My adventure Inland waterway boat trip

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Dec 5th, 2018, 06:41 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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My adventure Inland waterway boat trip

My adventure Inland waterway boat trip in the north of Germany in early 2018

Actually we had planned this turn by boat with 4 people. Unfortunately a friend of mine had cancelled the tour shortly before
the tour started. According to that we booked the boat for 3 people. So the costs per person increased slightly. The advantage
was that I had the double bed for myself . I arrived in Berlin Airport (Tegel) on the 30th of March at 9.50 p.m. Two hours too
late whatever happened to German time keeping? My train connection had already departed, as had my hopes of meeting up
with my friends that evening, as it was the last train. The next connection was at around a quarter to seven the next morning.
I could have booked in at a hotel, but after going to two hotels and finding out they were full (and very expensive) I decided to
do a walking tour of Berlin by night. I had actually done one (by day) a few years before, and it was not as bad as it might sound.

Notice: You can read this report with images on the website
http://www.burkhard-schade.de/waterways/boat_trip.pdf


Around quarter past nine I caught up with my German friends at the marina in Eldenburg near Waren an der Müritz.
It was nice to see them again. After a cup of coffee and a bit of catching up we set off southwards to Mirow.

Initially I would like to introduce the boat with that me and my two German friends were on tour for 14 days.
It is named "Le Clou" and has the beneath listed dimensions:

Length: 35,5 ft
Width: 12 ft
Height above water level: 12,5 ft
Draft: 3,3 ft

31st March
Day 1
Eldenburg – Mirow
1 lock
36,95 km (c. 23 miles)

The calendar said it was spring but it was still very cold and uncomfortable. The snow was lying on the ground, and when
I look back I could really have been forgiven for wondering what on earth I was doing here on holiday.
But it didn’t even occur to me! We went shopping in Mirow and stocked up on goodies including German beer.
I slept well that night due to the total lack of sleep the previous night. Zzzz Zzzz Zzzz Zzzz!!!!!

1st April
Day 2
Mirow - Stadtmarina Mildenberg
9 locks
75,73 km (c. 48 miles)

The ice age continued! Snow was falling and there were patches of ice on the water! Just as well the windscreen wipers
were working. Still, it was warm enough on board, and this cold snap couldn’t last for ever…. surely.
After the lock at Strasen we went along the upper Havel (river). We spent the night in the Mildenberg Marina.

2nd April
Day 3 part a
Mildenberg Marina – Schönwalde lock
5 locks
64,31 km (c. 40 miles)

Our plan had been to go to the Mildenberg Brick Work Park. But as this is an open air museum and was probably
going to be exposed, snowy / icy and muddy we thought we would give this a miss and push on to Berlin. From noon
the sun we had almost forgotten about appeared and it heated up to a balmy 20 degrees. Some jump from a
minimum of minus 5 (brrrrrr). We could not make it to the marina (at Briselang) and so spent the night at the
lock at Schönwalde. We’d be able to get through the lock the next day.

3rd April
Day 3 part b
Schleuse Schönwalde – Brieselang Boat Club
9,76 km (c. 6 miles)

After mooring we switched to public transport to go into Berlin. So the Brieselang (or “Briese – short” as
Captain “Burki” rechristened it) Marina became our sort of base for the next three days. We got ourselves 48-hour tickets
for buses and trains and made our plan for the next three days (going round town, museums, open top bus tour, river cruise etc.).
On our way back to the boat we topped up our supplies. My German comrades had done some recordings for our evening
entertainment, so I could watch some programmes in English (!) or in German and French. Great stuff! This is where boats
really come into their own – you can do so much without the hassle of checking in and out of hotels, packing and unpacking.
Our boat was our floating hotel! We had everything we needed – plenty of space, a bijou kitchen, storage space for food,
shower, central heating etc. Also wifi connections were always good so we had music and videos too and
I had to pay only 85€ per day** all inclusive. Who needs the Hilton???
Many thanks to the members of the water sports friends Brieselang, for their friendly support

** That evening, we sat together in the living room of our yacht and talked about all sorts of things. Then we came up with the
idea to do such a boat tour again. Only it should take much longer and be further away. The destination of this tour was quickly found.
It was Paris !! ** Okay from Berlin to Paris (and back again) is the slogan of our next boat trip. Captain "Burki" has already
calculated how long such a trip takes and how much each one will pay. More about this trip and the trip to Paris can be found
on the last page of this report.

