Passage to Russia
An incredible sailing adventure from the UNESCO World Heritage city of Gdansk in Poland to the magical spires of St Petersburg in Russia.Join the crew for this huge adventure, as we sail from Poland to Russia. En route we'll visit Klaipeda in Lithuania, explore the gorgeous Estonian islands of Saaremaa with its beaches, spas and wonderful culture and Hiiuma with its wild expanses and famously restorative environment. From there we sail around the cape and into the Gulf of Finland bound for the exciting city of Tallinn. We should have a day or two to explore there then its the sail into Russian waters and St Petersburg itself!
This is a typical itinerary for a 16 day trip from Gdansk to St Petersburg. What makes an adventure holiday so special however is that there is no fixed itinerary and the wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day.
Day 1: Welcome on board in Gdansk
Join the yacht between 1200h and 1800h in Gdansk. Today is all about settling in, meeting the crew and finding your way around your home for the forthcoming sailing holiday. Grab a cold beer and enjoy this beautiful and fascinating city.
Day 2: A day of sail training to get everyone up to speed
As ever on Rubicon 3 trips, there’s no previous sailing experience required to get fully involved. Every Rubicon 3 trip encompasses a full sailing course and today your skipper and mate will guide you through all the basics. You’ll learn about points of sail, tacking, gybing, reefing and even how to recover a casualty over board. For those who have sailed before, this is all great revision and a chance to develop as a crew. If it sounds a lot, don’t worry as you have the rest of your time on board to practise and develop your skill!. Tonight we’ll probably berth in Gdynia, where the WWII destroyer ORP Błyskawica and 1909 tall ship Dar Pomorza, now museums, are moored on the Southern Pier.
Days 3-4: Sail to Klaipeda, Lithuania
We now have around 110nm to get to this charming little city in Lithuania. We have to sail near the heavily fortified Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and we can expect to be questioned by their navy as to our intentions. The sail is a longish one and depending on the wind, we may end up sailing into the night, docking in Klaipeda in the silence of the dawn. When we awake, we will have a full day to wander round and explore. The old town in wonderful, with German-style, 18th-century wood-framed buildings. The town is rich in historic architecture, sculptures and street art, and has some wonderful waterside bars. We can also take the ferry to the lovely Curonian Spit, the birch-lined stretch of land across the lagoon.
Day 5: Sailing north to Liepāja
Ultimately we have so much choice of where we go to next, but as we head up the coast of Lithuania, we could opt to stop after 40nm in Liepāja, a rarely visited but very charming city. We can moor right in the centre of town and there’s quite a bit of fun to be had exploring this unusual stop.
Days 6-12: Parnu and the islands of Estonia
Estonia’s summer capital Pärnu is perhaps the most popular sailing destination in West Estonia with its famous sandy beaches. It’s a lovely place to spend a day and from here we can easily sail on to the tiny islands of Kihnu and Ruhnu. Slightly further north is the resort town of Haapsalu, from where we can make a brief crossing over to Hiiumaa and Saaremaa islands. This is a truly wonderful and unusual sailing area and we will try and spend as many days in this region as we can
Day 12-13 : Tallinn
It’s a good 70nm or so to finish rounding the Cape and arrive in Tallinn, capital city of Estonia. This much loved city is wonderfully peaceful, but also incredibly photogenic and bursting with wonderful sights – ancient churches, medieval streetscapes and noble merchants’ houses. There is also delightful food to try and really vibrant modern culture to enjoy.
Days 14-15-: Tallinn to St Petersburg
The last 160nm east to St Petersburg are an experience, as we enter the highly militarised Russian waters and we are subject to very strict rules and regulations. We will have to stop at the small military island of Kronstadt where we go through the various entry formalities, before finally pulling into St Petersburg itself with its magnificent domed churches, museums and canals. It is a magical city.
JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT
You should join the boat in Gdansk after 1200 hrs on the start day. It is good if you can join us as close to 1200 hrs as possible, but if your flight or ferry gets in later than this, that is fine. We will ask you closer to the time to let us know your travel details.
You will disembark the boat in St Petersburg at 1200 hrs on the last day. You will most likely be at St Petersburg Central River Yacht Club.
Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport (IATA code: GDN) is an international airport located 12 km northwest of Gdańsk. A train service connects the airport with the three cities of Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia although a change at Gdansk-Wrzeszcz may be required. You can reach the platforms, where you will find ticket machines, by taking the escalator to the left as you leave the baggage hall. Tickets cost 3.80zł to Gdansk
St Petersburg airport is called Pulkovo Airport (IATA code: LED). You will need to take a taxi (only use official ones) or take the metro and bus, which is an experience!
WE CAN OFTEN FIND VERY GOOD FLIGHT DEALS, SO PLEASE CONTACT US
AGE & EXPERIENCE
These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.
NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. We really urge you not to spend any extra money unless you are sure you want to! You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.
We are committed to helping as many people as possible have an amazing sailing holiday and experience the magic of the sea. Our skippers and mates have medical training and the boats have some medical supplies and equipment on board. However, the reality is that once on board access to professional medical assistance is going to be slower than if you were on land. If we are offshore it may be some days. For this reason we ask you to check through the medical disclosure form below before you book. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should get in touch with us before you book. It will probably still be fine but it’s good to make sure. You will be asked to submit the form electronically 14 days before the start date, ensuring that we have the most up to date information.
- It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
- We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance that covers you for any medical mishaps in the build up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim you fees.
- Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medial issues.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: ADVENTURE SAILING
Mostly day sailing, shorter mileage and more time to head ashore and explore. Please note, this trip more sailing each than some other routes.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- Foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
- All on-board food and snacks.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- RYA sailing qualifications where applicable.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route
- Any meals you eat ashore
Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.
- These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
- These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
- When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
- Please ensure you have read and agreed to the T&Cs and read the Trip Notes before booking.