Degree of difficulty:
Boating license essential
Character of waterway:
back to nature, old waterway, to be rediscovered
Profile of waterway:
Wharfs, Marinas, Harbors, Facilities, Houseboat hirers, Restaurants and Shops.
has its source in the Senne, in the east of Nordrhein-Westfahlen, on the southern slope of Teutoburger forest.
It is 371 km long and theoretically navigable for 238 km. From Münster it runs parallel to Dortmund-Ems-Kanal, as from Meppen it joins it for long stretches. At Papenburg it ends definitely in the Ems, which itself flows into Dollart after only 30 km. Papenburg and Leer are on the underflow, while the town of Emden is on the banks of Dollart already.
“Upper” Ems is navigable from Rheine and meets after 40 km, a bit below Hanekenfähr, the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal. Find there the description for lower Ems to the Dollart.
The short trip southwards to Rheine doesn’t offer lots of infrastructures but is for its surroundings rather charming. Surely worth a visit is the abbey “Kloster Bentlage” just before Rheine.
Is the most southern link to the canals of the provinces of Drenthe and the Overijssel . The entire net between Ems and the Dutch canals was built between 1870 and 1904. EVK was opened in 1879 and navigation was closed in 1973. Today it may be used again by boats not longer than 12 meters.
The entire stretch is very straight, crossing woods, and is therefore a recreation, especially in high summer.
To the country