Romania – Inland Waterways

The Danube of Romania is a wide and lazy river with numerous shifting sand bars below the surface. This is a good stretch of the river to start following commercial traffic to avoid shallow water. Numerous anchorage spots can be found in the bends of the meandering river. This route followed on from our Danube route and so we have not repeated the preamble about boat dimensions etc. here as they may be read on the Danube Overview page. Comments here are specific to the inland waterways of Romania. We another page, click here, on coastal Romania.

Note: Comments are based on 2013 passages with very high water levels due to extreme rainfall and subsequently very high levels of siltation in harbours.

Borders and Travel Permits

Romania is in the EU but not in the Schengen Area so border formalities must be observed. We exited from Silistra in Bulgaria and entered Romania at Calarasi which is about 374 km.

Danube River on Wikipedia

Terminus Points: Calarasi,  Sulina, Cernedova
Connections to: Black Sea, Black Sea Canal
Locks enroute: none
Portion Covered: km 374 to km 150
Problems or Issues:

Previous river segment upriver – Bulgaria

The Danube runs for 374 km across Romania, first on the left bank and then on both banks and finally empties into the Black Sea.

Calarasi border control point Danube km  374
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Description: Moor at Border Police dock and officials will come to the boat.
Problems or Issues:

Note: From km 346 the designated channel for water traffic is north channel which is called the Bala Arm and becomes the Borcea Arm. The pilot book does not mention this and also does not have chartlets for this section of water. Dredging and maintenance on the old channel (i.e. the south channel) has ceased according to the river captains and boats now enter it at their own risk. To reach Cernadova one must travel down river on the Bala and Borcea Arms to km 242 and then turn back upriver on the old channel.

Note: we had intended to exit the Danube via Sulina but could not step our masts at Braila or Galati and so had to turn upriver to Cernadova so we could take the Black Sea Canal to Constanta where the very large commercial harbour would have facilities to step our masts.

Cernadova Border Police pontoon Danube km
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, electricity, food shopping nearby
Description: This is the registry point for getting scheduled for the first lock and therefore the canal. We stayed on the pontoon so we could be contacted as early in the morning as possible to start the trip.
Problems or Issues: The police building is out of the town and there are numerous wild dogs roaming outside the town, some are quite aggressive. The police came out once and drove them off with shovels and axe handles.

Next river segment downriver – Romania coastal waters

  • Die Donau by Melanie Haselhorst & Kenneth Dittmann – guide to the Danube River from Kelheim Germany to the Black Sea. Referred to as “the pilot” on this page, we have full description of it here.
  • we have collected the links we found for the canals and rivers of Germany, eastern France and the Donau
  • some of our sources were online facilities which we list in Android for Sailing

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