Corinth Canal

An hour-long transit of the narrow Corinth Canal – barely wider than our own ship.

The Peloponnese is a vast peninsula that forms the southern portion of Greece, and is attached to the mainland by the incredibly thin isthmus of Corinth (see map below).  The Romans once built a wall across the isthmus to protect the peninsula from the mainland.

This narrow strip of land separates the Ionean Sea from the Aegean Sea, and forces ships to sail around the entire peninsula to reach one from the other, a 700-kilometer (430 mile) journey. Even in antiquity, sailors dreamed of digging a canal to shorten the voyage – with the first attempt dating to the 7th century BC.  Finally, in 1893, a viable canal was completed [Wikipedia].  Our own ship, Le Bougainville, is nearly as wide as the canal – with just 2m to spare on either side – and is thus quite an exciting transit!  See the photo gallery.

Isthmus_of_Corinth
Map of the area, and (inset) of Greece, from Wikipedia.

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