Karrebæksminde or Næstved canal

Connects Næstved to Smålandsfarvandet.

Danneskjoldske canal
Næsbyholm's canal

Through Suse river to Næstved

Total length

Total lyfthöjd

No of locks

Max boatlength

Max boatwidth

Max boatdepth

Max masthöjd

Max speed

about 3500 m

0 m


119 m

12,8 m

5,6 m

Fri höjd

6 knots

In the northenmost part of Smalandsfarvandet you'll find Karrebæksminde. Many sailors have been in the area, but only a few have taken the time to sail the 4,5 nautical miles to Næstved.
First you pass the bridge that connects Sjælland to Enø. The current can be rather strong here, so the rules says you have to use your engine.
Boats up to 2,5 meter high may pass under the bridge. Otherwise it opens every full hour for boats showing flag N. On the other side of the bridge you sail on Karrebæk Fjord. Just follow the 6 meter deep canal.
From the other side of the fjord there's a canal up to Næstved. It is close to 2 nautical miles, 6 meter deep and 40 meter wide. Halvway is a swingbridge that only opens for commercial ships. Boats up to 8 meters high may pass under the bridge. There is commercial traffic on the canal that pleasure-crafts must keep away from. Max speed is 6 knots.
There are several harbours in the area, Karrebæksminde, Hvide Svaner, Pouls Vig, Jacobshavn, Næstved Sejlsportshavn and Næstved Industrihavn. There is plenty of room for achoring in the Karrebæk Fjord.
Karrebæksminde is an old fishermens village. Today mainly summerhouses. Næstved is a town from the middleages with very nice churches like Saint Peder and Saint Morten. The town also holds a nice museum and close to town is the rococo-castle Gavnø, with a nice collecting of old paintings.
Anders Bang


The kanal from Karrebæk Fjord to Næstved follows Suseån. The canal was opened for traffic in 1937 when Næstved celebrated it's 800th anniversary.


During the middle ages Næstved was one of the most important towns of the Hansa group. The ships used at that time could easily get into the Næstved harbour. But as the importance and influense of the Hansa group diminished during the years, the landrize and drifting sand made the fairway to Næstved more difficult to use.
So something had to be done. At the start of the 18th century it was decided that a new canal through Longshave and a new harbour was necessary, but the works did not start until 1806, when count Danneskjold-Samsøe interveened. The English attack against Denmark in 1807 stopped the works that were not completed until 1812. The new harbour was called Karrebæksminde.
This was a great succes. Shipping and trade increased immensely, as well as the number of people in Næstved. By the end of the 19th century the possibilities to dig a new canal to Næstved were investigated. One purpose was to get rid of the expensive transshipment. The investigations showed that a new canal would be too expensive, but the ideas and the hope remained.
In 1921 a new plan was discussed, but it was again too expensive. During the following years the prices fell though, and for the plan that would have costed 8 miljon in 1921 the price had fallen to 4 miljon crowns in 1930!
Now the countycouncil decided to build that canal from Karrebæksminde to Næstved as well as a new harbour in Næstved.
The Danish government gave their permission, granted that the council came to an angreement with the papermill in Næstved about transports.
This agreement was signed in 1932 and the works with the canal and harbour started in 1935. They were ready for use in 1937 and officially opened by the royal ship Dannebrogen on May 21st 1938.

Suseån at Holløse

Suseån at Holløse Mølle

Suseån at Holløse Mølle

Suseån at Holløse Mølle

© Pictures 2015 by Bosse Arnholm

The Danneskjold canal
Count Danneskjold-Samsøe also built a private canal from his estates Bavelse and Næsbyholm to Næstved. There were vast forests on these estates and he wanted to sell wood from these forests to the people in Copenhagen, if only he could transport it cheaply on boats.
In 1810 he got the permission to build a canal in Suse river and in September 1812 the first barge left his estate with wood. When the barge reached Næstved the wood was given to the poor people in town.
The canal was 25 kilometer long. There was one lock at Næstved, one at Holløse, a regulating lock at Nåby, one at Herulfsholm and finally a stigbord at Stridsmølle. The difference in waterlevel was 7 meters.
The barges were drawn by horses.
The count wanted to take the wood on his own barges all the way from his estates to Karrebæksminde for reloading to seagoing ships and transport to Copenhagen. But Næstved town had royal privilage for all tranpsorts between Næstved and Karrebæksminde, so Danneskjold-Samsøe had to buy that privilage from Næstved town along with the three big barges they had.
The traffic between the estates and Karrebæksminde occupied 12 barges during a number of years.

Count Danneskjold-Samsøe died in 1823 only 49 years old. When the estate was to be divided they found out that he had mortgaged the two estates Bavelse and Næsbyholm for a loan on 250 000 riksdaler at the Royal Kreditkasse to be able to build the canal. Apart from that, the count had paid another 125 000 riksdaler for the canal. The heirs had no chance to find cash for the debt so the king bought the estates, the canal and barges and some inventories for 500 000 riksdaler and cancelled the debt.
Now the Danneskjold canal was renamed Næsbyholm canal.
In 1835 the king sold the estates and the canal to wholesaler Christian Rønnenkamp for 320 000 riksdaler.

The woodtransports down the canal contained between 7 000 and 8 000 kubikmeters during a number of years. Later it dropped to between 3 000 and 4 000 kubikmeters per year. By 1832 the traffic had dropped to about 1 000 kubikmeters, an amount that scarsely paid maintennance of the canal.
During the years there was only a handful of transports upstreams the canal.
In 1865 the woodtransports ceased and the owner Rønnenkamp wanted to get rid of the canal. Rønnenkamp teared down the locks, rinsed the kanalflow and handed over everything to Præstø och Sorø counties.

But even today there are some minor commercial interests in the creek. Canoeing is very popular in the area so people can rent canoes here.

Views from Vetterslev

Views from Vetterslev

Views from Vetterslev

© Pictures from 2015 by Bosse Arnholm

Sources: Anders Bang, Søren Hedemand, and Mogens Brems, Danmark til søs part II, 1975. Ole Nørgaards web-site.

Do send comments or further information to Bosse Arnholm!


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This page was modified at 16-10-30