Martwa Wisła (EN: the Dead Vistula) is the former main estuary arm of the Vistula. It became „dead” after the construction of the Vistula Spit in Świbno and cutting it off from the main estuary with the locks in Przegalina and Pleniewo. The latter was dismantled after the war. The Martwa Wisła is an important waterway and allows you to reach Gdańsk from the Vistula, bypassing the seawaters of the Gdańsk Bay.
Wisła Śmiała (EN: the Bold Vistula) was created in the winter of 1840 by breaking the strip of coastal dunes by ice-laden waters. This was the main estuary of the Vistula into sea until the Vistula Spit was dug in 1895, and it is also known under the names “Przełom Wisły Śmiałej” or “Rozlewisko Wisły Śmiałej”.
Vessel traffic. You should pay special attention to the traffic over the entire route, including sea vessels, tugboats, barge pushers etc. Because the inland waterways intertwine with maritime routes, navigation markings along the majority of the route are compatible with maritime markings.
Bridges. The route of the Martwa Wisła starts from the Przegalina lock and the bridge at the lock was transformed into a drawbridge in 2012. There is also a drawbridge in Sobieszewo and fixed bridges after Stogi: a cable-stayed bridge, a railway bridge and the Siennicki bridge.
Mooring. There are multiple marinas and harbours along the route. The “Błotnik” marina, near Przegalina, was opened in 2012. You can moor in Wiślinka (one kilometre from the lock), in marinas near Sobieszewo, and in the harbours in Górki Zachodnie, Stogi, and Rudniki. In the marinas, you can find boatbuilding, engine, and sailmaking workshops. There are also slips and cranes used to launch yachts.
How to navigate?
The class Vb of the Martwa Wisła river refers to an inland waterway covering an 11.5 km section from the Vistula in Przegalina to Górki Zachodnie (the Wisła Śmiała). The section from Górki Zachodnie to the mouth of the river (Gdańsk-Westerplatte) is considered internal marine waters. The Martwa Wisła is 27 km long and it connects to the Gulf of Gdańsk with two arms: the Vistula Śmiała and the port canal located in the Nowy Port district in Gdańsk. The Martwa Wisła is marked and has a marked fairway. Shoals – outside the fairway – can be found along the section from the Przegalina lock to the bridge in Sobieszowo. Past Górki Wschodnie, the section of the river was restructured and widened between the 333 m and 51 m. There used to be the Pleniewo lock here. Tacking may be difficult by unfavourable winds. Further on, the river gets wider again, until you reach the cable-stayed bridge.