In their time, the Colossus of Rhodes, Statue of Zeus and Temple of Artemis were Grecian wonders of the world, but the Corinth Canal, a time-saving 4-mile-long waterway from the Gulf of Corinth to the Aegean Sea, remained a dream for nearly 3,000 years.
Cutting this canal proved too arduous for conquering Romans and Venetians, so by the 1800’s, only one-tenth of the intended channel was cut through the isthmus. That’s when newly independent Greeks, inspired by recent Suez Canal engineering triumphs, resumed the task in earnest.
Unfortunately, when it was finally completed in 1893, the canal proved unprofitable for shipping. The narrow passage required expensive retaining walls to hold back sheer limestone cliffs and tidal currents pushed and pulled transiting water traffic.
Today the Corinth Canal remains a modern Greek wonder exclusive to small vessels with beams/widths of 58 feet and smaller, like our Windstar yachts.
The Canal’s size renders it nearly unusable for today’s modern shipping industry, and thus the canal has lost most of its economic importance. Larger vessels must take the old route —a time-consuming, 430-mile voyages around the entire Peloponnese Peninsula and exposing themselves to the fierce winds that blow at the south end of the mainland.
Today the Canal is used for more than just ships – there are a number of activities including:
Stand up paddle boarding competitions, and more.
If you’re traveling on our Greece via the Corinth Canal & Turkey: The Marvels of Ancient Rivals voyage, be sure to head up on deck to take in the views of Corinth Canal’s limestone walls. Enjoy this small ship exclusive experience as you sail through the narrow passage shortcut with private yachts, mail ships and other small boats.