petla zulawskaThe Żuławy Loop is a waterway connecting the water routes of the Vistula, Martwa Wisła, Szkarpawa, Wisła Królewiecka, Nogat, Wisła Śmiała, Wielka Świętej - Tuga, Motława, Jagielloński Canal, the Elbląg and Pasłęka rivers, as well as the waters of the Vistula Lagoon. It's 303 km of unforgettable adventure. The Żuławy Loop is an element of the International Waterway E 70 running from Rotterdam, through the Berlin node of inland waterways, northern Poland, to Kaliningrad, and then via the waterway of the Nemunas to Klaipeda. The Żuławy Loop is also a network of ports, marinas and mooring jetties of the highest quality. In addition to the water routes around the Vistula delta and the infrastructure for water tourists, the Żuławy Loop connects numerous attractions related to the cultural heritage of the Vistula Żuławy. There is a huge amount of hydrotechnical monuments on the Żuławy Loop routes - sluices, weirs, pump stations, drawbridge, rotary and pontoon bridges.

The picturesque landscape of Żuławy is plains crossed by watercourses, stretching to the horizon. It is also the only area in Poland partially below sea level. It is here, in Żuławy, in Raczki Elbląskie, the lowest point in Poland, which reaches 1.8 m in height. In addition, almost 30% of the area of ​​Żuławy Wiślane is depressed. The largest of them can be found around Lake Druzno - 181 km2 area, and in the vicinity of Nowy Dwór Gdański, covering the area of ​​152 km2. It is worth mentioning here that the highest located Żuławy area, in Grabiny-Zameczek, rises only at 14.6 m above sea level.



The Żuławy Loop is the three main rivers, Nogat, Wisła and Szkarpawa, they form a natural loop. On the Nogat and Szkarpawa, the fairway marks buoys, on the Vistula coast navigation signs. Strong current, current only on the Vistula, Nogat and Szkarpawa are rather slow flowing rivers.

NOGAT - about 62 km long, kilometers from the lock in Biała Góra. Other river sluices are: Szonowo - between 14 and 15km; Rakowiec - 24km; Michałowo - 39km. All bridges on the Nogat are permanent and so high that flowing under them should not cause problems. The lowest clearance is the bridge in Kępki for 51 km and is 3.3 m. Right behind it, on the east bank there is an entrance to the Jagiellonian Canal - about 7 km, leading to the Elbląg River. At the estuary of the Vistula Lagoon, it forms a marsh with Szkarpawa.

WISŁA - the section we are interested in has about 44 km (from the Biała Góra lock to the Gdańsk Głowa lock), the river is not regulated, but it is partly marked, with boundary signs, we swim according to the coast-to-shore signage. Watch out for spurs, sandbanks, shoals and strong current, it is worth getting acquainted with navigational messages and weather forecasts before sailing on the river, the river can surprise you. Bridges with large clearances, a kilometer behind the bridge in Kiezmark, on the east bank, the entrance to the Gdańsk Głowa lock. We do not moor in the wild, a safe marina is in Tczew.

SZKARPAWA - approx. 27km river (zero kilometer is the Gdańsk Head). Drawbridges, opening at fixed hours in Żuławki - 3 km and Rybina - 15 km. In Rybina there is a branching of the route, the entrance to the Wisla Królewiecka is also started by a drawbridge. The narrow-gauge railway bridge, also in Rybina, is closed at fixed times.

Side dishes, the loop is Wisła Królewiecka - 11km, leading from Rybina to the Vistula Lagoon. The Jagielloński Canal - approx. 7 km, from Nogat to Elbląg.


wislaVISTULA, the queen of Polish rivers and the last wild river of Europe speak about her. It is a habitat of many species of birds, a refuge of beautiful nature. On the section we are interested in - from Korzeniewo (867.7 km) to Tczew (910 km), it is a 2nd class waterway with a guaranteed transit depth of 1.4 m. From this point up to the mouth (at 941.3 km) it has III class of navigability and guaranteed depth of 1.6 m. We sail on the Lower Vistula River like a regulated river, from one bank to the opposite shore, then along the shore (from several hundred meters to several kilometers, depending on the sharpness of the river's arch) to the next signs and the opposite direction.

Attention! When sailing along the shore, you need to keep a safe distance (from several dozen to 200 meters), due to dangerous regulatory spurs. Carefully "read the water" and analyze its disturbances, because when flowing with the stream, the impact on stones can be very dangerous.

