This traditional sailing ground has an irresistible authentic character. On the islands there are picturesque little towns and beautiful old lighthouses. And the coast of the mainland boasts impressive Hanseatic cities and venerable old spa towns worth visiting. You encounter unspoilt nature and varied landscape with cliffs, dunes, forests, long sandy beaches and tidal flats. Prices for sailboat charter in the German Baltic Sea are quite competitive compared to some other more southern destinations. The tides are very low and the cruising grounds protected due to many indentures, thus resulting in very good sailing conditions. So yacht charter in the German Baltic Sea is well suited for everyone and ideal for sailing holidays with the family or with friends.
What should you know about sailing yacht charter in the Baltic Sea?
The Baltic Sea is an inland sea and one of the largest body of brackish water in the world. Southeast of the Swedish island Öja it measures up to 459 m depth and on average 52 m. The total surface is 412,500 km².
The whole coastline stretches from the Flensburg Fjord to the Stettin Lagoon. It contains very diverse landscapes like rocky cliffs and long sandy beaches with beautiful dunes and tidal creeks framed by thick forests. There are islands with unspoilt nature where cars are entirely or partially banned.
The German Baltic Sea is easily accessible as the largest islands are connected with the mainland via bridges. There are regular ferry connections, also with the smaller islands. And the charter bases on the mainland are all located within the vicinity of an airport.
A big advantage for yacht charter in the German Baltic Sea are the short distances. There are hardly any tides and the many bays allow for protected, family-friendly sailing. When sailing close to the shore, it is important though to watch out for shoals caused by boulders deposited there by receding glaciers during the ice age and to head for safer, deeper waters.
Some facts regarding yacht charter in the German Baltic Sea:
- Largest islands: Rügen, Usedom, Fehmarn
- Main yacht charter bases: Flensburg, Heiligenhafen, Neustadt, Greifswald
- Airports closest to the charter bases: Hamburg, Lübeck, Rostock-Laage, Heringsdorf
- Total length of coastline: ca. 2,000 km
- Climate: moderate, maritime
- Tidal range: weak, between 10 - 15 cm
What sailing territories and destinations are there in the German Baltic Sea?
The main islands from West to East are Fehmarn, Rügen and Usedom.
The westernmost, Fehmarn, is connected to the mainland at the Bay of Lübeck via a bridge. This 185 km² large island with its 78 km long coastline is one of the most popular charter destinations in Germany. Just 18 km to the North of Fehmarn is the Danish island Lolland. For many charter guests from Denmark and other Nordic countries the 45 minute ferry ride constitutes a very good way of getting to Germany. Fehmarn also has three nature reserves that are home to huge bird colonies.
Rügen is the largest island in the German Baltic Sea. It´s also connected to the mainland via a bridge and an embankment. Many upstream islands, for instance the popular car-free Hiddensee, and numerous bays enable protected sailing itineraries. The picturesque white chalk cliffs as well as the prehistoric megalithic tombs form a wonderful backdrop.
The second largest island is Usedom whose east side belongs to Poland. It contains many peninsulas and lakes as well as spa towns with a rich tradition.
Numerous other islands and interesting coastal towns along the mainland provide the basis for many different cruising itineraries. Flensburg, for instance, is the westernmost town in the German Baltic Sea and Kiel is the capital of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. Also quite attractive are the spa towns of Hohwacht, Großenbrode, Kellenhusen, Grömitz, Scharbeutz, Timmendorfer Strand, Travemünde, Boltenhagen, Rerik, Kühlungsborn, Warnemünde, Graal-Müritz or Ueckermünde. And last not least you could visit the traditional Hanseatic cities Lübeck, Rostock, Wismar and Stralsund.
Heiligenhafen, a port opposite Fehmarn, is the perfect charter base for sailing to the ´Danish South Sea´, to Fehmarn, the Bay of Lübeck or the coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Via Orth on Fehmarn you could sail about 28 NM from Heiligenhafen to the idyllic port of Bagenkop on the Danish island Langeland. From there, steer the charter yacht 20 NM northwest to the next largest island Eroskobing. After ca. 13 NM towards the Northeast you reach the port Svendborg on the island of Fünen. Cruising back southwards you could cross further 19 NM to Marstal on Eroskobing and then 35 NM more via Lemkenhafen on Fehmarn back to Heiligenhafen.
