Top 10 Canal Trips

Chris’ personal picks from places in the world that he has visited.

Panama Canal, Panama:  One of the engineering wonders of the world, over 27,000 workers gave their lives to create this 77km long link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Today, cruise ships offer a leisurely 10 hour transit through the massive locks, cuts and Lake Gatun, surrounded by tropical rainforest.

Suez Canal, Egypt:  The dream of ancient Egyptian Pharaohs and Persian Emperors, this 162km lifeline between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean became a reality in 1869. The canal transports you from Europe to Africa and Asia and from now to the. It feels bizarre to be floating through the desert scenery…

Canals of Venice, Italy:  The 150 canals of Venice offer romance like no other travel experience. Lay back in your gondola as your expert gondolier glides you down the Grand Canal, lined with centuries-old palazzos with ornate Renaissance-style facades, spanned by the elaborately designed Rialto Bridge and with music on the breeze.

Grand Union Canal, England: If you want the quintessential English countryside experience, rent a narrowboat and take to this canal that meanders through 220km of glorious country idyll between Birmingham in the Midlands and the Thames in London.  Putter at 7km/hr, breathe deep and learn to relax afresh.

The Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, Europe:  This waterway connects the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea, through the very heart of Europe. Passing through so many historic cities and such glorious countryside, this has become the favourite route for the recent surge of up-marker river cruises.

Canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam’s 100kms of canals and 1,500 bridges define the city and provide a unique backdrop to the historic buildings of the city. The three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht, dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city.

Le Canal de Bourgogne, Burgundy, France:  Luxury barges chug from village to village gentle through the rolling hills made of limestone and granite, covered in forest of oak, maple and pine. The gastronomic and vinicultural delights of Burgundy are all around you – this is gentle hedonism at its best!

Canals of Srinagar, Kashmir:  There are more kilometers of water than there are roads in Srinagar, situated over 1700 meters up in the foothills of the Himalayas in a chaotic tangle of lakes and canals. Glide amongst sacred shrines, Emperors’ gardens, mosques and floating markets in a Shikara, the city’s version of Venice’s gondola.

St. Lawrence Seaway, Canada/US:  This huge system of locks, canals and channels permits ocean-going vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the heart of North America via the Great Lakes. It’s not a continuous canal, but comprises stretches of navigable river channels, lakes and canals made to bypass rapids.

Llangollen Canal, Wales:   In 2009 the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the 18k stretch of the 200 year old Llangollen Canal including the Chirk Aqueduct and Tunnel was awarded World Heritage site status. No wonder!  To glide on this highest and longest aqueduct in Britain is to float over the Welsh countryside as in a dream…