Poland and then heading through the country to the Rhine before making the trip to the Black Sea after which I would like to make the return trip via the Volga-Baltic Waterway or, as it used to be called and is probably better known, the Mariinsk Canal System

One other issue, anyone making this trip will be required to hold an International Certificate of Competence with a CEVNI endorsement. At a practical level, you should have someone on board who can speak German.

I hope this answers your question. If you ever need a crew for such a trip just let me know!

Aye // Stephen
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:35 PM   #4
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Just echoing Stephens YES.

We spent an evening three years back with two Dutch skippers who motored from Holland to Turkish Med coast via the Black Sea (with masts on deck). Both had circa 34 footers - no idea on drafts. I share Stephens view re direction - most of the river flow is heading west to east - and some of those rivers run at more than 5 knots.

Re Tristram Jones and his story - he is for sure an entertaining writer - but regretfully his books are not ones to base a passage plan upon.

Recently the truth of Tristan Jones various "lives" has been published in a detailed biography by Anthony Dalton.

Dalton explains that most of Tristrams authored life was a fabrication with many stories being total fiction.

Some of us who love his stories would have liked to believe every word - but you can't.

Cheers

JOHN
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:03 PM   #5
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The Black Sea page on the World Cruising Wiki has been updated with this info - HERE
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post
I hope this answers your question. If you ever need a crew for such a trip just let me know!

Aye // Stephen
I too would love to crew on such a trip.

Vasilis
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #7
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I can only support the other reply's: the Danube does flow at over 6 knots at some points (like near Bratislava). So you will have to be able to do 8 knots on the engine to make any headway at all.

2 other possibilities:

- sail to Marseille, motor up the Rhone to north of Lyon, where you should be able to get thru the French canals to the "Maas" or "Meuse" (dutch / french name of that river). This exits in the Rhine near the Dutch/German border, and then the "Waal" down to the North Sea at Rotterdam.

Note that the Rhone is also flowing at 6 knots, eventough over a lesser distance.

- sail to Sète, motor up the canal du midi, exiting at Bordeaux. A short trip over the Gulf of Biscay (one day trip) should take you to the south entrance of the canal thru Brittany, exiting at St Malo (in the Channel). From there to Cap Gris Nez / Cap Blanc Nez (where the North Sea begins) is 3 days.

main problem: all these canals are approx 1.5 meters deep at minimum. "Big" sailing boats are known to have run aground.

All of these passages take several weeks to complete.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for that info "JanB".
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:08 PM   #9
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A great interactive planning map of the route from the North Sea to the Black Sea - HERE
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 1Aaron View Post
If one makes the effort to sail to Istanbul and then into the Black Sea, do you have to turn around and sail back out of the Black Sea, retracing your route in?

Or, is it possible to take a yacht to the North Sea via the Danube or Volga rivers/canal systems?

Any information would be appreciated.
Hi,

I'm from yacht club "Ruse" - Danube river km.496 (Bulgaria)

It is possible. Every year, here land boats from Germany, Niderland, France, Belgium, Finland, Danmark, Sweden, England, USA and Australia. Some boats going up, but more going down on the river to Black Sea.

If you want to know more about this, please send me mail to ruseelit@abv.bg

Boyko
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:58 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=boyko


Planing the North Sea to Black Sea trip in summer 2015, does anyone have any advice or up to date info.
Please email to [email]great.dalby@virgin.net[/email]
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