Photo. One of the locks on our boat tour in the Halden Canal. Here we got the unique opportunity to pass through an impressive staircase of three locks that runs through the scenic landscape. © Travel Explorations.
The Halden Canal is the oldest of the two canals in Norway, built in 1852 - 1860, and measuring 8 miles from Skullerud in Akershus in the north to Tistedal in Østfold in the south. In the Halden Canal you can experience three lock locations with a total of 9 lock chambers. Using locks gated sections of waterways that can raise and lower water levels to move boats from one waterway to another. The channel has totally a difference of altitude of 40 meters, divided into three locks. At the place Brekke we experienced Europe's tallest lock with a lifting height of almost 27 meters.
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The boat company MS Brekke AS is owned and operated by father and daughter, Jens and Signe Myhren. Jens is the captain on board. Signe is the general manager and hostess on board. The boat MS Brekke runs between Tistedal and Strømsfoss throughout the summer season.
The waterway leaded us through idyllic lakes, impressive locks and beautiful cultural landscapes. We could just exhale, relax and experience art, culture, beautiful huts and gardens by the shore, history and the beautiful nature. It was a sunny afternoon with calm waters. Look up for beavers and ospreys too. There are also wolves and warthogs there. With MS Brekke, our trip went from Tistedal jetty goes through Lake Femsjøen. Continued to Brekke locks, which mentioned is Northern Europe's highest continuous lock staircase. MS Brekke is raised 26.7 meters in this locking system. Then our trip went further to Asperen, which goes into Lake Ara, and at the end of Ara there is a new lock in Strømsfoss sluice. It was top service on the boat whole the way, with delicous food and drinks.
We were highly impressed by the large locks. It was especially fun to rise up and down in the boat with such great altitude. We observed the people who managed the huge lock gates and maintain the canals, just as their ancestors did before them. With impressive precision they make sure boat navigate correctly and pass each safely. While the lockkeepers carefully guided our boat through the flight of locks, we took our time to closely observe the structure and got a impression how it works.
You can also travel the canal on your own boat, allowing you to choose the pace you wish and to stop where you want. For the most intimate experience of the waterway and the surrounding landscape, consider kayaking from north to south. Open your senses and enjoy the sights and smells, feel the breeze, and hear the wind rustle the treetops and the waves wash the shore.
Stein Morten Lund, 9th July 2021
The boat MS Brekke offers:
- Pre-cooked hot food is served at all departures.
- Kiosk and drinks are sold throughout the trip.
- View all summer departures with MS Brekke and pre-order tickets at: Booking Ticketmaster
MS Brekke website
Information about the Halden canal, routes and boats