Wednesday, 30.07.2014 16:07 Age: 6 Jahre
Category: All regions

South Coast Baltic Boating Rally leads international group of sailors to Gdańsk, Kaliningrad and Klaipėda

In July 2014, 12 boats with 40 sailors from Germany, Poland and Lithuania joined the “South Coast Baltic Boating Rally” and sailed from Gdańsk via Kaliningrad to Klaipėda within one week. After this trip, two issues are clear: Entering Russian waters is less complicated than expected. And: Kaliningrad and its surrounding are definitely worth a visit!

When sailing along the “South Coast Baltic”, Russian visa applications and border procedures are expected to be big hurdles and very complicated. This is why boaters often sail around the Russian waters and go directly for a 1-2 days & night trip from Gdańsk to Klaipėda – or simply do not proceed further eastwards than Gdańsk. During this summer, the “South Coast Baltic Boating Rally” provided a “full-service package” for boaters to overcome these barriers. It gathered interested boats in Gdańsk, assisted with the visa applications and guided the boats in a group all the way from Gdansk via Kaliningrad to Klaipeda.

After meeting in Gdańsk and enjoying the “Baltic Sail” festival, the boats left the city early in the morning on 6 July to get to the Baltiysk border clearance point and from there on to Kaliningrad until the evening. The following two days were well-deserved rest in Kaliningrad and spent with excursions (e.g. amber mining in Jantarny) and cultural programme (e.g. night organ concert in the cathedral, museums). After another early departure and a great sailing day (and partly night) with strong winds (unluckily sometimes also from the front) the group reached the final destination Klaipėda on 11/12 July and explored the city and the Curonian Split. The participants were very pleased with the trip – and positively surprised in many ways. Visa applications turned out to be much less complicated than expected with the help of specialised agencies. Border controls and customs clearance took less than 30 minutes in a very friendly atmosphere. Gdańsk, Kaliningrad and Klaipėda were perceived as vibrant cities and great destinations that are worth a visit.

Three months later, it becomes obvious that the rally has generated a group of new and very active “ambassadors” for the “South Coast Baltic” that spreads the positive experiences in the boater’s community – which hopefully help to remove mental barriers and encourage further boaters to visit Kaliningrad and Klaipeda. Please find a collection of articles from journalists and experience reports from boaters who participated in the rally in the >Press review section. Impressions from the Boating Rally can be found in the >Picture gallery.