Netherlands waterway cruise – s Hertogenbosch to Veghel

First of many bridges

Thursday 4th September 2014

The next few days would take us generally in a South East direction, along the Zuidwillemsvaart Kanaal to Maasbracht, a distance of just over 80 km.

This canal is long and pretty well straight, but not as boring as I expected.

On the Zuidwillemsvaart Kanaal

This was the original commercial route through to Belgium, and even though it has been largely superseded by the River Maas and the newish Juliana Kanaal, it was quite busy with commercial traffic.

We expected to have to stop overnight at least twice during the passage. There are a lot of locks and bridges, and not that many overnighting opportunities.

Sluis 3

Given the unknowns of how long you will have to wait at locks and bridges, difficult to plan.

We ended up with a shortish first day as far as Veghel, a long day as far as Nederweert and a medium day to Maasbracht.

This post covers the first day to Veghel.

I said a lot of locks.

Continual wash from barges

Some have names but most are numbered 0 to 13, though what happened to 3 and 4 I don’t know, and 8 and 9 were on a side canal so we didn’t go through them.

As this route is heading south east and inland and thus uphill, most locks had at least a 2 metre rise, with some as much as 4 metres.

Another thing – the barges are not supposed to use their engines once in the lock, and huge signs advise this.

Silo converted to flats!

But few pay much attention to this, and in fact most only put up one rope ashore and use their engine to hold position, which causes huge problems for us small boats.

We set out just before 9 am.

We hardly had any waiting time, the longest being about 20 mins at Sluis 1, and we arrived at Veghel about 12.30.

Veghel church

Veghel marina is located up a short side arm to the main canal.

Going up this side arm we passed an industrial area which had been converted to restaurants, offices and accommodation.

First time I have ever seen a grain silo turned into an apartment block!

Veghel is another of they places I confess I had never heard of till this trip.

Veghel town centre

It is rather small, having the obligatory
large church, and town square.

t does boast a VVV (Tourist Info Centre) but its main claim to fame is probably it’s second
world war history.

Veghel was one of the towns involved in Operation Market Garden toward the end of 1944.

Plaque about 2nd world war

This operation involved the landing of a whole lot of airborne troops to secure the way for the British Army under Montgomery to free Netherlands, take back Arnhem and thus defeat the Germans.

More on all this when we get to Arnhem in a few days time.

Meanwhile, here in Veghel are a number of plaques and monuments commemorating the US battalion that landed here.

Veghel 2nd world war monument

Those interested in the history might want to go to the website shown in the one picture – www. .

Back to boating – the marina itself was pretty good, with good ablutions, washing machines, loan bicycles an metered walstroom (shore power).


Distance:        19 km
Locks:           2
Bridges:         7 Fixed and 3 Beweeg
Motoring time;   2.2 hours

Dont forget to check out Karen’s blog to get a different take on our travels.

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