Directly to the area characteristics
The areas off the German coast are of course ideal for those arriving by car or by train. Crews should only ask in advance where the cars will be parked. In some ports of departure, such as Heiligenhafen, the spaces around the port are short-term parking spaces; If you want to stay longer, you should find out from the charter company where - if necessary - long-term parking spaces are available and what they cost.
Photo gallery: Impressions from Flensburg to Fehmarn
There are various charter options along the coast: Larger fleets are stationed in Flensburg, Eckernförde, Kiel, Laboe, Heiligenhafen, Großenbrode or Burgtiefe. If you are looking for other departure ports, you will sometimes find what you are looking for with smaller providers. A peculiarity of the German coast is the so-called owner charter, which is a little more common here than on the Mediterranean. Another difference is that a number of companies are active on the Baltic Sea coast that do not sell their ships through traditional charter agencies, but exclusively market them directly themselves. You can find them at trade fairs, through advertisements or on the Internet. In general, the price level for ships on the German coast is low. Those who are used to Mediterranean weekly prices will be pleasantly surprised!
Weather statistics Kiel Fjord
Wind & weather
The German Baltic Sea coast from Flensburg to Kiel is known for its unpredictable summers, even if the super summers like 2018 have been increasing in recent years. From April to the beginning of September, winds from westerly directions dominate the picture, with stable high-pressure situations sometimes from the east for a longer period. What they have in common is that there are often good sailing winds on the German coast - the long-term average for the summer is around 12 to 13 knots (4 Bft.). However, the Baltic Sea is also good for strong winds, keyword Atlantic deep foothills. They can bring strong winds or storm days even in summer, a handful a month with fairly regularity. You also have heavier rain in your luggage. In recent years, however, there have been surprisingly long, very dry phases, a side effect of climate change.
The fact is: Anyone traveling on the Baltic Sea has to be prepared for a few bad weather days even in midsummer and of course have full oilskins and boots with them.
Navigation & seamanship
In terms of navigation, the coast is not too complicated, various shallows and reefs as well as fairways are well accentuated, the sports boat maps of the German providers are among the best in the world in terms of richness of detail and updates. For sailors who have never sailed the German coast, the not very great depth of view in summer, when the algae are in bloom, is a surprise. While in the Mediterranean you can often see the bottom at eight or ten meters, the bottom is often clear in the Baltic Sea at one to two, at most three meters. The steep, short Baltic Sea wave also takes getting used to for Revier rookies. Due to the often relatively shallow water depths, it forms in strong winds and ensures rather short, choppy boat movements compared to the Mediterranean.
Electricity and fluctuations in water level are primarily a wind phenomenon in the Baltic Sea: Strong westerly or easterly winds in narrow passages can sometimes lead to stronger electricity and high or low water, which may be more than a meter. Such phenomena can be found in the Schlei, approaches to harbors or at famous landmarks such as the "mother-in-law" just outside Glücksburg on the fjord. The phenomena are much stronger for crews who want to go to Denmark, the Svendborg or Alsensund are examples of this.
Crews have to pay attention to the large military firing range of the Hohwachter Bay between the Kiel Fjord and Fehmarn. Exercises often take place over the summer too and must then be avoided over a wide area. The shooting times are regularly distributed via the federal district information system (www.elwis.de) and are posted in many ports.
Anyone who is out and about on the Schlei has to deal with the local nature conservation requirements, sometimes narrow fairways and the movable bridges in Kappeln and Lindaunis. Some ports in the area have to struggle with regular silting in the basins and the approaches (for example Wentdorf, Lippe and others). So you should definitely be traveling with up-to-date maps
Ports and anchorages
The port network on this part of the German Baltic Sea coast leaves little to be desired, only along the Hohwacht Bay it gets a bit poor. Otherwise there is an excellent mix of attractive city ports such as Flensburg, Kappeln, Eckernförde, Kiel (Schilksee) and Heiligenhafen. There are also other smaller places that have a lot of fans, such as Arnis, Glücksburg or Laboe. The offer is rounded off by many club harbors, which are often quiet and also in beautiful nature. The infrastructure is then sometimes a bit simpler.
In the other ports, the level has been good and rising for years, in many places sanitary facilities have been modernized and the ports have become more attractive for tourists thanks to more restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. the stern is tied to two piles. Charter crews sometimes misjudge the distance between the piles, which are intended for different ship lengths. In many places you can only get to the showers and toilets with code cards, hot showers cost extra (tokens or money). You either pay the harbor dues in the harbor office, or the harbor master does a round of the harbor in the evening and in the morning. The price level for a twelve-meter ship is a reasonable 20 to 25 euros.
LITERATURE & NAVAL CHARTS
Tour guide: Jan Werner: Ostseeküste Vol. 1, Delius Klasing, lots of good aerial photos! Hafenguide Flensburg – Danzig, Edition Maritim. Anyone who buys a set of sports boat tickets also always receives a booklet with port plans, regardless of the provider. Nautical charts: Delius Klasing sentence 1, Kiel Bay around Funen, NV-Verlag: Series 1, around Funen Kiel Bay, Series 2, Bay of Lübeck – Bornholm. The card yard. Bay of Kiel and Little Belt. The map sets usually differ in terms of the section of the area, so skippers have to see which one fits the planned destination. All maps are also available as a digital version and as a bundle with a free app.
Area characteristics from the Baltic Sea coast from Flensburg to Fehmarn
The western Baltic Sea has been one of the top destinations for charter crews for years, after all, getting there is easy and cheap, just like yachts and ports. The area from Flensburg to Fehmarn is one of the most popular sections of the coast, also because the largest charter fleets are stationed here. However, the skippers do not necessarily start a trip along the German coast: A majority of the customers are drawn further north to Denmark, the Danish South Sea is often the preferred destination. Crews from Flensburg often sail towards Sønderborg on Als and on to Lyø. Crews starting from Heiligenhafen reach the popular Danish area around Funen via Bagenkop or Marstall.
Nevertheless, the German coast offers more than enough attractive destinations for a vacation trip. On the one hand, there are the beautiful city ports of Flensburg, Kappeln, Eckernförde and of course Kiel, which are all centrally located and allow you to explore the inner cities that are well worth seeing. Then the smaller towns with nice ports like Arnis, Laboe or Heiligenhafen. The landscape of the Flensburg Fjord and the Schlei is particularly idyllic and protected on top of that. Those who do not yet know the two bodies of water should have a look around there, the goals are more than worthwhile. In spring you sail through a hilly landscape with bright yellow rapeseed fields, some great beaches. However, good anchorages are mainly to be found in the Schlei; in the Bay of Kiel and Eckernförde as well as the Flensburg Fjord they are rather in short supply.
The Schlei in particular is worth a detour: the rustic charm of the remote Schleimünde, the fishing village of Maasholm with the adjoining Noor, then Kappeln, which has now become lively touristy. Not to mention the picturesque Arnis. The water meanders like a river with reeds and rustic piers towards Schleswig. If there is strong wind from the west or east, crews are perfectly protected here and can sail without significant swell and significantly less wind than on the open Baltic Sea.
In terms of character, a trip further south to Eckernförde, which has become a real top destination on the Baltic Sea in the last five or six years, is somewhat different from something in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Most of the crews sail from port to port, anchoring is rare. This also applies to the Kiel Fjord. This is of course also a worthwhile goal because of the many attractive sailing events: To the largest regatta event in Germany, the Kieler Woche or to the German Classics in Laboe in August, which is attended by around 150 beautiful classics.