Venø Rotary Donation Tour

We row 2130 km from the North Sea to the Bavarian Alps. Sponsors donate for every kilometer rowed. With the donations we support projects of rowing clubs for the integration of young refugees from Ukraine or other crisis areas.
We are all in the same boat!
You can help too! Every donation will be spent in full for the purpose of donation! A donation receipt can be issued.

The current donation level is 5,78 EUR/km.
With 2130 km this results in an amount of 12.313,00 EUR.

The Venø is a so-called inrigger built in Denmark almost 50 years ago. It is an oar-twin with helmsman with riveted mahogany planks.

In 2020, a group of rowing Rotarians and rowers from Bavarian clubs acquired the boat. The boat was in Aurich and was supposed to go to Rosenheim.

But how should the boat be transported?

The purpose of a boat is not to be transported, but to transport. Accordingly, the new owners decided to transfer the boat by water.
There are over 2000 km to row to Passau, well over half of it upstream. In addition, more than 200 locks have to be passed.

The ride is challenging:
Aurich - Emden - Ems upwards to the Ruhr area - crossing to the Rhine - to avoid the Middle Rhine route downstream to Holland - crossing to the Meuse - Meuse upwards through Holland, Belgium and France to the Nancy area - crossing via the Rhine-Marne Canal to Strasbourg - Rhine downstream to Mainz -Main upstream to Bamberg - Main-Danube Canal to Kelheim - Danube downstream to Passau.

The tour involves numerous challenges of a logistical and sporting nature and is intended to be as sustainable as possible and will take about 3 months to complete. As it was not possible to find a permanent team for a 3-month tour, the stages will be rowed by alternating teams. Rowing Rotarian friends along the route are invited to participate.

Who is rowing the Venø? You can find a listing here.

The boat was in winter storage at the Kleve rowing club. On April 25, the Venø was ready to go again and has since been on its way to Passau. Via Nijmwegen on the river Maas past Mastricht and Liège to Nancy. And then on to Strasbourg. On the Rhine to Mainz, where the Rotarian Rowing Fellowship was founded, and from there into the Main, past Frankfurt to Bamberg and then into the Main-Danube Canal to the Danube.

Rotary is not only about helping others, but also about friendship.  On the long way many Rotary clubs were visited and new friendships were established.

On October 16, 2022 at 3:00 p.m., the Venø was welcomed in Passau by numerous rowers and Rotarians.

What happens next?
First, the Venø has to be overhauled. If the journey to the Black Sea will be continued is not decided yet. If you are interested, then send a mail to

Rotary is not only about friendship across borders, but also about community service. Therefore, we are looking for donors who pledge a self-selected amount of money for every kilometre rowed. In view of the war in the Ukraine, we will donate the "earned" funds to refugee projects, preferably related to rowing.
Because rowing in a boat has a high integrative value, and not only symbolically.

We are pleased that the Past President of Rotary International Holger Knaack and the current President of the German Rowing Association Moritz Petri have taken over the patronage for this project.

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International Fellowship of Rowing Rotarians