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The Kiel Canal, known as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal until 1948, is a 98-kilometre long canal in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
The canal links the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau. An average of 250 nautical miles is saved by using the Kiel Canal instead of going around the Jutland Peninsula. This not only saves time but also avoids potentially dangerous storm-prone seas. According to the canal's website, it is the busiest artificial waterway in the world; over 43,000 vessels passed through in 2007, excluding small craft.
Besides its two sea entrances, the Kiel Canal is linked, at Oldenbüttel, to the navigable River Eider by the short Gieselau Canal.
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