The biggest "lake" in the world, the Baltic Sea offers some of the most varied conditions for sailing and this is one of the reasons so many sailors venture out here. It has no tides, clean waters and a good infrastructure which means that chartering in the Baltic Sea is a good option for your next marine holiday.
Sea & Coast
Unofficially considered the biggest body of brackish water in the world (if you’re a yacht charter beginner, brackish refers to the water’s salinity – less than regular seawater but more than fresh water), the Baltic Sea is surrounded by land on all sides: to the west and to the north by the Scandinavian peninsula and to the south and east by the European mainland. Countries that have access to the Baltic Sea are Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and, of course, Germany.
Due to its northern position, the Baltic Sea is covered in ice from the north to the south beginning with November and depends on the harshness of the winter. From the 8000 km of coastline, most of it has been affected by various glacial ages and is currently varies from deep fjords in the north to lovely sandy shores in the south (Germany). These shores are packed with yacht marinas and with fishing villages.
The shores of the Baltic are known as health resorts and many flock here in the short summer months to not only catch a tan but also cure some sort of ailment, a tradition that goes back in history back to the Middle Ages. yacht charter enthusiasts too find something here as the Baltic is home to some of the most beautiful archipelagoes on earth such as the Stockholm archipelago made up of thousands of islands and islets that have earned it the nickname of “the Garden of Rocks”.
The vegetation around the coastline varies according to the climate, but mostly you’ll find wide plains with tall grassland or short bushes clinging to steep cliffs, with wooded vegetation only found further inland. However, the north part seems to be an exception to that rule as often deep fjords seem to be bordered by green coniferous trees. Either way, you’ll find that for its most part, the Baltic shoreline remains a haven for plants and animals, despite the economic development of the respective countries.
The climate is evidently temperate, with some arctic influences in the north. That seriously cuts into the time the waters are suited for yacht charter tourism which can only be done during the short summer months. During the winter temperatures drop and ice becomes a real problem for many harbors along the coast. That’s why it’s advised to sail the Baltic only during spring to autuum season.
Culture & History
The Baltic has been known and explored by man from the beginning of history. Known under many names, such as Mare Suebicum or Mare Sarmaticum, the Baltic remained an important lifeline for the many cultures living on its shores for commerce but also for sustenance since these waters hold a variety of fish species. This abundance in resources has led to the prosperity of the neighboring countries and their rapid development.
The towns on the Baltic shores are most of them thriving metropolises and also pilgrimage centers for marine adventurers. Some of the smaller ones retain older architecture and traditions which makes them equally attractive for touristic purposes, adding to the Baltic’s appeal. Such regions include the Danish littoral and the German Baltic Sea.
Seamanship & Experience
With no tides, clear waters and an impressive infrastructure, the Baltic is among one of the most navigated bodies of water in Europe. Commercial traffic reigns supreme but during the summer months, you’ll find lots of recreational crafts sailing up and down the coast as most residents of the neighboring countries have a long maritime tradition and a love for the open seas. This is one of the places where bareboat charter sailing is elevated to the rank of national sport.