4th and 5th of April

With our boat safely tied up in the marina, we were free to spend time in Germany’s capital. It looked quite different by day,
I must say. The weather continued to be better, and it even got very hot! I had to protect myself from sunburn.
In Berlin we did various tours, ate out and generally soaked up the atmosphere. Probably the most impressive
was the tour on the river Spree. This might sound like a busman’s holiday, but it was not at all boring – far from it.

6th April
Day 4
Brieselang – Burg (near Magdeburg)
3 locks
101,38 km (c. 60 miles)

We set off at 8 a.m., on the Havel Canal heading towards Brandenburg. We hadn’t decided how far we were going as we had
to stop for fuel at the marina in Brandenburg. We had filled up (fuel, food and drink) by 2.30 and left the marina around 3 p.m.
Going along the Havel we got as far as Burg (near Magdeburg). As we tied up at an open mooring,
our stay was free (n.b. you have to pay a nominal fee at marinas).

7th April
Day 5
Burg (bei Magdeburg) - Wittingen Sports-boat harbour
2 locks
141,13 km (c. 85 miles)

We were up with the larks and left our mooring to sail westwards. We made good progress and so Captain Haddock (!)
decided to keep going. Our route took us via the (Mittellandkanal) After Wolfsburg we used the Elbe-Seitenkanal.
We still had a few locks and bridges to negotiate. It is really impressive when you travel long kilometers / miles along
man made waterways like these. “Le Clou” (our yacht) proved up to the challenge and took us all the way to the harbour
at Wittingen. Here the harbour master was looking out for us. We were shown our mooring. Part of the fees gave us
access to toilets and washrooms. That evening we dined out at the harbour restaurant (“Guten Appetit!”)

8th April
Day 6
Wittingen Sports-boat harbour – Lauenburg Marina
2 locks
81,74 km (c. 50 miles)

Next destination was Lauenburg on the Elbe. On route we had to tackle the lock Uelzen and the Scharnebeck Ship lift.
Getting there was no problem. The lift was to say the least, amazing! We entered the lock as the only boat. I don’t know
how many barges can go into the lift at one time but we were really dwarfed in the huge chamber. The lift is some feat of
engineering. It can raise or lower enormous barges (i.e. a number at the same time) by over 30 metres. It looked even bigger
as we were the only passengers.

We arrived at our destination in the evening. We had a look around the town (Lauenburg) which was very picturesque.
It has some impressive architecture, and lots of plaques / signs explaining the historic significance of particular buildings.
It is also built on a slope, so there were nice views both at water level and up the slope. After all that trudging around we
had built up a nice appetite and enjoyed our meal in a restaurant in town. Later on we could plonk ourselves down
in front of the telly to watch some English telly – Thanks to Captain Birdseye!

9th April
Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg

Another great feature of this holiday was the mixture of time on the boat and time in the city. From Lauenburg it was a hop,
skip and a jump to Hamburg. We had a little bad luck as there were engineering works on the local rail network, but that
didn’t stop us having an interesting visit. And, because we were going by bus, the route took us past the enormous ship lift
we had experienced the day before. So that was a nice surprise!

In Hamburg we went to an enormous display / exhibition, called Miniatur Wunderland. Here you could see all sorts of places
reproduced in model form – railways from different parts of the world (including Alpine Switzerland), an airport with aircraft taking
off and landing, Las Vegas, the Vatican etc. etc. So much was represented here in (working) model form and everything had
been done with great attention to detail. There was so much to see there that you would need more than one day to see everything.
As my German friends had thought ahead and pre-booked the tickets, we didn’t have to wait in queues. We also had a talk
(and guided tour) on the history of the display. This provided a lot of fascinating background information. This was quite a highlight!
We headed back to our mooring after a fascinating day and got there around 5 p.m.

9th April
Day 7
Lauenburg – Bleckede
22,14 km (c. 13 miles)

As we set off on the same evening it means leash off, because we had to go against the current. This evening we got as far as
Bleckede and filled up with diesel and water. We slept in the harbour there and watched English videos.

