Excellent coastal sailing, sweet Scandinavian villages and an immersive maritime culture. Just a few of the highlights to discover on a sailing holiday in Germany! Whilst Germany may not be the first place to spring to mind when booking a sailing holiday in Europe, the North coast of the country borders the Baltic Sea and provides some fantastic coastal sailing. Departing in Germany also offers the opportunity to sail across the Baltic Sea to Denmark and Sweden. Here you’ll find Scandinavian harbour villages with wooden cabins, fairy-tale castle ruins and exhilarating Baltic Sea sailing.
Two of our fleet, traditional windjammer Eye of the Wind and tall ship Iris, call the Baltic Sea home. Our voyages take place in the summer months, when the winds are stable across the Baltic. With perfect conditions for a full set of sails, it is an ideal destination for a fully skippered traditional sailing holiday! To help you get started, we’ve rounded up our top 5 destinations to visit on your sailing holiday in Germany.
Kiel – A Maritime Lovers Delight
A starting point for a number of our voyages sailing in Germany, the city of Kiel is one of the world’s best known maritime hubs. Immerse yourself in this magical maritime atmosphere, with hundreds of years of sailing history and fabled sea stories. The Kiel Week regatta, an international sailing festival, cements the city as a top destination to visit for maritime lovers. Of course it would be impossible to talk about Kiel without mentioning the canal, the world’s busiest, bustling with shipping routes and sailors. Get a true taste of authentic German sailing with our traditional tall ship Eye of the Wind as she sails through the canal on a taster sailing voyage – perfect for a short break in Germany!
Aside from being a maritime hub, Kiel is home to a vibrant cultural scene, making it a great place for a short break in Germany before boarding your vessel. Eight of the local museums here have formed a collective titled ‘Museen am Meer’, museums by the sea. Here you can take in some marvellous collections of ancient art, oceanic research, fine art and local crafts. A visit to the street of Dänische Strasse will have you stepping back in time. Meander through the streets, lined with traditional 19th century buildings full of the local charm and heritage.
Rostock – A 13th Century Masterpiece
Rostock is a top German holiday destination for exploring the many coastlines and islands of the surrounding Baltic sea. Many of our voyages sailing in Germany depart from Rostock as it’s an easy transport hub with direct flights from around Europe. The city was the original home port of traditional tall ship Eye of the Wind when originally built in 1911. Although Eye of the Wind has since circumnavigated the world, she still fits in well at her home port!
Dominated by Gothic brick buildings from the Hanseatic era, Rostock undoubtedly had its heyday in the 13th century. With some of the best preserved historical sites of this period lying within the city bounds, there’s so much to uncover on your adventure holiday in Germany. From the remnants of the city wall and fortification towers to the town hall and monastery that hides hidden garden delights within its walls, Gothic architecture is waiting at every turn. Another must see is the St Marien Church, a prime example of the city’s 13th century splendour. The church houses an incredible astronomical clock, still functioning today nearly 500 years on. For some (slightly!) more modern history, visit the Warnemunde Lighthouse, built in 1897 and still in use today. The lighthouse also provides an incredible view of your sailing area in the Baltic sea.
Eckernförde – Home of Natural Relaxation
Whilst originally a traditional fishing town, Eckernförde is now best known as an Ostseebad, a spa resort. This means it’s a local German holiday destination hotspot for relaxation and spending time on the beach. Enjoy three miles of stunning beaches, backed by a beautiful promenade brimming with local boutiques.
Visiting Eckernförde on your German sailing holiday offers the chance to immerse yourself in the natural world and truly connect with nature. The area has an incredibly diverse landscape. Coastal seaside trails, shady forests teeming with wildlife and blossoming meadows with an abundance of native flora, all of which can be explored by bike or on foot. After working up an appetite with a day of sailing and exploring, enjoy some traditional cuisine. Perhaps indulge in the freshly caught local fish that Eckernförde is known for, or sample other local delicacies in the town’s charming restaurants. The town is the perfect blend of Danish and German cultures, shown in the local architecture with traditional rust red cottages and narrow cobblestone streets.
Stralsund – unesco world heritage site
The oldest city in Pomerania dating back to the 13th century, Stralsund tops the list for history lovers sailing in Germany. The old town is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, due to its outstanding brick gothic buildings that survived the world wars. There is even a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage exhibition for those who want to learn more. The town has an abundance of historic churches to visit, with St Mary’s Church, built in 1383, once standing as the world’s tallest structure. Step inside the incredible octagonal tower for panoramic views across Stralsund, the Baltic Sea and Rugen Island. Rugen Island, well known for its striking white chalk cliffs, lies just off the coast of Stralsund, and could potentially be a stop off the boat on your travels sailing the Baltic Sea with tall ship Iris.
Another spot that is well worth a visit is the German Oceanographic Museum, Germany’s largest aquarium and oceanographic collection. The fascinating exhibits provide an in-depth understanding of the native flora and fauna found in the depths of the Baltic Sea. You’ll soon be an expert on the natural world beneath the waters on your journey sailing in Germany!
Flensburg – Artisanal delights Await
A port at the head of the Flensburg Fjord, Flensburg is a popular destination for local shopping and sampling of artisanal goods. As a starting point for some of our voyages with tall ship Iris, why not spend an extra day here soaking in the blend of German and Danish cultures and enjoying some of the local events during the busy summer months. The historic lanes and traditional merchants courtyards in the town have transformed into modern cultural delights. The small restaurants and boutiques, artisan workshops, cafes and galleries, are perfect for soaking up the unique local culture.
If learning more about maritime heritage is top of your list when sailing in Germany, spend an afternoon exploring the historic port’s collection of boats from all periods of history. The next stop surely has to be the museum shipyard, containing boats recreated from the 18th and 19th centuries. The historic nature of this part of Flensburg means that traditional windjammer Eye of the Wind fits in rather well!