Lying on the beach is fun. But it also can become boring rather quickly. Touring the city, and visiting local restaurants also sounds delicious, but after a few days it might require some tweaking. If you’d like to do just that, Pomorskie has a wide range of services related to water tourism. If you’d like to take a tour of Gdańsk from the perspective of a yacht? Or set sail to experience a sunset in Sopot? Or hop on a houseboat that will take you along the scenic route of the Żuławy Loop? Today, we’re looking at what Pomorskie has to offer in terms of water tourism.
For those of you who just can’t imagine holidays without water, as well as for those who are just starting their wet adventure, our region has a lot to offer. For starters, let’s visit one of the marinas, all of which are located in the most picturesque parts of Tri-City. Take the Gdańsk Marina, for example: it’s located along the Szafarnia Pier on the New Motława river. From there, you can see the city’s landmark, the Crane (Żuraw), and the Long Pier (Długie Pobrzeże) with its picturesque tenement houses. A stroll along the marina is undoubtedly a tourist attraction in itself. However, what’s most important to the yacht owners is the sanitary facilities, as well as access to water and electricity. You can learn more about the marinas of Pomorskie here.
If strolling along the pier and marina has made you hungry for more marine attractions, you should put July 2-18 in your calendar. This is when yachts, boats, and catamarans from all around the world come to Gdynia for the annual Gdynia Sailing Days, where they compete among each other in more than a dozen categories. It’s the biggest event of this kind in Poland, with almost 1,500 participants from different parts of the world. The regattas take place near the marina in Gdynia, in the heart of the city, which makes it possible to support your favourite team from the boulevard. For detailed calendar of Gdynia Sailing days, visit www.gdyniasailingdays.org/en/calendar.
Time to stop pretending you’re a landlubber (even if you are), and finally set sail. For those inexperienced with water, or those not undecided, Premium Yachting has prepared organised Baltic cruises. Kasper Orkisz, the sailing manager at Premium Yachting, says, “What’s most important is the fact that we cruise almost all year round. Touring the city from the waterside is one of the more interesting ways to spend your time, not only in July, but also in November. At Premium Yachting, we use sailing yachts that can accommodate up to 40 people. Of course, the yachts set sail with a professional crew who take care of the safety of participants. We also offer smaller vessels, accommodating up to 10 people. This year, we have launched an entirely new ticket-based offer. These two-hour cruises will let you enjoy sunset in Sopot. Tickets cost about 100 PLN, and you can buy them at the end of the Sopot Pier. Online ticket purchases will be available soon. What’s interesting about this idea is that you don’t need to plan for it. If, during a seaside stroll, you decide that you’d like to hop on board and set sail, you can do that. Initiatives like this promote sailing, making it more easily accessible. In high season, ticket-based cruises are available daily, and in low season we are planning to run them on weekends”.
Premium Yachting also offers motorboats, which can take 7-12 people. As Kasper Orkisz says, “they shrink the Bay even more, making its every corner easily accessible”. Routes and duration of each cruise are tailored to suit the needs of every guest. From a two-hour cruise to an all-day escapade. You can go to the Hel peninsula and grab a bite at one of the local fish restaurants, reach a particular spot in Gdynia or Gdańsk, or you can trust the expert judgement, and select one of the routes available at www.premiumyachting.pl.
POLsail, a company that has in its fleet historical sailing yachts, the Baltic Beauty, the Baltic Star, and the motor-powered Alfred, as well as many smaller vessels, has prepared similar attractions. POLsail has prepared different cruise scenarios, from stag and hen parties, through weddings, teambuilding trips, and ticked-based cruises. The one that seems the most appealing is the “Night at the harbour” (Port nocą) cruise, which takes you on a three-hour trip that begins at dusk at the Gdańsk marina. You will take an evening tour of the Gdańsk harbour, listen to captain’s sea stories, and enjoy a meal prepared especially for this occasion. The price of such cruise is around 200 PLN.
If, by now, you’re completely obsessed with sailing, then POLsail has a workshop offer just for you. First aid trainings, secrets of manoeuvring a yacht, technical engine workshops, and even boat building trainings.
From the sea, we move inland to explore the rivers. “Sail, explore, rest” is the slogan of the Żuławy Loop. It’s a unique tourist trail that combines local river trails (Nogat, Szarpawa, and Vistula rivers, among others), and the Vistula Lagoon. Here’s what Anna Milarska, head of the Żuławy Association office, has to say about the Żuławy Loop: “the entire route is 303 km long. If you’re just beginning your maritime adventure, try one of the river routes. Calm currents, picturesque landscapes, and ease of movement through water guarantee an interesting experience. You can take a kayak if you like, but the main means of transportation are motor barges, known as houseboats (or hauseboots), a water camper of sorts. Houseboats are comfy, can accommodate between 6 and 10 people, and you don’t need any licence to sail them. These are small-engine boats that can go up to 10kph, which makes them one of the safest means of water transportation. When you rent one, you’ll have to take part in a short training, and if the charter company acknowledges that you can handle it, you may set off”.
Along the route of the Żuławy Loop there is a network of well-equipped marinas, where resupply your boat with water, electricity. There is a vast network of waste disposal sites, as well as mooring docks. You’ll also find a spot for a picnic or a bonfire, and it is often possible to rent bicycles or kayaks to actively explore the area. In the age of Covid tourism, houseboats have become very popular, as they provide renters with complete independence, and a holiday on their own terms. An unquestionable attraction of the Żuławy Loop is that along the way, you’ll have a chance to tour the cities of Elbląg and Malbork from the waterside.
Says Anna Milarska, “One of the distinctive elements of the Loop is the hydro technical equipment that we pass during the cruise. To get from one side of the river to the other, you need to sail through locks, which open on demand. For instance, on your way from Elbląg or Malbork, you need to cross two locks. Bascule bridges (or lift bridges, draw-bridges), are a completely different thing. In order for your trip to be seamless, you need to plan it according to the bridge lifting times, and have the phone numbers of lock operators”.
You don’t need to worry, though. All the information, as well as details of particular routes, can be found on the website of the Żuławy Loop, and in the yearly technical bulletins.
One of the best features of the Żuławy Loop is the fact that you can start your journey at its any given point. Since it’s a loop, after a few days’ trip, you get back to the starting point. An excellent starting point for the Tricity is in Błotnik, located in the Cedry Wielkie commune (gmina Cedry Wielkie). The entire trip can be planned to a tee based on the Żuławy Loop website, where almost every kilometre of the route, and its attractions, have been described in detail.
Ready for a water adventure? Come visit Pomorskie!