10th April
Day 8
Bleckede - Grabow
6 locks
77,69 km (c. 48 miles)

Off at 7. We had to get to Dömitz and then turn into the Elde. We got to Dömitz around 1 p.m. What a day for problems! First the
lock at Neu Kaliß was kaputt (as they say in English!) and we had to wait around 2 hours till it was back on track. Then we had
a sudden cold snap and we had to put on the central heating (full power). After that there was the swing bridge at Grabow,
that wasn’t swinging. So how were we to get through? Due to lack of food and fluids on board we decided to stay in
Grabow for the night and see what would happen the next day.

11th April
Day 9
Grabow - Parchim
5 locks
44,06 km (c. 26 miles)

So, no-one came to fix the swing bridge today. We had to limbo dance our way under the so-called swing bridge,
and made this easier by disassembling any- and everything that was sticking up in the cockpit. A few prayers helped,
I’m sure. Then on the other side we had to re-assemble everything, so that everything that was meant to stick up was
now sticking up again. It had been quite an interesting exercise altogether. Then we had to get to Parchim with the
intention of sleeping the other side of the lock. Everything was fine until we got to the lock. The locks have set times you
can use them, and if you get there too late, then too bad. We got there ok, but the lock was being repaired, so we couldn’t
get through! Through the intercom at the lock we found out that everything should be up and running by the next day from 9.30.

12th April
Day 10
Parchim - Malchow
6 locks
62,65 km (c.37 miles)

We got off at 10. We headed eastwards on the Elde. Nothing to report on route apart form a long wait at the lock at Bobzin.
Our last lock for the day was Plau am See. We had to negotiate the lock and the historic lifting bridge. And then we got to
our mooring at the Plauer See. We had to get to Malchow by 7 p.m. to get under the bridge and avoid a possible wait at the
swing bridge in Malchow. The plan was thwarted and we had to sleep at Malchow. This wasn’t too bad as Malchow was quite
a lovely place to get “stuck in”. That evening we ate at a pizzeria.

13th April
Day 11
Malchow Waren- Eldenburg.
32,12 km (c. 20 miles)

After a good night’s sleep we were first in the queue at the bridge. From here it was only 30 km to Waren an der Müritz
(our start and finish point). We got there at 11.45. The yacht had to be filled up with fuel and water, the toilet emptied etc.
We had to the harbour service pay for doing all that. I got my train ticket for Waren to Berlin from the captain. We handed
over the yacht (boo, hoo). Then back to blighty. Not a moment’s boredom. Somehow I had the bad luck on arrival and departure.
Until the airport Berlin Tegel everything went well, but then my plane was delayed again. I was back home at around 24:00 o'clock ....

Here as already announced a list about the costs of our tour. It should be noted that we had initially planned the tour for 6 people
with a larger ship. If we had been 6 people, we would have had to pay a bit more for chartering. For that we would have divided the
total amount by 6. Which of course would have been much cheaper. We chartered a smaller boat for 4 people. But then,
as already mentioned, we were only three, which again had a less favorable effect.

charter fees 2162€
port fees 45€
fuel 1050€
additional costs (gas bottle, bed linen) 45€
food and drinking on board 90€
food and drinking extern 160€
museums and sightseeing 135€
public transport 66€
total 3753€

for each person 1251€


Here is an approximate timetable for our Berlin - Paris - Berlin Tour

The start is due to the costs in the fall of 2019 or 2020-21
We will be traveling about 9 to 10 weeks
The distance is about 3274 km appx. 2034 ml.
We have 380! locks to manage
33 harbor visits are planned (Marina)
Planned stay in Paris 5 to 7 days
There are 13 buffer days including Paris
We will land each evening (exceptions are possible)
A plan which cities or towns are visited is not known yet
This results on the way depending on where we are when
Currently, the costs are about 24,000 € for 6 people 4000 € for each person
That sounds like a lot, but lasts up to 10 weeks. (70 days) about 57 € per day (65 $ per day)
Not included are costs for museums, eating out, local traffic when necessary

To keep the cost share per person as low as possible we will only start with 6 people.
I hope you have enjoyed my report and we will see each other on the inland water ways in Europe.

Greetings from U.K.

M.L

Last edited by uncle_bush; Dec 5th, 2018 at 06:49 AM.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 09:32 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,075
Jeez, you call that a vacation? An adventure for sure, and I understand the desire for that, too. It sounds like there was no relaxation, but of course I'm sure that there was plenty since river and canal travel is quite slow... Lots of time to relax.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 01:22 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,119
I've cycled a lot of this, well it is flat, and considered a boat but honestly you needed to be a bit later in the season for me.
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