Provisions at Kiel Canal, Germany

Hello Everyone!!! Today we’ll be receiving our provisions supply which is good for two weeks onboard a 12 man crew vessel. Here we are at Holtenau, the first water-lock of Kiel Canal, Germany if you’re coming from the Baltic sea.

Provisions at Kiel Canal, Germany
Holtenau Entrance – Kiel Canal, Germany
Photo by Nino Almendra

I highly recommend to take your provisions here at Kiel if ever your vessel is passing the canal. Here are few thing why Kiel canal is a perfect place to take your provisions.

  • TIME – this is very important!  Like anywhere in the world, Time is Gold! And the waterworld is not exempted.  Unlike in any other ports in the world where you don’t have any idea what time your provision will arrive. This will never happen when ever you take provisions at Kiel, you will always have an exact Time when will your provisions will come along side your vessel. If you are coming from the Baltic sea, you have at least 1-hour to prepare before you enter the Holtenau lock, and if you’re coming from the other side or the North sea side, which is the Brunsbuttel lock, you have at least 8-hours before you reach the Holtenau lock. As far as I know, based on many years of passing and taking provisions here at Kiel, HMS-Hanseatic Marine Supplier is the one and only supplier inside Kiel. HMS office is located just beside the Holtenau locks.
  • EASE OF TRANSFER – unlike in some ports where the use of the ship’s crane is not allowed or even worse you and the rest of the crew needs to take your provisions from far away because the delivery van is not allowed to enter the terminal. At Kiel, transfer of provision supply is always a breeze. Use of crane is always allowed and provisions are professionally packed for safe transfer.
  • QUALITY AT ITS BEST – above all, the Quality of the provisions should always be above the industry standard and Germany is keeping their name when it come to provision supply. Fresh fruit and vegetables are very fresh, frozen meats have long expiration dates and dry stores are nicely packed to avoid breakage of fragile items.
  • COMPETETIVE PRICE – every thing we received here at Kiel is around 1,700-euros, which to my estimation is around 2,000-euros if we take it in other european ports.
  • QUICK AFTER-SALE SERVICES – eventhough HMS is one of the best marine supplier, mistakes can still arise some times. But how fast and reasonable your supplier can give a solution to the problem is what really matter most. Just like today, I order 6 liters of whipping cream 30%fat which is also what is written in the invioce, but what we received is 6 liters of Sour Cream 24%fat. And we order 4 liters of Olive Oil and the invoice confirm it, but we received 8 liters of olive oil. I tell the discrepancy to our Captain, he send a message to our food caterer. As soon as possible we received a reply from the HMS telling us to keep the 6 liters of Sour Cream and 4 liters of Olive Oil for FREE! And to my personal opinion, that the best way to fix a very small issue. Everybody happy, quick and easy!
  • Major’s Tips on handling provisions at Kiel:
  • Once your vessel enters the lock, call the engineer on watch and ask him to switch off all the refrigeration system. This will avoid the ice build up in your refrigeration system and you don’t want your freezer fan running while you’re stacking all the new provisions. 
  • Once you see the provision stores is already on deck, take the most perishable item first and put it directly in the proper fridge. Because while your vessel is inside the lock the deck crew can’t help you in taking the provisions to your fridge. It will take 15-30 before your vessel is out of the lock and the deck crew is free to help you again. This will need a bit of your common sense which one is the most perishable, during the winter months the most perishables are fruits and vegetables at comes from a tropical country such as watermelons, sweetmelon, pineapples, cucumber, tomatoes and lettuce. And in the mid-summer always take the ice cream first and frozen pastries such as preformed croissants, puff pastry and fresh eggs and dairy products.
  • And always check your invoice. Check all the items after you finish stacking all the provisions. Occatonally mistakes happen, because we are just humans.
  • The Kiel canal authorities are very strict with garbage management. Your vessel can get FINED for unattended cartons accumulated from your poop deck. The Kiel canal has a lot of CCTV cameras, you have been warned! This issue can be dealt with proper cooperation with the deck crew. Talk to your Bosun and ask hi to give you one A/B to assist you in securing the cartons.
Provisions at Kiel Canal, Germany
Provisions at Kiel Canal, Germany
Photo by Nino Almendra

Now on with the Seaman’s Labor of Love…

Provisions at Kiel Canal, Germany

Fruits and Vegetables


Frozen Meats and Dairy Products

Dry Provisions

Overall I’m very satisfied with all the provisions the we recieved.

Try to keep empty cartons inside while an A/B is folding it one by one just outside your stores.
Try to keep empty cartons inside while an A/B is folding it one by one just outside your stores.

Wrap Cucumbers, Parsley and other cold-sensitive vegetable to avoid it from quick spoiling

 Serve as much fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. This will save your food budget.

Thanks alot for spending your precious time on my blog and hope this encourage

you to try taking your provisions at Kiel Canal, Germany.

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