The lower section of the Vistula requires boundary signage. To learn how to read them, it is worth taking a look at the chapter "Captain's Advice". At low water levels, swimming according to the signs is absolutely necessary! The edge mark ends at 928 km - before the bridge in Kiezmark. From that moment, you can swim the entire width of the river, of course, being careful. The kilometer marks on the white boards appear irregularly on the edges.

The banks of the Vistula are fortified with stones, so we advise you to moor at them only in emergency situations. For a stop you should look for sandy coves between spurs, but be careful of fishing nets.

Strong Wisła stream (about 3 km / h) significantly complicates quick maneuvers. How to gain time to orientate yourself on the river or find the signs you describe in the chapter GUIDE.

Wind can be a threat to water sports. In the strong northern wind, or from the Gulf of Gdansk, waves of up to 1 m in height are formed on the water. When it winds from the south, you have to significantly increase the engine speed to overcome the current and waves.

Water level
The problem for shipping on the Vistula is also high water levels and floods. Then the locks in Biała Góra, Gdańska Głowie, Przegalinie are closed, which cuts off the Vistula from the arms of the delta and makes it go entirely to the Gulf through Przekop.

szkarpawaSZKARPAWA has flat, rugged banks, and a significant part of the area south of it is depression. This eastern, shorter branch of the Vistula delta starts at the Gdańsk Głowa lock (92,52 km of Wisła) and after 25.4 km it flows into the Vistula Lagoon near the village of Osłonka. In the middle of its course (after 15.3 km) Szkarpawa shares its waters with the Vistula River, which flows into the Vistula Lagoon, but slightly more to the north. The river belongs to the second class, with a guaranteed draft of 1.6 m. The depth in the stream reaches 3.4 m and rarely falls below 2 m. The current is almost undetectable. Szkarpawa is spreading to 100 m wide, and the navigable route, designated by buoys, is 30 m.

Szkarpawa is a river convenient for sailing. All bridges are drawbacks or revolving, open at specific times and at the request of the sailors. If we want to fit under a closed bridge, we must take into account the variable water level. In the short time there are variations up to 1 m, due to the so-called backwater from the Vistula Lagoon and the Baltic Sea.

Water plants
If possible, swim in the middle of the river. This reduces the risk of screwing in the vegetation bolt and entering the fishing nets pledged along the banks. Water vegetation can be troublesome on the backwaters between the bridges in Rybin and at the mouth of the river to the Vistula Lagoon. The salvinia - a floating water fern creating dense green carpets - reproduces less intensively than on the Nogat.

We will find a place for a stop in coves between rushes. There are also several designated berths on the river.

wisla krolewieckaWISŁA KRÓLWIECKA is a branch of Szkarpawa. It is an 11.5-kilometer waterway, leading from Rybina, through Grochowo Pierwsze, Sztutowo, Kobylą Kępa to the Vistula Lagoon. Years ago, the main communication route from Gdańsk to Królewień ran there. In 2006-2008 a thorough renovation of this route was carried out. Both drawbridges (in Sztutowo and Rybin) were repaired and opened, high voltage lines were raised, and the banks and flood embankments were deepened and regulated. In 2009, the Marina Baltica marina was established in Sztutowo, one of the first in the region. Despite all these changes, flowing this river we have the impression that it is wild and inaccessible, which adds to its charm.

It is available to all yachts that sail on the Szkarpawa (dipping to 1.6 meters). Only shallow at the estuary to the Vistula Lagoon may be an obstacle for ballast yachts with greater draft.

The trail is not an official waterway, and there are no kilometer posts along the banks. There are also no buoys or navigational signs.

Current and waterplant
The current is almost imperceptible. Wisła Królewiecka, despite a relatively wide riverbed, is heavily overgrown, especially on the section from Rybina to the village of Grochowo Pierwsze. According to the ordinance of the Minister of Infrastructure, he has the statute of a non-navigable river. Periodically, especially in August, the river bed is covered with a carpet of water ferns - salvinia. In the entire course of the river, however, there is at least a 2 m strip free of scrub. If possible, swim in the middle of the river.

rzeka elblagRIVER ELBLĄG AND JAGIELLOŃSKI CANAL. The Elbląg River is colloquially called Elblążka. Its length is about 20 kilometers. It is an important artery, because it connects the Elbląg Canal and the Iława Lake District with Elbląg and the Vistula Lagoon. Tina and Fiszewka fall into it. To the Nogat (and then also to the Lagoon) it runs from the Elblążki Canal of Jagielloński, which has its beginning on the border of Elbląg. Channel navigation does not cause any special problems. Most of the banks are overgrown with reed, on long sections the channel is strengthened with wooden stakes. The landscape around is mostly arable land. There are many anglers on the whole trail. Years ago, in the place of the current flood barriers in Bielnik, there were as many as two locks - for smaller and larger vessels.

