By Mary Schmidt, Fox Locks Marketing
We’re used to seeing pontoons, pleasure boats, and kayaks through the Fox Locks, but imagine if a pleasure cruiser longer than a football field were to go through a lock. You’d need a really big lock and that’s what we saw on a recent cruise on the Danube River. Our tour passed through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary where we crossed through several locks—most during the overnight hours. We were on board the Avalon Passion, one of the Avalon line’s river cruisers—at 443’ long and 39’ wide, the ship can be a tight fit in a lock if there are other boats present. As a comparison, our locks are between 35’-37’ long!
We started the cruise at Regensburg, Germany, then crossed beautiful hills on the way to Passau, Germany. The Jochenstein Lock is in the Wachau Valley near Passau and provided excellent views through the locks.
The captain invited us onto the bridge to watch the process, but as soon as we were in the lock, he steered the ship from controls located on the port and starboard sides of the ship. There, he got a closer look at the clearance on the sides of the lock—at some points it was only a few inches. Please watch this short video to get an idea of what it’s like to travel through locks that have been in use for commercial and pleasure crafts for years.