ARC Baltic 2016 - Route Highlights
The rally starts in Germany – Rostock – which is approximately75 nautical miles east of the Kiel Canal. From Rostock the rally continues to Bornholm (Denmark) with its rolling landscape and picturesque fishing villages. We will be based in the charming town of Rønne, where we will take a bus tour to visit the medieval Hammershus Castle perched on a cliff overlooking the Bornholm strait. We will also see the medieval round churches and there will be a chance to try the famous smoked Baltic herring.
The next stop is the Swedish town of Visby (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) situated on the island of Gotland. A former Viking site, Visby was an important town of the Hanseatic League in the Baltic from the 12th to the 14th century. Its historic ramparts and more than 200 warehouses and wealthy merchants’ dwellings make it the best-preserved fortified commercial city in northern Europe. The rally will take a guided tour around the ramparts.
A short hop from Visby lays Gotska Sandön where the fleet will have the option to anchor off the island to explore in the footsteps of the wrecker Peter Gothberg to visit the lighthouse, the small museum, the church and a seal sanctuary.
On the entrance of the Gulf of Finland is the Estonian capital Tallinn situated with its old town - another UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will have a guided visit to the famous old town built up from the 13th to 16th centuries with its twisting cobblestone lanes, iron street lamps, gothic spires and medieval markets.
The rally will spend almost a week in St. Petersburg with plenty of time to visit the stunning sights of this beautiful city. Organised activities include a bus tour of the city and a visit to the Hermitage and Winter Palace. The Hermitage, founded by Catherine the Great in 1764, contains the largest collection of paintings in the world. There will also be an opportunity to book tickets to see a ballet, opera or Russian folk show during your visit.
After St. Petersburg the rally turns west again and goes to the Finnish capital Helsinki with its interesting blend of Swedish, Finnish and Russian influences. Our host in Helsinki is the Nyländska Jaktklubben and its marina on the island of Blekholmen in the heart of the city. Nyländska Jaktklubben is one of the oldest sailing clubs in Scandinavia whose charter was approved by the Tsar Alexander II 1861. The rally will also explore Helsinki by bus.
From Helsinki the rally goes to the of Åland islands which are Finnish but have a special independent status. Their capital is the Swedish speaking Mariehamn and home of one of the last existing sailing grain ships in the world - the square rigger Pommern. The rally will enjoy the attractive architecture of Mariehamn and visit Pommern, now moored as a fascinating museum within the port.
From Mariehamn it is not far to the Swedish capital Stockholm. Our host in Stockholm is the Royal Swedish Sailing Club (established 1830) and its marina in Saltsjöbaden. Stockholm is built on many islands giving the city unforgettable scenery. During the stopover, the rally will visit the 17th century warship Wasa and have the opportunity to explore the centre of Stockholm or the Skansen outdoor museum of Swedish culture.
The rally then turns south through the beautiful channels in the archipelago where you can practice the Scandinavian style of mooring to rocks, swim in clear waters and enjoy the tranquil bays. The rally will finish in the town of Kalmar founded in the 11th century and receive a guided tour to the magnificent Renaissance castle that up to the 17th century guarded the border between Sweden and Denmark.