By The Maritime Executive 2019-10-11 17:33:36
On Wednesday, the cruise ship Braemar set a new record as the largest vessel ever to transit Greece's historic Corinth Canal, the famously narrow waterway connecting the Saronic Gulf with the Gulf of Corinth.
The 24-meter-wide canal is just barely large enough to accommodate the 22.5-meter wide Braemar. The vessel's sides were close enough that guests could nearly touch the canal walls, according to Clare Ward, director of product for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
The Braemar is on a 25-night tour of the Greek islands and the Peloponnese, departing and ending in Southampton with stops in Rhodes, Ermoupoli, Patras, Katakolon and other popular destinations. Fred. Olsen says that it has already attracted considerable interest for the Spring 2021 edition of the cruise.
The Corinth Canal is a study in long-term project management. Planning began in the 7th century BC during the reign of Periander, ruler of Corinth. Periander ultimately opted for a less costly overland portage system, and construction on a canal did not get under way until the administration of Roman emperor Nero some 600 years later. The project was canceled after Nero's death in 68 AD, and the effort was abandoned for 1,800 years. In 1882, a concessionaire broke ground again on Nero's original route, and the canal was completed in 1893.