The passsage from the North Sea to the Black Sea by way of the inland waterways of Europe, is a once in a lifetime experience. Depending on the route selected, the trip is a minimum of 2,300 miles and will take you through 9 or 10 countries. It has been done in as little as 2-1/2 months but most cruisers will want to take 5 or 6 months to be able to stop and see things.
As the planning chart shows, there two general routes to choose from on the uphill leg. You can go up the Rhine or through the French canals. Unless your boat is capable of at least 8 knots under power, or you really enjoy a challenge, you should probably take the canals.
The two routes meet where the Main joins the Rhine. From there it is another 384 kilometers up the Main to the Main-Rhine-Danube Canal (RMD). The RMD Canal crosses the continental divide at 406 meters elevation then decends to the Danube at 338 meters.
Those who have gone before - and blogged about it:
- Bob Kinnier on Polaris - 2006
- Wolf Buchner on Naomi - 2007
- Kenneth Dittmann - 2006
- Rick & Mary Munden on Orca - 2011
- Jack van Ommen - 2010-2011
- Volker und Annelene Zimmermann - 2010-2012 (German)
- Rick & Mary Munden on Dora Mac - 2014
Those who have gone before - and and published books about it:
Some excellent guides from Eurocanals
And from Delius Klasing (in German only):
- Der Rhein
- Gewässerkarte Main / Main-Donau-Kanal (out of print)
- Die Donau: Von Kelheim zum Schwarzen Meer (out of print)
- Gewässerkarte Deutschland Süd
- Kreuzfahrt-Guide Donau