The Baltic States

Klaipeda Liepaja Pavilosta Ventspils Kuressaare

The Baltic States were, until 1991, part of the now defunct USSR, and as such, were closed to Western yachtsmen. After independence, yachting facilities were almost non existent, but gradually things have improved. Many of the harbours have been modernised, and the result is much improved, particularly in Estonia, where the ferry company Saarte Lind has built marinas next to their ferry terminals. The number of local yachtsmen is small, but steadily increasing. This has had the effect of helping to improve the facilities, but means that there is less room in harbours than in the past.

The season is also much shorter: mid May is considered to be early in the season, and it is effectively over by the end of August.

All the Baltic States have now adopted the Euro, and with the expansion of the banking system and 'hole in the wall' machines, obtaining cash is now quite easy.

Mooring is often by stern buoy, although many new developments are fitting finger pontoons, which makes life easier. Alongside wooden staging or sometimes concrete walls are also common.

Obtaining supplies is also easier, with the opening of new supermarkets. Unfortunately, these are often out of town, but shopping is not usually a problem.

Each country has its own unique language, but most harbour masters speak a little English. In Estonia, English is quite widespread (signposts in some towns often have an English subtitle).

This site derives from my own personal experiences, and I cannot claim to be an authority after a few brief visits. However, I hope it will be helpful for yachtsmen visiting this part of the world. This page only covers a handful of the harbours in the different countries. For a full guide you need to get a copy of Harbours of the Baltic States by Fay and Graham Cattell.

All photographs copyright CNH/COH. Please ask if you wish to use them and please acknowledge the source.