The Kiel Canal, in German called the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal, is a 68-mile canal through the rich dairy farmland of Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein region, connecting the North Sea to the Baltic and avoiding a 250-nautical mile navigation through the Kattegat Strait and around the Jutland peninsula. It was built in 1895 and widened in 1907. After entering the Elbe River estuary near Brunsbüttel and transiting locks there, your ship is lifted to begin a pleasant countryside passage, sailing under nine bridges and over two tunnels en route to the exit locks at Holtenau on the Kiel Firth. These bridges pose a height limit of 40 meters for ships that can use the canal. Of special interest is a “hanging ferry” gondola that transports traffic across the canal suspended beneath a railway bridge at Rendsburg. The keel draught limit is seven meters. Occasionally, ships are required to moor to bollards to allow other vessels to pass.