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Corinth Canal

The Corinth Canalwas one of the main reasons we booked our cruise on the MV Coral. The canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. The man-made Corinth Canal is 4 miles long and very narrow. We understand MV Coral is the largest ship to be able to negotiate this very narrow stretch of water.

Cruising the Corinth Canal was one of the biggest onboard highlights of the cruise on the Coral. All the passengers were on deck and there was a real party atmosphere. The Coral bills this as the ‘Corinth Canal party’ and the entertainment team were on the top deck to add to the fun.

According to the MV Coral, it is traditional to celebrate entering the canal with a glass of sparkling wine and by making a wish. Glasses of sparkling wine were available at a discounted rate. I did think it would have been a nice gesture to actually give the passengers a complimentary glass of something ‘bubbly’ and who knows, it might even have increased the sales!

The Corinth Canal is impressive. The Coral just squeezes through with little room either side. Standing on deck, it would almost seem possible to reach out and touch the sides. Negotiating its waters must call for great care and skilled seamanship.

All the pictures of the Corinth Canal available online don’t do this wonder of the world justice. The sides look smooth, as if freshly sliced from the rock. In fact, the sides of the canal have a landscape all of their own. There is evidence of subsidence, where the rock has eroded and slipped into the water. In places, the retaining walls have crumbled. Trees and shrubs defy gravity to grow in the walls of the canal, adding to the interest and appeal.

Cruising the canal took the best part of two hours and the decks were packed throughout the journey. This really was an unforgettable experience.

The Rion-Antirion bridge

A few hours after passing through the Corinth Canal, we passed under the Rion-Antirion bridge. We were fortunate to do this after day, as the lighting is quite spectacular.