By Corey Sandler
The Kiel Canal is, in terms of number of ships, the busiest artificial seaway in the world. About 35,000 commercial vessels make the transit per year, an average of about 100 per day.
That is about double the number going through the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal.
Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. The Kiel Canal is not the most interesting canal in the world.
We do not rise up 85 feet from the Atlantic and sail across a once-deadly isthmus and then go down 80 feet to exit in the Pacific Ocean, as you would do in the Panama Canal.
And we do not cruise through the desert sands as you would do in the Suez Canal.
But the Kiel is a relaxing and pretty crossing of the north German countryside.
The canal connects the North Sea (via the Elbe River) to the Baltic.
Before the Kiel Canal–and for ships too wide or too long or too tall–the alternative is the much longer and more exposed trip around the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark, passing through the Øresund Strait in front of Copenhagen.
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