The Jagielloński Canal and Nogat as an alternative water route from Elbląg to the Vistula Lagoon
The main waterway from Elbląg to the Vistula Lagoon is Elblążka. However, the pontoon bridge located in Nowaków, in case of too high or too low water levels, is not opened. An alternative route to the Vistula Lagoon from Elbląg is the Jagielloński Canal and Nogat.

nogatNOGAT is a typical Żuławy river with traces of original nature and unique monuments on both banks. It is the right arm of the Vistula delta. It starts at its 886.6 kilometer in Biała Góra and after 62 kilometers it flows into the Vistula Lagoon. Nogat leads only 3 percent of the Vistula waters to the estuary, hence its small, lazy current, which distinguishes it from the queen of Polish rivers. The width of the Nogat ranges from 80 to 200 meters, while the width of the buoyant navigable route is about 30 meters.

Nogat is classified as 2nd class navigable waterways and divided into two sections:
• first, sewered - from the lock in Biała Góra, through two more in Szonów and Rakowiec, up to the water level in Michałów at 38 km. The maximum immersion in this section is 1.6 m.
• the second, up to the mouth of the Vistula Lagoon (62 km), where Nogat is a slowly navigable river - the maximum draft is 1.4 m.

High voltage lines and bridges
The Nogat waterway should not cause navigational difficulties. The lowest high voltage line is located at an altitude of 12.3 m. The lowest bridge is the bridge in Kępki (50.8 km) with a height of 3.3-3.7 m clearance in the navigable spout (depending on the water level).

All sluices on the Nogat have similar dimensions - approx. 57 m long and approx. 9.5 m wide. Equipped with double gates, but the service usually only opens one. The real width at the entrance and exit is less than 5 m. A telephone to the lock half an hour earlier will ensure that the gate will be open and we will enter the lock without waiting in the avant-garde. We pay the fee in the sluice chamber at the upper water level.

Water plants
Sailing along the Nogat, keep to the center of the navigable route. This reduces the risk of screwing into the screw of water vegetation, in particular salvinia, floating ferns that grow wild on the Nogat. It blooms most intensively in the second half of August and stays on water until the end of September and even October. Her broken carpets lie in front of the gates to the locks, making it difficult to enter. In connection with the launch of hydroelectric power plants on the sluices in Szonów and Michałów, a small current appeared on the river, almost imperceptible to the navigators, but it is favorable - vegetation and does not hinder the crossing.

The banks of the Nogat are overgrown with rushes, but you can find nice beaches for mooring and camping.


There are 6 locks on the Żuławy Loop to overcome different levels of rivers. The three allow you to get from the Vistula to the side waterways: Przegalina to the waters of Gdańsk, Biała Góra to Nogat and Gdańsk Head to Szkarpawa. Three additional ones are on the Nogat. Locking requires concentration and good organization. It is best to agree to enter the lock about half an hour earlier with the facility's service. There are telephone numbers for service on each yacht.

sluza biala goraBiała Góra lock - the connection of the Vistula and Nogat. The sluice in Biała Góra is the first of the four sluices of the so-called Nogat cascade, in the direction from Vistula to the Vistula Lagoon. The next ones are Szonowo, Rakowiec and Michałowo. The dimensions of the lock chambers are the same or very similar. In the case of the Biała Góra sluice are: length 57 m, width 9.53 m. The maximum slope (level difference) is as high as 4.10 m and is the largest among the locks on the Nogat The sluice has an unusual structure thanks to four pairs of supporting gates (two pairs in the upper and lower heads), which allow for the sluice of units both in the Vistula states higher and lower than in the Nogat.

sluza gdanska glowaGdańska Głowa lock - a connection between the Vistula and Szkarpawa. This is the beginning of Szkarpawa. It is a historic building. A few years ago it underwent a major refurbishment and in 2004 it was modernized, consisting in mounting in the head of the sluice an additional gate - emerging from under the water. This allows for locking large, over 100-meter passenger ships. From the side of the Vistula, flood gates are built - clearly higher than the lock gates. Although most often they are open, they are permanently closed at high, flooded waters and in the winter season. Chamber length 61.0 m, chamber width 12.5 m, stroke 3.0 m.

