The Saimaa Canal (Port Code:FISMC) runs from Lake Saimaa, via the city of Vyborg, to the Gulf of Finland and is the most historically important canal in Finland. The Canal opened in 1856 and significantly influenced the overall industrialisation of Eastern Finland. The Canal is 43 km long and has eight locks, three on the Finnish side and five in Russia. In 1968, the canal was inaugurated in its present-day form.
The natural open water season of the Saimaa Canal is, on average, 211 days. Since most vessels visiting the canal are ice strengthened, a season of navigation of 9.5-10 months has been achieved with the season starting early Apr and ending late Jan. The sphere of influence of the Saimaa water system is one third of Southern Finland. In the forest industry it plays a central role. Approx 2,115,250t of cargo through the canal and 39,700 passengers handled annually. The Canal can be used without special permission by vessels with dimensions not exceeding the following: Length 82.5m Beam 12.6m Draught 4.35m Height of mast from water surface 24.5m.