If you should prefer to sail bigger distances, you can off course go from the German Baltic coast to Copenhagen or to other destinations further north in Denmark and Sweden.
An example of a two-week itinerary would be cruising along the Bay of Lübeck and the coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania including the island of Poel and the Salzhaff (Salt Lagoon) combined with the southern archipelago of Denmark.
Greifswald is a good port from which to discover the islands Rügen and Hiddensee. The close-by national park of Western Pomerania with its many bights is a stunning backdrop for protected sailing.
Another itinerary could lead to the island of Bornholm that lies off the coast of Sweden and about 50 NM northeast of Rügen.
What kind of weather can you expect on a bareboat charter in the German Baltic Sea?
The tidal range in the German Baltic Sea is very low. The area is located within the zone of the Westerlies. Since clouds dissolve quicker over water than over land, the Baltic Sea has quite a high average of sunshine hours compared to the rest of Germany. Cape Arkona on Rügen has been measured to be sunniest place in the country. The average water temperature during the summer months is around 17º.
Brief recap of the weather conditions for sailing yacht charter in the Baltic Sea:
- Month with the highest average temperature: August, 21.5°
- Month with the lowest average temperature: January, -2.9°
- Month with the highest average rainfall: July, 63 mm
- Month with the lowest average rainfall: February, 30 mm
- Average wind speed in summer: 11 knots
- Average humidity: 16 %
- Month with the highest average of sunshine: June, 8.3 hours per day
- Month with lowest average of sunshine: December, 1.3 hours per day
- Main season: May - October
How much are sailing holidays in the Baltic Sea and what types of charter are there?
You can rent a 9 m sailboat in the German Baltic Sea from about 900 € per week, for instance. According to the size, model and equipment of the yacht as well as time of season the prices go up accordingly. Furthermore you have the choice between sailboat and catamaran hire or you could rent a motor boat. Either you opt for bareboat or for skippered charter, maybe also with a crew including steward/stewardess, chef etc.
What activities are there besides sailing when you rent a yacht in the Baltic Sea?
Visit one of the archaic Neolithic tombs. The Riesengrab dolmen on Rügen is one of the largest megalithic graves in Germany.
Make the most of your sailing holiday in the Baltic and watch an exciting regatta like the popular Kiel Week. Other examples are the Warnemünde Week or the Hanse Sail in Rostock with many historic sailing yachts racing against each other.
Go surfing, kitesurfing, kayaking, diving, snorkeling or try water skiing and wakeboarding.
If you have time between charter trips, go see the St. Petri church from the 13th century in Rostock with its beautiful observation tower. Great fun for kids and adults alike brings the spacious digger theme park.
The St. Petri church in Lübeck dating back to the 12th century is worth visiting, too. There is a lift leading up to the observation platform. St. Mary´s with its 125 m high towers is the third largest church in Germany. You can also head to the impressive Cathedral of Lübeck, the city gates and the historic town hall with its red brick Gothic facade.
Attractions in Stralsund are the Maritime Museum and the historic Gorch Fock I, a three-mast barque and school ship built for the German Reichsmarine in 1933. For more sightseeing, visit St. Nikolai and St. Mary´s church with its observation tower.
Take the opportunity on your yacht charter to climb one of the numerous lighthouses, i.e. the Old Lighthouse in Travemünde or the one in Warnemünde from where you have a lovely view over the charming fishing village in the Baltic Sea.
Rügen has an interesting Amber Museum. For family fun head to the dinosaur theme park or the Splash in- and outdoor amusement park.
It could be interesting for guests on a sailing yacht charter to check out the Maritime Museum in Flensburg. It offers great insights into the rich history of the port including a lot of authentic buildings.
The main town of Fehmarn is very picturesque. There is also a sea park featuring the largest shark basin in Germany, a climbing park, an indoor karting hall as well as several riding schools.
How do you rent a sailing or motor yacht in the Baltic Sea?
For yacht rental in the Baltic Sea you either need a skipper´s licence or proof that you have sufficient sailing experience. There are some very professional yacht charter providers specialized in bareboat or crewed yacht charter and motor or sailing boat rental. Browse some of the customer reviews to find out more about yacht charter holidays in the Baltic Sea. Use YachtFinder to compare the best offers and contact us for more detailed information on available charter yachts.