Kiel Canal, Germany

Kiel Canal, Germany

This is the world's busiest artificial waterway, linking the North Sea with the Baltic, and cutting 250 miles off the journey by eliminating the need to sail around the Jutland Peninsula. Operating since 1895, it was widened to accommodate larger vessels in early 20th century. Still narrow enough to keep ships close to the shore, and with no locks, it is basically a gentle cruise through the backyards and gardens of the local folk, whom you may see riding their bicycles, or picnicking on a fine afternoon. Be sure to return their waves of welcome.

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