Translation of the article:

By boat and sailboat around Europe, through 18 cultural capitals. The first sea-river expedition with Romanian crew will leave from Timisoara. Plan B for Serbia, on the Bega

TIMISOARA. Five daredevils with two boats plan to sail around Europe next year, in a unique  expedition for our country, starting from Timisoara. They will pass through almost 20 cultural capitals where they could take the TM2023 message: Light up the city through you!

The first stop on the expedition calendar is Novi Sad, this year’s European Capital of Culture.

The Wild Watch Association is the initiator of the project called CIRCUMEUROPA, and the organizers hope that the departure will be made from behind the Metropolitan Cathedral in Timisoara, with a small boat, which is currently under construction.

By the time the expedition departs in September, the organisers hope to remove the first hurdle from their schedule. For now, there is no possibility of entering Serbia by water, as there is no border crossing point yet. County councillors only approved the documentation for the customs facility at the end of last year and allocated the first money in this year’s budget for future utilities to serve the border point.

As it is almost certain that explorers will not be able to cross the border with Serbia by water by autumn, the organisers of CIRCUMEUROPA have also drawn up a contingency plan.

“If that doesn’t happen (opening the border crossing point on the Bega, editor’s note), we have a back-up solution. We can kayak to the border, stop, put the kayaks in the cars, cross the border through the nearest road point, get back on the water and continue. The intention is to check the sluices on the Serbian side as well, to make sure they work. If we are satisfied that we can leave from behind the Cathedral, we will leave from there, but if we have all these obstacles, we have solutions. We’ll launch the small boat where we can do that. In the Bazias, in the worst-case scenario. Up to there we will go with the small boats on the route. We have two options: to go to the Tisa and from the Tisa to the Danube, or to go on a less known canal that will take us from Bega to Bazias”, says for Cristian Ilea, the initiator of CIRCUMEUROPA.

The plan of the expedition is the following:

CIRCUMEUROPA stages 2022/2023

1 September – 30 November 2022

  • Timisoara – Novi Sad
  • Novi Sad – Sulina
  • Sulina – Istanbul
  • Istanbul – Thessaloniki
  • Thessaloniki – Athens
  • Athens – Eleusis 2023
  • Eleusis 2023 – Patras
  • Patras – Matera
  • Matera – Valletta
  • Valletta – Genoa
  • Genoa – Marseille
  • Marseille – Gibraltar


15 April – 1 July 2023

  • Gibraltar – Lisbon
  • Lisbon – Porto
  • Oporto – San Sebastian
  • San Sebastian – Bruges
  • Bruges – Rotterdam
  • Rotterdam – Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam – Essen
  • Essen – Linz
  • Linz – Pecs
  • Pecs – Novi Sad
  • Novi Sad – Timisoara

If the backup plan is implemented, the crew will leave Timisoara by smaller boats, via Serbia, and board the boat now under construction in the first location where it can be launched. Possibly at Bazias, where the Danube enters the country.

From there, the crew will continue on the river to the port of Sulina. Here, the boat will be anchored and the five explorers will embark on a 16-metre sailing boat, which will continue their journey on the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and out through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Atlantic.

On board will be Mihai Pătrașcu (TVR image director), Cosmin Jitariuc (TVR Timisoara journalist), Doru Creț (president of the West Yacht Club) and Ovidiu Bădină, a Timisoara sailing enthusiast.

The organizers say they will contact the Timișoara European Capital of Culture 2023 Association for a possible collaboration.

“We will see if the Timisoara European Capital of Culture is interested in our project. I’m more interested in the research and ecology side, I’d like to make an analysis of the waters we will pass through. Another level is the cultural one, and it would be very interesting to be able to organize events in former or current cultural capitals with the help of partners. There are almost 20 cultural capitals that we will reach”, said Cristian Ilea for