Bata canal

History of The BATA CANAL

The idea of Morava River regulation was born as early as around 1927. Tomáš Baťa, a tycoon who was the driving force of the industrial development in the whole region, immediately found this idea very interesting. Unfortunately, Tomáš Baťa tragically died five years later. However, his successor Jan Antonín Baťa wasn´t afraid of this bold idea and continued with the plan of canal construction.

Výletní motorová loď „Mojena“

MOJENA cruise boat powered by engine that could transport 25 vacationers in addition to the crew during its voyage on the Morava River in 1937

The Morava River regulation by means of artificial canal construction had several meanings for the society. Thanks to the boat transport, it was possible to save many financial resources that were reserved for the railway transport of lignite from the mine in Ratíškovice to the factories in Otrokovice. Finally, it became possible to build the amelioration system in the surrounding area of the Morava River and last but not least, the first steps for realization of a dream interconnection of the European major rivers Danube, Oder and Elbe could be taken.

Remorkér Baťa II

Baťa II tugboat sailing through the lock in Baťov port in Otrokovice. This photo was taken during the opening of canal operation on December 2, 1938.

The challenging construction of the Bata Canal took place in the years of 1934-1938. The waterway was 51.8 km long. The boats had to sail through 14 locks that regulated the water level differences. In addition to the locks, many other technically challenging facilities had to be constructed, such as railway drawbridges or weirs with automatic regulation of water level in the weir pool.


The tipper of wagons with brown coal for the boats near Sudoměřice in 1939

During the WWII, the canal was severely damaged by German troops and immediately after the war, the Bata factories were nationalized, including the Bata Canal. In the 1960s, the freight transport was entirely cancelled because of its unprofitability. Life returned to this unique waterway only in the mid-1990s when various activities for development of tourism on the Bata Canal were born, and along with them boat hire companies, without which tourism on this waterway would be completely unthinkable, slowly began to appear.

Osobní loď Morava

Morava passenger boat sailing from the lock in Spytihněv during the renewal of navigation on Otrokovice-Rohatec Canal in 1947

Nowadays, the Bata Canal is a recognized tourist waterway utilized by more and more people. The Bata Canal is ideal for spending a holiday on the boat where you can experience many interesting things, all the time you are surrounded by nature, sailing through various towns and villages with many historical and cultural attractions and sights.

PRESENT situation

The Bata Canal is currently utilized for tourist purposes only and is designated as a waterway of class 0. It means that without license it is possible to navigate small vessels with engine with a power of up to 20 kW that are capable of displacement navigation only and have a maximum speed of 20 km/h. Every person more than 18 years old can hire any of our cabin cruisers or a boat with engine, for example in our boat hire company in Spytihněv and after a short training it is possible to start a boat trip and enjoy new experience on the Bata Canal.

Hausbot Romian

A cabin cruiser sailing on the Morava River

The length of the Bata Canal is now approximately 60 km (Otrokovice - Skalice). Some sections are on the Morava River and some are led via the artificially excavated canal sections (the approximate depth of the artificially excavated beds of the canal is currently about 1 m). To guarantee a trouble-free navigation, there are 13 locks in operation throughout the waterway, by means of which it is easy to overcome water level differences. The voyage is also interesting because there are many bridges (56), many of them became unique technical monuments. Besides several days of navigation on a cabin cruiser or boat trips, the large cruise boats offering very pleasant trips on the Bata Canal and on the Morava River are also very popular.

Loď Morava

Morava cruise boat with a capacity of 60 persons sailing from the lock in the weir in Kunovice

There is a continuous effort to extend the Bata Canal, thus making the boat trip even more enjoyable. In the near future, the Bata Canal should be extended up to 76 km. The waterway would be navigable from the town Kroměříž up to Hodonín.