Even though Prague is connected to harbours in the North and Baltic Seas, public shipping connecting it with foreign countries is done by private sailings. In bad weather conditions the water level of the Elbe River on both the Czech and German sides makes it impossible during certain parts of the season for big ships to sail to Germany and further to river harbours in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and France. However, when the rivers are passable, it is possible to travel by ship to anywhere in Europe. Prague also serves as a good harbour for small ships and travellers from Europe.
An increasing number of ships are to be seen in the city centre. The only regular lines are run by Pražská paroplavební společnost (Prague Steam Navigation Company) which is also the oldest shipping company in Prague (founded in 1865). It connects Prague to Slapy dam, goes to Prague Zoo and twice a year it makes an attractive trip to Mělník which is a town where the Vltava and Elbe rivers join together. Other cruises on the river are intended for viewing city monuments and are accompanied by good food and music. It is also easy to hire a boat.
Links to the biggest companies running public transport on the Vltava river: