If you enjoy cruising in more sheltered waters, the Baltic offers plenty of opportunities for exploration. There are places with fast tides so you can get some exciting choppy water in very localised spots but mostly this is sailing in flat waters without big swell. The climate on the shores of the Baltic is more continental than maritime so summer temperatures can be hot but spring and autumn will be colder than Britain or Atlantic facing countries.
Logistically speaking, the Baltic is a fantastic destination for sailing holidays. Whether joining for a round trip or an ‘A to B’ voyage, transport links are good, and the options are limitless for extending your break with shoreside excursions or further travel.
Some of the most varied sailing grounds lie in the Southwest, where the Baltic meets the Kattegat at the Danish Straits, and the coasts of Denmark, Sweden and Germany are within a day’s sail of each other.
Summer sailing here is sunny and sedate, with flat seas and literally thousands of islands, skerries and headlands to explore. The melting pot of centuries of trade between the surrounding countries and cultures has made the coastal towns and ports here vibrant and lively. This, combined with a landscape as varied as the languages means no two sailing holidays along these Baltic coasts will ever be the same.
Eye of the Wind
This iconic brig is one of the most photogenic and well-loved ships in the world. She sails for up to 12 months every year, with a Baltic summer and Caribbean winter. Her crew know the Baltic sailing grounds intimately (the ship is based in Germany), and so you can be sure of experiencing both the popular landmarks and some little-known treasures.
Eye of the Wind is perfect for couples and friends travelling together; the cabins aboard have a single bunk above a double. These are only ever for 2 people, so you can choose whether to cuddle up or get in quick and steal the top bunk! She boasts two lovely, sociable saloons with a ship’s library, as well as an on-board bar for those scenic sundowners.
Within her Baltic season, Eye offers both longer adventures and shorter taster trips, which are ideal if you want to learn the ropes in sheltered waters before a longer ocean passage or Caribbean voyage. The crew are friendly and hospitable, and love to teach, getting everyone involved at a level which suits them.
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Sail a square rigger in the Baltic from Eckernforde, culminating in the Flensburg Rum Regatta. After some sailing in the Kiel Fjord, a scheduled port of call will be Sønderborg on the island of Als.
Here numerous sailing ships will moor up near the impressive castle, ready to join a cruise in company to Flensburg and the Flensburg Rum Regatta. This annual gathering of the old sail cargo ships along the waterfront of historic Flensburg is a sight to behold, and made even better if you’re arriving on board!
This week long cruise is an excellent way to get a taste of seafaring adventure without huge tossing seas. The Baltic has land an islands all the way around offering flat seas but it can still be windy. Starting from our berth in Kiel, we will explore the Danish South Funen Archipelago and the lovely Schlei Fjord, while we will sail within sight distance of the coast most of the time. At this time of the year, plenty of fresh spring air can be expected in this area of the Western Baltic Sea.
After a day’s sailing, we will cross the invisible German-Danish maritime border and find ourselves in the sheltering harbour of Marstal in the southeast of the Danish island of Ærø, which will be our mooring for the night, in the midst of the South Funen archipelago.
Leaving Marstal, the Eye will head in the direction of the hidden Schlei Fjord’s outlet: Fresh air and sailing off Schleswig-Holstein’s Baltic Sea coast once again. In good weather and calm seas, it will be possible to take a photo tour around the ship with the Eye of the Wind’s dinghy.
It may also be possible to spend a night anchored in front of Strande off the western shore of the Kiel Fjord – another highlight of every sailing trip and a great seafaring-experience, too! The culinary finale of this last day at sea will be the traditional “Captain’s Dinner” in a relaxed atmosphere with all crew members and fellow sailors.
Copenhagen waterfront is an impressive place to start your voyage. The ship will be between Nyhaven – a historic canal often packed with traditional boats – and the Royal Palace which is situated grandly on the waterfront. Wander towards the sea and you find the little mermaid statue.
The Eye will make a stopover at Bornholm (Denmark’s ‘Sunshine Island’) during this passage, which is famous for its culinary delights and beautiful villages, as well as stunning cliffs, medieval castle ruins and coastal rock formations.
Then on to Kalmar, itself steeped in architectural and maritime history.