The Martwa Wisła, the Śmiała Wisła, the Motława Gdańska

River Profile

The Martwa Wisła is a former estuary branch of the Vistula. It became “dead” after the Przekop Wisły Canal was built in Świbno and the main river mouth cut off by means of locks in Przegalina and Pleniewo. The latter was dismantled after the war. The Martwa Wisła constitutes an important watercourse and enables reaching Gdańsk from the side of the Vistula, bypassing Gdańsk Bay.

The Wisła Śmiała emerged in the winter of 1840, when waters blocked by ice broke through the strip of seaside dunes. Until the digging of the Przekop Wisły Canal in 1895, this was the main mouth of the Vistula. It is also called the Śmiała Wisła Gorge or the Śmiała Wisła Broads.

The Motława is a river crossing the Gdańsk Żuławy Gdańskie and flowing into the Martwa Wisła at the Polish Hook (Polski Hak). The Żuławy Loop includes only the final stretch of the Motława, in Gdańsk. The remaining part of the river is described in the chapter Kayaking the Loop.

Navigational Information

Ship traffic
Watch out for water traffic along the entire route – including sea ships, tugs, pushboats with barges, and other professional vessels. Since inland waterways meet maritime fairways here, the navigational marking along most of the route is compatible with sea marking.

Bridges
The Martwa Wisła route begins at the Przegalina Lock. The permanent bridge beside the lock is a drawbridge since the summer of 2012. There is also a pontoon bridge on the route, in Sobieszewo, and permanent ones after the Stogi district: a cable-stayed bridge, a swing railway bridge (not opened), and the Siennicki Bridge . The final stretch of the Martwa Wisła is port waters and the Polish Hook. In the turning basin, at the Polish Hook, there are four directions to choose from:

1.To the north, along the Kashubian Canal – through port waters to Wisłoujście, Westerplatte, and  Gdańsk Bay.

2. To the west, down the “real” Martwa Wisła – through the former areas of Gdańsk Shipyard and the Port of Gdańsk (navigation prohibited), and back to the Kashubian Canal near Westerplatte.

3. Going south, you enter the Motława, which takes you to the Old City of Gdańsk and to Marina “Szafarnia.”

4. To the east, you turn back to the Martwa Wisła in the direction of Górki Zachodnie, Sobieszewo, and Przegalina. Shoals occur beyond the fairway on the stretch between the Przegalina Lock and the bridge in Sobieszewo. After Górki Wschodnie, there is a narrowing several hundred metres long, where the Pleniewo Lock used to be. With unfavourable wind, tacking may be difficult here. Then the river is broad again until the cable-stayed bridge. There are numerous yacht harbours and ports on the route. In 2012, the harbour of Błotnik was opened near Przegalina. A kilometre from the lock, mooring is possible in harbours near Sobieszewo as well as in the yacht ports of Górki Zachodnie, Stogi, and Rudniki districts. The harbours have boatbuilding, motor repair, and sailmaking shops. There are slipways there and cranes for launching yachts.
 
Hydrotechnical Highlights

The Stone Sluice (Stopień Kamienna Grodza).
A fragment of 16th and 17th century Gdańsk fortifications, situated on the Motława (in line with Kamienna Grobla and Na Szańcach Streets). In place of the former lock, a flood-gate now functions. It closes and opens automatically when the water level in the Motława rises. It is possible that after passing through the gate and on returning from a trip along the Motława we will find the gate closed. The Regional Water Management Board opens it for the period when there is no danger of flood.



The water bus network in Gdańsk. The “Revitalization of Waterways in Gdansk” program, implemented in the years of 2007-2012, included the construction of the Marina Żabi Kruk, for small vessels, Marina Sienna Grobla II, Marina Tamka, as well as water tram stops on Westerplatte, by the National Centre of Sailing, on Wiosny Ludów street, by the Green Bridge, by the Fortress Wisłoujście – on the Barge Wharf, by the Fish Market, and Stogi. The purpose of the implementation of the project was the economic revitalization and improvement of the town and the region in terms of tourist attraction. Recreational revitalization of waterways raised interest of people, who want to participate in sport and recreation activities on the inland waterways.


Yacht and motorboat harbour Marina Gdańsk.
Built in 1997, when Gdańsk was celebrating its millenary. The 290-metre harbour lies along Szafarnia Quay, opposite the Gdańsk Crane. It has electricity, light, water, and washing facilities. The new facilities of the marina have been located in Stara Pakownia Granary. In a high-rise and the granary there are two sailing shops. The marina is closed by the Stągiewny Bridge and the Stągiewna
Tower. Opposite the marina is the Brovarnia Restaurant (in Hotel Gdańsk), where they brew excellent beer.



