List of transcontinental canals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The following is a list of transcontinental canals and waterways, that is, canals or canal proposals, which allows waterway traffic to span across a continent or subcontinent.


Canal Place Location Map Status Endpoints Notes
Grand Canal Chinese subcontinent 34°41′38″N 112°28′6″E / 34.69389°N 112.46833°E / 34.69389; 112.46833 Map of the South–North Water Transfer Project in China (blank).png
  • Construction began 15th c. BC
  • First major section completed in 6th c. BC
  • First Grand Canal completed 6th c. CE
  • In-operation
  • South China
  • North China Plain
Bypassing the eastern coast of China, it provides a stable pirate-free wave-free channel for ship transport and water transport, crossing across the North China continental block.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Rhine–Main–Danube Canal Europe 49°11′30″N 11°15′3″E / 49.19167°N 11.25083°E / 49.19167; 11.25083 (Rhine–Main–Danube Canal) Europa Ludwigskanal Rhein Main Donau.png
  • Initially proposed by Charlemagne
  • Post-War WWII reconstruction completed 1992
  • In-operation
  • North Sea
  • Black Sea
Channelizing the Rhine, the Main and the Danube, and connecting with a canal crossing the European Continental Divide, it traverses Europe. When combined with the Marne–Rhine Canal, it connects to the English Channel. With the addition of the proposed Danube–Oder Canal, the waterway system would also access the Baltic Sea.

[6] [7] [8]

St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes Waterway Eastern North America 43°42′N 77°54′W / 43.7°N 77.9°W / 43.7; -77.9 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway map 1959.png
  • Completed 1959
  • In-operation
  • Great Lakes
  • Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of St. Lawrence)
Following the route of the St. Lawrence River, it allows access to the centre of the continent from the ocean by shipping. When combined with the New York State Canal System, it has a second access to the ocean at Long Island Sound / Hudson Estuary, turning New England into a virtual island. When combined with the Illinois Waterway, it can reach the Gulf of Mexico from the Great Lakes, turning the entire East Coast and Midwest of the United States into a virtual island.

[9] [10] [11]

Mississippi River System Central United States In-operation
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Great Lakes
Channelizing the Mississippi River and major tributaries/distributaries, it accesses central North America. With the St. Lawrence Seaway it reaches the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and turns the Midwest and East Coast of the United States into a virtual island.


Intracoastal Waterway East Coast and South Coast of North America In-operation
  • Boston
  • Cheasapeake
  • Florida
  • Brownsville
Following the coastline of North America, wrapping all the way around the coast of the United States, a series of canals, channelized waters, navigable sheltered natural waters, allow protection from the open ocean.

[12] [13]

Unified Deep Water System of European Russia Russia United Deep Waterway System of European Russia.svg In-operation
  • Baltic Sea
  • Black Sea
  • Caspian Sea
  • White Sea
Traversing across European Russia, the shipping waterway accesses the Atlantic and Arctic Ocean basins, and combined with the Suez Canal, accesses the Indian Ocean as well.

[14] [5]

Eurasia Canal
(Caspian Canal)
Caucasus Proposed
  • Caspian Sea
  • Black Sea
Connecting the Caspian and the Black Seas, it would complete the Manych Ship Canal and Volga–Don Canal to fully connect the two seas with a shipping route.

[5] [15]

(Caspian Canal)
Iran 35°41′N 51°25′E / 35.683°N 51.417°E / 35.683; 51.417 Iranrood.png Proposed
  • Caspian Sea
  • Indian Ocean (Persian Gulf or Gulf of Oman)
Russian plan for independence from the Bosphorus, Straits of Gibraltar, Suez Canal; by digging a canal to connect to the Indian Ocean from the Caspian Sea. through the Persian Plateau and Iran; needing to cross mountains over 1,600 m (5,200 ft) high and being over 1,400 km (870 mi) long.



  1. ^ Jeffrey Hays (2009). "Grand Canal". Facts and Details .com.
  2. ^ "The Grand Canal of China : (Jing-Hang) Da Yun He /(京杭)大运河". Laurus Travel. 2016.
  3. ^ "The Grand Canal of China: the world's longest man-made waterway". Times of India.
  4. ^ "The Grand Canal". World Heritage Centre. UNESCO. 2014.
  5. ^ a b c J. Stephen Jeans (1890). Waterways and Water Transport in Different Countries. E. & F. N. Spon.
  6. ^ Aaron Saunders (13 April 2012). "The Importance of the Main-Danube Canal". River Cruise Advisor.
  7. ^ "The Rhine-Danube Canal". Foreign Affairs Magazine.
  8. ^ "Rhine-Danube". European Commission. 2018.
  9. ^ St. Lawrence Seaway. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. October 2013.
  10. ^ D'Arcy Jenish (2 July 2009). "St. Lawrence Seaway: Inland superhighway". Canadian Geographic.
  11. ^ a b "The Seaway: A Recreational Treasure". Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System. 2018.
  12. ^ Bill Moeller; Jan Moeller; (20 July 2012). "Running The Ditch". PassageMaker.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Andrew Copestake (21 March 2018). "About the Intracoastal Waterway". USA Today.
  14. ^ "Inland Waterways". 2017.
  15. ^ Roman Muzalevsky (1 October 2010). "The Kazakh-Russian "Eurasia" Canal: The Geopolitics of Water, Transport, and Trade". Eurasia Daily Monitor. The Jamestown Foundation.
  16. ^ Fred Pearce (11 April 2017). "Mega-canals could slice through continents for giant ships". New Scientist.

See also[edit]