Although an often overlooked sailing destination, Poland presents lots of opportunities for yacht charter, both along the Baltic coast and on the Masurian Lakes. There are wonderful beaches, an interesting history and an even more attractive cuisine that caters to all tastes.
Located in the South of the Baltic Sea between Germany and Russia, Poland is beginning to attract more and more people on a yacht charter due to the developments in later years. The most popular sailing territory is the Masurian Lake District which is located in the northeastern part of the country and has good marinas and infrastructure.
After the break from the communist regime, Poland really advanced in terms of tourism as well as on the yacht charter sector. Today, sailing in Poland is concentrated in Gdynia, the former estuary of the Oder River and the western shore of the Gdansk Bay.
Poland´s coastline is marked by the numerous ice ages that have occurred in the region. As a result, there are irregularities of different sizes and shapes, coastal lakes and dunes. Larger indentations in the otherwise straight coastline are the Szczecin Lagoon, the Bay of Puck and the Vistula Lagoon. To the Northeast lies the Masurian Lake District which is formed by a series of moraine belts along the south shore of the Baltic Sea.
The flora and fauna in Poland are famous for their beauty, diversity and unspoiled character. Species that have long died out in other parts of Europe can still be found in the forests of Poland. The coastline in particular is the breeding ground for many migratory birds and thus presents a large interest for yacht charterers with a love for nature.
The country’s climate is classified as temperate but as you head further north and closer to the coast, it can be described as oceanic. If you are on a boat rental, remember that the predominant winds blow from the Southwest to the Northwest during the summer months. Starting with the month of May and ending with September, the expected wind speeds are 2-5 m/s near the shore with an increase to 4-6m/s in open waters. Sudden and abundant rainfalls are frequent during the summer months. However, June, July and August are the warmest and the driest months of the year.
Law & Order
Upon entering Polish waters, all foreign boats must clear with Customs and Immigration at any major port. The same is expected when clearing the country. For those charter crews coming from an EU country this involves only a passport check. Among the ports that have Customs and Immigration control are Swinemunde, Ziegenort and Stettin.
Poland is part of the Schengen agreement and rules for immigration within this space are applied. Skippers on a bareboat yacht charter don’t need to fly the Q flag, but it is the skipper’s responsibility to report the yacht’s arrival. The formalities shouldn’t take too long as often they consist only in a passport check and declaring a crew list.
Some restrictions apply to firearms which must be declared upon entry in the country and to onboard pets which are required to have a passport, a microchip and a current health certificate.