  
Tourist Highlights

Saint Dominic’s Fair in Gdańsk. The Fair has a 750-year tradition. It was originally meant to encourage the faithful to attend the indulgence mass. Year by year, the event grew in scale and importance. World War II disrupted the tradition. Revived in 1972, the fair lasted two weeks, and since 2004 it lasts three weeks. It is a commercial event nowadays, with handicraftsmen, collectors, and artists participating. artystów.



Amber Route. Gdańsk is an important place on the amber trail of the Pomeranian Province. It is worthwhile visiting the Museum of Amber – a branch of the City of Gdańsk Historical Museum, seeing the Amber Altar in St. Brigit’s Church and the Museum of Amber Inclusions at the University of Gdańsk; you can also go shopping to the enchanting Mariacka Street, where galleries and amber shops are situated.



Wisłoujście Fortress. It is an unusual fortification structure, situated on an island. Its history goes back to the 15th century. Until 1758 the fortress
served as a lighthouse, in the 19th century it used to be a prison, and in the interwar period it housed a sailing club. Since 1947 the fortress houses a branch of the City of Gdańsk Historical Museum. It is one of the largest wintering places of bats in the province.



INTRODUCTION

1

Part One. Discovering the Żuławy Loop

2

Tales of the Loop: A Page from History

3

Harmony: The Key to Reading the Landscapes of Żuławy

4

Architecture: The Land of Arcaded Houses and Hydrotechnical Monuments

5

Part Two. The Sailing Routes of the Żuławy Loop: Sailing and Sightseeing

6

The Vistula

7

The Martwa Wisła, the Śmiała Wisła, the Motława Gdańska

12

The Szkarpawa

14

The Wisła Królewiecka

16

The Elbląg River and the Jagielloński Canal

18

The Nogat

20

The Wielka Święta–Tuga

24

The Vistula Lagoon

26

Pasłęka River and the Canal of Pasłęka

29

The Kaliningrad Lagoon

30

Part III. The ABC of Sailing: Before You Sail on the Żuławy Loop

32

Proposed Trip Routes

33

II. The Little Loop of Żuławy

34

III. To the Capital of the Vistula Żuławy

35

IV. From Gdańsk to the Vistula Lagoon

36

V. Down the Vistula to Gdańsk

37

VI. Around the Vistula Lagoon

38

Informator

39

Captain’s Tips

40

signs shipping

41

signs shipping

42

Część IV. Nautical Base of the Żuławy Loop. Ports and marinas.

43

Mooring Platforms in Tczew

44

The passenger and yacht harbour in Tczew

45

The fishing port in Świbno

46

The fishing harbour in Mikoszewo

47

Marina in Błotnik

48

Harbour „Tęcza”

49

River side hostel in Wiślinka

50a

Maritime Yacht Club “Neptun”

50

Marina Delphia Yachts - Górki Zachodnie

51

Gdańsk Shipyard Yacht Club

52

Joseph Conrad Yacht Club

53

Academic Maritime Club in Gdańsk

54

AZS Cosa - Academic Sports Association in Gdańsk

55

The National Sailing Centre of the University School of Physical Education and Sport

56

Gdańsk Maritime Club Yachting Harbour

57

Marina on „Tamka” Street

58

Yachting Harbour “Stewa”

59

Northern Yacht Club Harbour

60

WOPR Gdańsk Harbour

61

Marina Gdańsk

62

Kayak and Motorboat Harbour “Żabi Kruk”

63

Marina Sienna Grobla II

64

Polish Maritime Club Harbour (Wisłoujście)

65

Mooring piers in Drewnica

66

Harbour in Żuławki

67

Mooring piers in Rybina

68

Yacht harbor in Rybina

69

Yacht harbor in Osłonka

70

Houseboat Harbour in Rybina

71

Marina Baltica in Sztutowo

72

Yacht harbor in Sztutowo

73a

Yacht Wharf by the Zygmunt August Boulevard in Elbląg

73

Yacht harbor Fala

74

The marina of Scout Water Centre “Bryza”

75

Yacht Club Elbląg

76

Yacht harbor in Biała Góra

77

The harbour of the Sports and Leisure Centre in Malbork.

78

Castle Harbour in Malbork

79a

“Park Północny” harbour in Malbork

79

The harbour in Kamienica Elbląska

80

The harbour in Nadbrzeże

81

The harbour in Suchacz

82

The harbour in Kadyny

83

The harbour in Tolkmicko

84

The port in Frombork

85

The port in Piaski

86

The yacht port in Krynica Morska

87

The fishing port in Krynica Morska

88

The port of Kąty Rybackie

89

Yacht harbor in Kąty Rybackie

90

Sailing harbour “Neptun” in Kąty Rybackie

91

The port of Nowa Pasłęka

92

“Dom Rybaka” harbour in Stara Pasłęka

93

Stara Pasłęka harbour

94

Yacht harbor in Braniewo

95

Explanation of the symbols of services available on harbours and their surroundings (1.5 km).

96

Water nodes of the Żuławy Loop.

97

Gdańsk Water Tram

98

Legend

99

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