Corinth Canal in Greece: Cruise ship makes record-breaking squeeze through canal

A 22.5 metre-wide cruise ship has become the largest ship to pass through the narrow Corinth Canal in Greece, according to its operator. 

The Braemer cruise liner was so close to the sides of the 6.4 kilometre-long canal when it squeezed through on October 9 that passengers could almost reach out and touch them, UK-based Fred Olsen Cruises said. 

At 24,344 gross tonnes and 195.82 metres in length, the ship "broke the existing record to become the largest ship ever to traverse it, with not much room to spare!," the company said on Twitter. 

Cruise ship becomes largest vessel to pass through Greece's Corinth Canal

Passengers could almost touch the sides of the Corinth Canal as the ship passed through.

The Corinth Canal - a maximum 25 metres wide at the water's surface - connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf, separating the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland and arguably turning it into an island. 

While the concept of a canal across the isthmus was first mooted some 2500 years ago – around 600BC – the narrow waterway was not completed until 1893.

Clare Ward, director of product and customer service at Fred Olsen, described the crossing as "a tremendous milestone in [the company's] 171-year history.

"At Fred Olsen, we strive to create memories that last a lifetime, and with guests on board Braemar able to get so close to the edges of the Corinth Canal that they could almost touch the sides, we know that this will be a holiday that they will never forget."

The crossing formed part of a 25-night cruise from Southampton in the UK to the Greek Islands.

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