Tips for visiting Kaliningrad Region / Russia

Arrival and departure with the boat

  • Baltijsk is the only harbour with regular border and customs clearance for foreign boats. It is therefore always the first and last port of call. International boats may approach Baltijsk only from the Bay of Gdańsk. Entry via the Curonian Lagoon or the Vistula Lagoon is not possible.
  • It is not allowed to lie overnight in Baltijsk. Boats must leave the harbour immediately after the border and customs clearance. The continuation of the journey to the next marinas via the Sea channel takes 3 to 4 hours. Leisure boats are only allowed to use the canal during daytime (i.e. between sunrise and sunset) and only under engine with a maximum speed of 25 km/h. When entering Kaliningrad Region, therefore, you should arrive in Baltijsk at least 4 hours before sunset.
  • The following marinas are recommended for the first overnight stay in Kaliningrad Region:
    • For sailing and motor boats: “Marina Haydekrug” in Vzmorje (travel time from Baltijsk: approx. 3 hours, max. draught: 2-2,3 m, depending on the water level).
    • For motor boats, alternative: Marina at the Museum of the World Ocean in Kaliningrad (travel time from Baltijsk: approx. 4 hours, max. height: 3,5 m because of a bridge passage).
    • For the larger yachts: Marina Kaliningrad “Fish Boat” (travel time from Baltijsk: approx. 4 hours; Note: the marina does not operate on a regular basis. Please contact the harbour master well in advance if you consider to stay in the harbour and ask if mooring will be possible on the planned day of your arrival.

Check-in and check-out in Baltijsk

  • Boaters should hold radio watch on VHF ch. 74 when entering Russian waters and approaching Baltijsk. It is required to make a call by VHF ch.74, call sign «Baltijsk Traffic» for arrival permission.
  • Border and customs clearance in Baltijsk takes place at the border control point next to the container terminal (pier no. 81). If all documents are in place and prepared beforehand, check in and check out should usually not take more than 30-60 min per boat.
  • Please note that you have to check in and check out on the side of European Union, too. Please contact the responsible authorities in Gdańsk, Hel or Klaipėda. The harbour masters are glad to help you and to give you further information on process and contact persons.

Required documents for entering Kaliningrad Region with the boatPlease prepare following documents before entering Russia:

  • Passport with a valid visa (original & 1 copy each of the photo page and the visa page)
    • International boat certificate or flag certificate (original & 1 copy)
    • For charter boats: charter contract (original & 1 copy)
    • Crew list (min. 5 copies, usually you need 3 of them for the check-in and another 2 for the check-out)

Applying for Russian visa

  • Citizens of the European Union need a valid Russian visa to enter Kaliningrad Region.
  • A tourist visa is valid for up to 4 weeks and allows up to 2 entries to Russia. On sailing trips there occur often unexpected changes of the tour schedule (e.g. because of weather conditions). It is therefore recommended to define the period of stay generously and to use the option of two entries.
  • Please prepare the following documents in due time before applying for visa:
    • Passport (valid for at least 6 months after the visa period, with free pages for visa)
    • Proof of insurance / insurance certificate for Russia (can be obtained from the insurance company, min. overage: 30.000 EUR)
    • Up-to-date biometric passport photo (in colour)
  • It is recommended to apply for the visa before starting the sailing trip, because various documents (e.g. passport) need to be sent to the consulate per regular mail. If you should decide spontaneously for a visit of Kaliningrad, however, the SOUTH COAST BALTIC Info Lounges in Kröslin/ DE and Darłowo / PL are glad to help you with the application process.
  • It is necessary to have an invitation from Russian to apply for the visa. Those can only be issued by certain institutions (e.g. travel agencies or public authorities). The marinas in Kaliningrad are normally not entitled to do so. It is therefore recommended to obtain the visa with the help of a specialised agency, which may organise an invitation, too.
  • There exist a lot of visa agencies in all European countries (incl. DE, PL, SE, DK, Fi, NL), which offer assistance in applying for Russian visa and organising invitations. Please note that you should use an agency from your home country. You may easily find addresses of visa agencies in the internet.
  • Visa agencies can give you detailed information and offer extensive assistance during the application process (incl. filling out the online application form). Another advantage is that you do not need to personally visit the consulate. The whole process can be done by phone, e-mail, by mail and / or online.
  • “Full service” visa assistance by specialised agency incl. invitation costs approx. 100-150 EUR per person. It takes normally about 4-5 weeks until you receive the visa. With an express surcharge, you may get it even in 1-2 weeks.