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Looking at a map, it seems possible to kayak from Berlin to the Baltic with minimum portage. Does anyone know if this is possible or if any information sources exist?

  • what do you mean by minimal portage? If there's no way to go from a to b you'll need to portage from A to B which thus is the minimum. – Jeredepp Sep 18 '14 at 11:45
  • The Havel and Oder rivers are linked by canal. Also I know that my grandparents did it regularly in a small boat in the 1920s and 1930s. – Olin Lathrop Sep 22 '14 at 20:46
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With Baltic do you mean the Baltic Sea or the Baltic states?

There are several possible routes from Berlin to the Baltic Sea. If you can read German, here is some information: http://forum.kanu.de/showthread.php?t=2310

Update

Here is a translation of the relevant parts:

There are routes from Berlin to the Batic Sea without portage: Either follow the Spree towards the east, and through the Oder-Spree-Canal into the Oder (which flows into the Baltic Sea), or north over the Havel, and over the Oder-Havel-Canal / Finow-Canal also to the Oder. Here you should paddle through the "Oderbruch" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oderbruch), a nice, lonely, natural marsh area at the border to Poland.

The third and longest variant is the route over the Havel resp. Elde-Müritz-Waterway, Elbe and Elbe-Lübeck-Canal into the Trave.

Beginners should stop at Stettin, before reaching the Oderhaff. The Haff, and the way to the Baltic Sea should only be tried by experienced sea-kayakers. The same is valid for the Trave from Lübeck on, end the "Lübecker Bucht". Better stop in Lübeck here

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    Hi Thomas; for your question, you can post it as a comment (at least, once you have the required reputation). It would indeed help if you could summarize the relevant information in the link provided with your answer. – ppl Sep 19 '14 at 5:50
  • Thanks, Thomas. For some reason I didn't get notification that you had answered my question and I'm only seeing your information now. My German isn't great but I can read it better than I speak it and I should be able to understand the forum link you posted. I did mean the Baltic Sea, by the way. – IanB Oct 16 '14 at 21:21
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I haven't done that specific trip, but I went from Bremen to Bremerhaven on the Weser river, and thought I would chime in with what I learned on that trip that might be applicable to your itinerary.

  1. Make sure you study the tide tables in advance. The closer you get to the sea, the more you will have to battle the tides, which in Germany are quite extreme. When the tide is coming in, you might not be able to make any forward progress for a couple of hours, even when you are still miles away from the baltic sea.

  2. Some of those rivers and canals are shared with huge container ships, which have the ability to displace quite a bit of water. If you pull over somewhere where there is no floating dock, make sure that your kayak is not anywhere near the water, or you might come back and it is gone!

  3. Get ready for some surprised looks, especially on the main thoroughfares!

  • Bremen isn't located at the Baltic Sea where the tide is negligible. – Wills Oct 1 '14 at 23:12
  • Thanks for the reply DudeOnRock. That could be a future trip! – IanB Oct 16 '14 at 21:22

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