sluza przegalinaPrzegalina Lock - a connection between the Vistula and the waters of Gdańsk. There used to be two locks at the same time - antique used to transport rafts, a new one, also called South Sluice - professional sailing. Since 1992, only a new lock has been open. It is a modern, automated lock, built in the eighties. Its eastern gates were immediately built large enough to also serve as flood gates. The sluice has traffic lights. Chamber length 188.4 m, chamber width 11.9 m, stroke 2.5 m.

sluzy nogatuNOGAT LOCKS; Locks in Szonowo, Rakowiec and Michałowo are chamber locks with a concrete structure, covered with clinker bricks with double-leafed gates with hand-operated mechanisms. The chamber is filled and emptied by circulating channels placed symmetrically in the upper and lower head.

Szonowo sluice
: length 57.33 m, width 9.58 m, maximum slope (level difference) is 2.10 m. The gates are operated manually.

Rakowiec Lock: length 56.64 m, width 9.60 m, the maximum slope (level difference) is the largest among the sluices on the Nogat and is 2.85 m. The gates are operated manually. In addition to the lock is, of course, weir, at which the hydroelectric power station is located.

Michałowo Sluice: length 57 m, width 9.54 m, maximum slope (level difference) is 2.40 m. The gates are handled manually. In addition to the lock is, of course, weir.


In the last few years, many marinas and marinas have been created in the area of ​​the Loop. Part has been renovated, some are completely new investments. Now the water sportsmen have where to stay, replenish supplies, use the shower and stay overnight. Although there are more and more places, the harmony between modernity and nature has been preserved. Below you will find useful information on several selected marinas and marinas.

malborkMalbork, Sailing Harbor "Northern Park" - is located 200 meters behind the railway bridge, flowing upstream. In the kiosses located opposite the sanitary facilities, the depth is: outside, about 2 meters, inside about 1 meter. The outer berth on the left side of the boat is located at a depth of 1.5 meters, inside about 0.5 meters. From the port to the city center is about 10 minutes on foot. There are several places on the river where you can safely moor. These include, among others, the City Bath with the function of a marina and Keja Postojowa at the Castle.

tczewTczew, Yacht's Marina is located at ul. Wodna 6 within the Vistula boulevards. The harbor for passenger ships is a permanent platform on steel piles with a 102 meter long mooring rope. The shore under the jetty is made as a slope reinforced with gabion mattresses. Moving the bridge towards the current of the river allows mooring to vessels of total length (LOA) up to 125 m. Behind the passenger harbor upstream, in the edge bay there is a jetty for yachts and small vessels made of floating concrete pontoons, from the shore on stilts . Provides a safe stop for units with small freeboard, regardless of the variable water levels. The length of the platform provides a stop for 10 units. Water intake and electricity connection are available.

biala goraBiała Góra Yacht's Marina: a parking stand for a passenger ship and 5 parking spaces for tourist units (sailing and motor yachts) with a length of 7 m to 15 m. Parking spaces are located at bridges constructed with the use of systemic, continuous platforms floating on float-concrete floats. social facilities for marina customers with a construction area of ​​105.90 sq m located in a one-story building, equipped with the necessary for the functioning of the marina: social rooms for marina clients, toilets with showers, including a separate toilet for a disabled person, a kitchenette. In addition to the social facilities for clients, in the cubature part of the marina, there was a boating room for the bosun and a winter hangar for water equipment with an area of ​​88.86 sq m.

rybinaRybina, just before the Szkarpawa fork, a new marina is located on the left bank. There is a fairly long wharf at the disposal of the sailors, a sanitary node, power and water connections as well as a pump for faeces. The perfect place to stop for a long stop, a pharmacy and a grocery store are in close proximity. About 5 km from the marina, there is a petrol station in Stegna.

oslonkaOsłonka Marina
was built as part of the "Żuławy Loop" project in 2011/2012, on the west bank of the Szkarpawa river. The marina is divided by a flood embankment in two parts - above and on land. It is an ideal place for a stopover and accommodation in several directions, which is why Osłonka is a very important haven for sailors. For Szkarpawa flowing from the side of Gdańsk, or from the side of Malbork, Nogat, it will allow accommodation before sailing to the waters of the Vistula Lagoon. For those sailing on the Lagoon, it may be an additional stopping place or a harbor of refuge (in the event of a bad weather), between Kąty Rybackie and Suchacz. For those sailing on the round river route of the Żuławy Loop, it is an important stage haven. On the occasion of the construction of the marina, a flood bank was rebuilt and dredging works were carried out in the area of ​​the approach from the fairway to the marina.