Krakow, Poland – Sailing holidays have seen a huge growth in demand over the last couple of years, mixing the perks of a luxurious break without the tourist crowds.
Contrary to common belief, chartering a boat can be quite affordable, especially in the few Central and Eastern European countries boasting a coastline, like Poland.
The price of sailing holidays has fallen due to many private boat owners now renting their crafts out, much like a nautical Airbnb via sites such as Borrow a Boat. Now holidaymakers have access to boats of all shapes and sizes, with a skipper or unmanned, that they can rent for half a day or several weeks at a time.
Where to go on a sailing holiday?
When thinking of holidays on the water, destinations that most instantly come to mind are probably based in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean.
Well-known for their warm climate and attractive beaches, these countries are also hugely popular and prone to overcrowding. Their popularity has a very evident knock-on effect on prices.
In a bid to find cheaper alternatives, holidaymakers have started to explore different locations and discover some surprising gems.
Croatia on the Adriatic Sea boasts scorching temperatures in the summer as well as clear blue water and some wonderful coastal towns to explore. Sailing holidays off the coast of Scandinavia guarantee holiday-makers sights of the local wildlife including seals and reindeer, but you’ll need to wrap up warm.
Sailing holidays in Poland
Poland has become another hugely popular destination for sailing holidays in recent years. Not only does this Central European country boast a 500 km Baltic coastline, it also has more than 2,000 inland lakes linked together by hundreds of kilometres of 18th century canals.
Poland has a rich heritage with the sea and visitors can explore coastal towns and harbours which highlight this legacy. Whether you want to take a trip to visit an old lighthouse or soak up the sun on one of the many golden or white sand beaches, there are plenty of choices when it comes to deciding where to moor up for the day.
The Baltic Sea is unique as it partially freezes over in the winter, which can be a great sight to see, and with a chartered yacht or sailing boat you can get right up close to the ice. The historic port of Gdansk is also well worth a visit, with sightseers able to moor up and explore some of the unique offerings like the Astronomical Clock, Fort Carré, and the Two Windows Theatre.
How to charter a boat
As previously mentioned, chartering a boat has never been simpler, in part due to online boat rental sites. Anyone with a private boat can list their vessel online and make it available for the date when they’re not using it.
On most websites, you must first enter the location where you want to pick up your boat. You’ll also need to know the dates you want to rent it from and to. Then you can choose whether you need your boat to come with a skipper or not – if you choose without, you’ll be asked to prove that you’ve got the qualifications and/or experience needed to sail the craft, if applicable. Then you’ll be shown all the options available to you.
Dozens of boats are available at marinas all along Poland’s coast. To quickly sort through and find the vessels best suited to your needs you can usually filter by price, size, type of boat, age of boat, and number of guests. Each thumbnail advert shows you the important details, and if you click on one, you’ll be able to view full details, extra photos, extra services, and reviews linked to each boat.
An up-and-coming destination?
Poland is an appealing sailing destination for many reasons, and as warmer ports become prohibitively expensive or booked up, the Polish Riviera could become one of the must-visit alternatives in Europe.
Temperatures can reach into the 30Cs in the height of summer, so your sailing holiday will still feel like a typical summer break. Because the coastal towns have a rich history with seafaring craft, you’ll find the ports and marinas are well equipped to suit your needs and have plenty of space to moor up in.
The inland sailing is also great for people with less experience as you can rent a boat for just a day or two. The woods of Masuria are traversable by canal from lake to lake and are full of wonderful wildlife including European bison, as well as quaint towns and historic sights.