The Meuse river enters the Netherlands near Maastricht, becoming the Maas river. It flows north to the city of Nijmegen where it sweeps west and parallels the Waal river; they join at Hollands Diep and flow to the North Sea. Short sections of the Maas at its western end are named Bergsche Maas and Amer river.
Limburgse Maas is the section between the cities of Maastricht and Nijmegen. It is non-navigable from Maastricht to Maasbracht, bypassed by the Julianakanaal; fifty kilometers of tight curves on the natural Maas are bypassed by the 35km straight-line canal. West of the city of Nijmegen the Maas-Waalkanaal connects the two rivers at the point where the Maas turns to the west.
Kanaal van St Andries, just 2.1km long, connects the Waal with the Maas at the point where their natural paths almost touch. A popular connection is the Andelse Maas, which strikes north from Heusden and leads to Gorinchem, with stopping points along the way.
The current in the Maas has been somewhat tamed by a lock at the Belgian border, a bypass canal (Julianakanaal) with three locks and another five locks on the Maas between Roermond and Kanaal van St Andries.
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Maas River at Maastricht
Maas river is described in detail in EuroCanals Guide: Cruising the Canals & Rivers of the Netherlands.