The Brda is the largest tributary of the lower Vistula. It is 238 km long, of which 15 km of the canalised estuary – from the connection with the Bydgoszcz Canal to the estuary of the Brda River to the Vistula River, is part of MDW E70. In this section, the river is 3-4 m deep, but for safe navigation, it is assumed to be 1.5 m. The Brda is a class II waterway. The width of this section ranges from 40 to 50 m, of which 20-35 m allows safe navigation. In the city centre, adapted river banks are equipped with mooring lugs, and here and there poles and bollards.
There are two locks in this section: Czersko Polskie, which replaced the well-worn Brdyjuście lock in 2002, and the City Lock. The Czersko Polskie Lock is 115 m long and 12 m wide, and the City Lock has the dimensions typical for the entire MDW E70 – 57 m long and 9 m wide. We pass the Brda under over 20 facilities: over a dozen bridges, several power lines and pipelines. There are many boating clubs and berths in Bydgoszcz.
Bydgoszcz is the largest city on the Polish section of MDW E70 and at the same time has the most aquatic character. Brda is teeming with events addressed to lovers of sports and water tourism: canoeing, swimming competitions (Bydgoszcz Triathlon, Ice Swimming Bydgoszcz Festival, Bydgoszcz Waters), rowing (The Great Rowing for Brda Cup), entertainment and cultural events (Rudder on Bydgoszcz, River of Music, summer performances at the Brda River, Picnic on the Mill Island). The architectural gems seen from the water make an impression: Marina Bydgoszcz, glass granaries and Opera Nova.
You can get to know Bydgoszcz from the water, taking advantage of cruises on two lines of the Bydgoszcz Water Tram, operated by the ships Słonecznik I and Słonecznik II powered by electricity. Each of them takes 28 passengers. The cruise on the Old Town line takes 60-70 minutes during which we pass, among others, Bydgoszcz Cathedral, Opera Nova, Mill Island and the former trapezoidal lock. A 45-minute cruise on the Sunny line allows you to see the former buildings of the Bernardine Order, Mill Island and the City Lock.
On the distance of 100 meters (13.55-13.65 km) we sail under three arched railway bridges. A kilometre further under the road bridges: Queen Jadwiga (12.8 km) – the only bridge that survived World War II without damage – and the modern tram bridge named after Władysław Jagiełło.
We cross the City Lock (12.4 km), thoroughly rebuilt in 2014-16, next to which there is also a restored, but closed, experimental trapezoidal lock – unlike any other. It is worth getting acquainted with this object.
The next section is the vicinity of the Mill Island (12.4-11.7 km) – the representative place of Bydgoszcz. On one side, the modern building of the Nova Opera, on the other the Mill Island with the Rother’s Mills complex from the mid-19th century, the 15th-century Bydgoszcz Cathedral and the Bydgoszcz Harbour facility. The complex of Bydgoszcz Harbour includes a hotel, restaurant and sports facilities and a marina for about 100 units. The entire facility is adapted to the architectural and urban message that we are in a city of water sports, often called Bydgoszcz Venice.
Then we go under the Jan Kiepura Bridge, the Jerzy Sulima-Kamiński Bridge, next to which a sculpture hangs over the river, and at 11 km we pass the bridge on the University Route with huge pylons 63 meters high.
Rowing clubs are located at a length of 1 km (11.3-10.2 km), hence a large number of rowing trainees on the water. Before leaving the Brda River (2.1-1.8 km), we pass the marinas of several clubs where you can moor.
We leave the Brda and the waterway connecting the Odra with the Vistula through the Czersko Polskie lock. The lock takes about 15 minutes, allowing you to overcome levels up to 5.28 m. Next to the lock there is a weir of the same name.