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Old 13-11-2011, 07:51   #1
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Netherlands Through Rhine to the Med

I am in the very early stages of planing for me and my family, our plan was to start in the Netherlands and work our way down the Rhine and then to the Med. I was hopping to draw on your wisdom in making this plan. I understand there is a decent current on the Rhine and if I understand correctly it flows southern so starting in the Netherlands would be the easiest is that correct? Anywhere else you would recommend?

I have read about all the locks in Holland ect, how difficult are they really? We would be sailing a large 45 ft catamaran any troubles you think we may have? Any advice?

Lastly I know this may open a big can of worms but time frame, if we where taking our time, exploring along the way how much time would you plan on to go down the Rhine and then over to the Med and time to explore Italy, Greece ect? Any help on seasons and when to be somewhere and when to be away?

Thanks in advance for your help and your willingness to share your experience.
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Old 13-11-2011, 08:33   #2
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Re: Netherlands through Rhine to the Med

Hi, There are a lot of great threads on this topic... go to the search window and enter Rhine...

I asked about this back in May... and got a lot of great info...

Current on the River Rhine

This fellow was very helpful you might want to PM him...

Cruisers & Sailing Forums - View Profile: DJBLUELADY


Cheers
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Old 13-11-2011, 08:54   #3
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I have read all of them. They are missing the questions I am looking for,. Thank you for replying
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Old 13-11-2011, 09:35   #4
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Re: Netherlands through Rhine to the Med

Wrirya,
Welcome to Cruisers Forum.

Yes, there is a decent current in the Rine. But you misunderstood something: the Rhine is flowing from south to north, from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea.

On the website of "Voies Navigables de France" (the French authority for canals and locks), I have found maps giving the size of locks on the Franco-German part of the Rine:
http://www.vnf.fr/vnf/img/cms/Touris...0812051706.pdf
http://www.vnf.fr/vnf/img/cms/Touris...0812051706.pdf

They are wide enough for you. But I don't know how you would reach the Danube (the locks on the Rhone are only 12m wide, not enough). You should find some information on the Danube Commission website: Donaukommission - Commission du Danube -

Alain
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Old 13-11-2011, 10:54   #5
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Re: Netherlands Through Rhine to the Med

Wrirya,
I have found the map of European canals, to be downloaded from here: Le transport fluvial en Europe.

To reach the Med, you must leave the Rhine at Mainz, go up the Main and catch the "Main-Donau Kanal" (Main-Danube canal).

Alain
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Old 13-11-2011, 11:59   #6
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Re: Netherlands Through Rhine to the Med

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Originally Posted by Hydra View Post
Wrirya,
I have found the map of European canals, to be downloaded from here: Le transport fluvial en Europe.

To reach the Med, you must leave the Rhine at Mainz, go up the Main and catch the "Main-Donau Kanal" (Main-Danube canal).

Alain
There are in this context two ways to reach the Med:

1) As described above, connect to the Danube and exit into the Black Sea in Bulgaria.

2) You can also travel up the Rhine to Koblenz and then motor up the Moselle and connect to the French canal system and then follow the Rhone down to the Med, exiting at close to Marseilles.

Depends in a way at where in the Med you want to commence your Med experience.
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Old 13-11-2011, 12:36   #7
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Re: Netherlands Through Rhine to the Med

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2) You can also travel up the Rhine to Koblenz and then motor up the Moselle and connect to the French canal system and then follow the Rhone down to the Med, exiting at close to Marseilles.
It depends on the beam of the yacht: the locks are 11.4m wide on the Moselle but only 5.05m (16.5', probably not enough for a 45' cat) between Nancy and Saint-Jean de Losne. They are 12m wide between St Jean de Losne and the Med.

Alain
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Old 13-11-2011, 12:59   #8
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Re: Netherlands Through Rhine to the Med

First of all, the current will be against you.
The current is strong and you have to stay close to shore to make any headway.
There are not many marinas or places where you can anchor for the night. Check out the Marinas before you go to see if they can accommodate the size of your boat.Traveling at night is not advisable. You have to un-step your mast for the bridges in the Netherlands.
In the spring or fall there is the danger of flooding which makes the Rhine River un-navigable.
To my knowledge the French Canals and their locks are not wide enough for you.
I did this trip coming from the med. on a monohull.
My advice is skip the idea and go offshore.
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Old 14-11-2011, 20:45   #9
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Thank you very much good info
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Old 17-11-2011, 10:10   #10
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Re: Netherlands Through Rhine to the Med

I have gone from the Netherlands to Port Napoleon (Rhone Delta) in 2008,
however passing Givet in the North of France and not all the long way up the Rhine, so believe me, I know what I am talking.

  • The current on the Rhine is very strong, you would need a very strong engine.
  • There is a lot of traffic, one after the other, so it is stressing.
  • To go through the channels in France seems to me impossible for a Cat as commercial ships are passing and there is often only just enough space for two non Cats passing - independent from the with of the lockers. We never have seen a Cat on the whole route.
On my website there is a logbook about my route, however in German only, maybe you can translate it with some software.


The best !
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