Harbours & Services In The Estonian Archipelago

There are no forbidden areas or routes on the Estonian coast. Both cardinal and lateral marks and buoys according to IALA A-standards are used as floating navigation marks. Charts over the Estonian coast (scale 1:100 000, 1:25 000, 1:5000 with an English text) are renewed every year. Foreigners are allowed to enter or leave the republic of Estonia only via frontier stations open to international traffic.

Varbla

Dirhami guest harbour is a good stopover half-way on the route to the big islands of Estonia. Lehtma on the island of Hiiumaa is a modest guest harbour with an easy access by taxi e.g. to Kerdal, the capital of the island. Car ferries to Hiiumaa arrive at Heltermaa. A little guest harbour is also found there.

Varbla

Sõru on the southern Hiiumaa Island is a good clearance port. It is possible to take an island ferry over to Triigi on the island of Saaremaa, thus no own boat is needed.

Saaremaa is the biggest island of Estonia. The guest harbour of Virtsu is on the mainland, op-posite the islands of Saaremaa and Muhu. The ferries to Saaremaa leave from there. Kuivas-tus, a modest guest harbour and port of Saaremaa ferries are on Muhu Island. For those com-ing with their own boats it is worthwhile to take the good, straight passage to the "Jahisa-dama" guest harbour in Kuressaare. The yacht harbour lies close to the bishop’s palace and the castle park. The marina has moorings for over 50 sailing boats at the same time.

The average temperature of the globe at latitude 60 is in January –15 °C, compared with the Estonian temperature of – 6 °C, the corresponding figures in July are 13 °C and 17 °C. This leads us to the conclusion, that the region can be compared with the more famous sailing wa-ters in the south, in other words the sailing season in Estonia is five months long and in mid-summer the sea water is for a long time warm enough for swimming.

Several Estonian harbours have got the Blue Flag indicating that the harbours follow con-firmed environmental criterion. The flag is a quarantine of the quality of the water, regular tests are taken, hygiene is good and the port/marina gives information of the importance of the envi-ronmental tolerance of the sea. Blue Flag campaign is coordinated by the non-profit associa-tion Hoia Eesti Merd (Keep the Estonian Sea Tidy Association)

In some harbours it is possible to rent sailing and motor boats but only with a skipper. Renting a boat is a new and not very common form of service in Estonia. Prices can vary significantly depending on the type and size of the boat.

Estonian Cruising Guide

Keep the Estonian Sea Tidy Association and Regio AS (Hoia Eesti Merd and Regio AS) have recently published the handbook Estonian Cruising Guide in English addressed to the inter-national boating community. Altogether 53 Estonian harbours have been described and entry directions given together with schemes and aerial photographs. The book also contains infor-mation about sailing conditions, frontier and customs regulations, maritime communication, search and rescue procedures. An overview of sights is also included in the book (www.regio.ee).

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 March 2007 )