This rougher northern sea is tempestuous but will nonetheless steal your heart. The nicest time of the year is at the turn of May and June, when the days are longest. Enjoy Rügen, Bornholm, Copenhagen – and an especially sporty sailing experience.
We have planned a voyage for you of 350 to 400 Nm. The route can reliably be completed in one week if you are a determined sailor, though if you want a more relaxed cruise, reserve 14 days.
Route: Breege - Bornholm island (Svaneke) - Christiansø island - Bornholm island (Hammerhavn) - Kåseberga - Nyhavn / Copenhagen - Helsingør - Rødvig - Hiddensee island (Kloster)
Weather in the Baltic
Tips for your Baltic Cruise
Your itinerary around the Baltic will begin from the port of Breege in Rügen or in the port of Stralsund in Greifsvald Bay. Upon leaving the port, head straight for the Danish island of Bornholm, around 90 to 110 Nm away.
Where to anchor? On Bornholm, all the ports are beautiful. If you want to rent a car or motorbike, make landfall in the capital of Ronne or in Dueodde (there are no such options in other ports).
We recommend docking at the small port of Svaneke on the east coast. Svaneke is a small town on the coast with half-timbered, red-tiled houses. There are a number of pottery and glass workshops, and you can even watch glass-blowing in action in the city centre. In addition, because it is constantly windy, there are also several windmills. The 12th-century circular churches (rundkirke) are also typical of Bornholm.
In small ports, you can usually rent a bike and take advantage of a great bike tour. Bornholm is partly forested and also has the highest mountain in Denmark – so you can test yourself with a challenging mountain bike ride which will take you to 162 meters above sea level.
From Svaneke, sail to the small island of Christiansø, one of the most beautiful and remote places in the Baltic. There are two islands, Christiansø and Frederiksø, adjacent to one other and connected by a footbridge and the small harbour between them.
Both islands are part of an important bird reserve and the most beautiful time to visit is from May to early June, when geese, ducks, eider ducks and guillemots all hatch and bird crumbs are tossed here, there and everywhere.
Christiansø is surrounded by a fortified wall and it was once a strategically important island. Originally a medieval fishing village, the oppressive King Christian V transformed it into an invincible naval fortress, the first line of the Danish Navy in the Baltic.
Now, however, it will be the most romantic stop on your journey. Enjoy its atmosphere, as well as the moss-covered rocks and historic stone houses and forts from the 17th century. Of course, you must not forget to taste the island’s fresh, fragrant smoked fish; herring is the most typical fish for Denmark.
From Christiansø, head towards the west, and when you pass the northernmost tip of Bornholm, stop at the Hammerhaven Harbour for a short trip to the ruins of one of the largest Crusader castles in Northern Europe, at Hammerhus Slot. Entry is free.
Sailing further leads you west along the Swedish coast. The first port on the way is called Kåseberga. It is a nice little harbour and on the cliff meadows, high above the sea, you’ll find the sacred Celtic site of Ales Stenar (Ale's Stones).
Here the Swedes have their own Stonehenge. It is a collection of large stones built in the shape of a viking longship. The entire boat is 67 metres long, consisting of 59 boulders, with each boulder weighing up to 1.8 tons. It is estimated that this megalithic formation originated in the Iron Age, more than 1,400 years ago.
If you are blessed with a clear, moonlit night, visit this place. In the moonlight the site has an amazing, truly mystical atmosphere.
The other ports on the south coast of Sweden are not quite as interesting. These are the large industrial ports of Ystad and Trelleborg. Leave them on their starboard side and after passing through the Falsterbo Canal (there is a bridge that can be opened; it's advisable to radio your arrival) head straight for Copenhagen.
Navigation on the approach to Copenhagen is rather interesting, as one sails through the channels among the shallows. Especially during night-time, navigating towards Copenhagen is a genuine treat though it can be a somewhat confusing due to the number of fairways.
In Copenhagen, stop either at Langelinie Marina at the Statue of the Little Mermaid, where you’ll find the Royal Yachting Club, or right on the canal in the Harbour of Nyhavn.
In both cases you find yourself docking right in the city; if you stop at Nyhavn, it’s as if you have parked on a city’s main square. However, the scenery will be much more picturesque than most city squares, thanks to the small coloured houses.
From Copenhagen, sail 20 Nm north to the pleasant harbor of Helsingør. Here you can visit the Kronborg Royal Castle and also the large Gothic church. It was Kronborg Castle that served as the inspiration for the home of William Shakespeare’s tragic hero, Hamlet, the Danish prince. Shakespeare, however, rechristened the castle "Elsinore."
In the castle casemates there is a statue of the national hero of Denmark, Ogier the Dane (Holger Danske), the legendary knight of the Emperor Charlemagne. When the country is in its darkest days, legend claims that he will wake from his sleep and help drive away Denmark's enemies.
From Helsingør, turn the bow back to the south and, after stopping off at Rødvig, return in the direction of Germany to Hiddensee, where you’ll find the small port of Kloster.
The low sandy island of Hiddensee, shaped like a seahorse, is the largest island in the Bay of Pomerania (Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft) and its traditional thatched-roof houses will enchant you. The dominant feature of the island is the beautiful Dornbusch lighthouse. There are very few cars on the island, so the air is beautifully clean.
Make sure to sample the delights of a local pub; enjoy any of the fish specialties or taste products and delicacies made from golden sea buckthorn, which is cultivated on the island.
If you have some time left, visit Stralsund Harbour. If you venture further to Greifswald Bay, take note beforehand of the opening hours of the Stralsund Bridge.
Things to see and do in the Baltic
- Yachtsmen who are accustomed to sunnier Croatia may worry about the cold, wind, stormy seas and rain. Certainly, in the Baltic, there tend to be cooler waters and stronger winds, but it's not an absolute rule.
- In the Baltic Sea, there are many shallows that require careful attention, and it is navigationally complex - you’re likely to encounter a number of fairways, channels and cardinal marks.
- In this area there is also dense traffic of cargo ships, to which you will need to pay attention.
- The ports are reasonably priced and exceptionally beautiful; most sailors make use of them, so there is no need to worry about anchoring elsewhere.
- Crossings between ports tend to be longer here; you will come across considerably fewer ports than in Croatia (where marinas, buoys or islets can be found at almost every turn) and so you may find yourself having to travel further even when tired.
- Be sure to take advantage of the incredible variety of local fish. It’s always perfectly fresh, whether smoked, fried, pickled, baked or simply in a baguette.