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Old 05-02-2014, 11:11   #1
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Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

We are planning a Northern Europe voyage and are looking at wintering in Kaliningrad. Is it possible? Also does count against our 90 days?
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:15   #2
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We are planning a Northern Europe voyage and are looking at wintering in Kaliningrad. Is it possible? Also does count against our 90 days?
Kaliningrad is Russia, so out of Schengen, so you're good with the visa question. I've been there in winter - it's cold! And very little infrastructure for sailors, I would guess. But a winter there might be a very interesting adventure.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:18   #3
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

We live aboard in Canada. This is a cold winter. Thanks for your reply and we are always up for an adventure.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:23   #4
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We live aboard in Canada. This is a cold winter. Thanks for your reply and we are always up for an adventure.
Well, it's an eerie place. Former German Koenigsberg, birthplace of Immanuel Kant. East Prussia. Bombed flat by the British during the war. Annexed by the Soviet Union. Never really rebuilt, so big areas of the city are just grass. Outside of the city, looks like pre-war Germany - raised roads lined with polar trees. Villages with decrepit buildings with signs in German still intact. Would be an interesting place to spend a winter in.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:37   #5
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

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We live aboard in Canada. This is a cold winter. Thanks for your reply and we are always up for an adventure.
Is it Your inetntion to live aboard in Kaliningrad?
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:38   #6
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

Yes we are looking to live aboard for the winter
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:54   #7
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

Kaliningrad (Koenigsberg, Królewiec) and it area is detached region, constituting the part of the territory of Russia. It is sorrounded by EU/NATO countries (this mean ENEMY ! ! ! to the authorities) and is the major naval, air force and rocket base. On the other hand the Special Economic Zone exist there and it make things easier.
Anyway when entering Russia it is worth to remember few things:
  1. It is a country not following the principle: You can do anything not forbidden. Opposite - it stick to (traditional there for centuries) principle: You can do only what is generally or individually permitted;
  2. Scope of corruption is wide and thorough
  3. Organized crime is dominant.
So - wintering there can be an adventure worth a tale, not only for reasons pointed out by Dockhead. Polish yachts visit Kaliningrad quite frequently, but mainly (not only) in groups and in organised manner.
I do not know if it will be possible for You to get a permit for winter stay there, permit to live aboard during Your stay... Even if there is no formal legal demand for such a permits, at some day somebody will demand them from You. You can do only what permitted...

Anyway, I m now trying to get for You some sailor-to-sailor contacts there.
And I must agree with Dockhead - it is really interesting place
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Old 05-02-2014, 13:09   #8
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

We have also been doing some more research and have come to the same conclusion. We are trying to figure out different ways to stay in that part of the world and stay out of the EU. England and Ireland might have to be our winter sites. Thanks again for writing back. We can not wait to see your part of the world
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Old 05-02-2014, 13:09   #9
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

May be it will be of interest to You that it is possible to obtain non Shengen visa (so-called country visa) for Poland, valid for up to one year. You can sail Baltic for Your 90 days (outside Poland), go to the Kaliningrad (should be not problem for short visit), enter Poland for winter (You can fly to Canada and back if You wish), go to the any Russian harbour after winter, and come back to EU for next 90 days.
If interested You should consult Polish consulate in Canada directly. If You declare the intention of wintering here it can help probably. On the other hand I do not know what is current policy regarding visas for Canadian citzens (You know, this matter of symetry...)
Wintering in Poland (Gdańsk area), can be arranged with one of yacht clubs, and this way will be probably more economical than in Kaliningrad. You only need to become a club member, but this is no great hassle, I presume.

Best regards

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Old 05-02-2014, 13:14   #10
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

Poland is sounding like a great possible option. Thank you once again
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Old 05-02-2014, 13:32   #11
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

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Originally Posted by paulandharm View Post
We have also been doing some more research and have come to the same conclusion. We are trying to figure out different ways to stay in that part of the world and stay out of the EU. England and Ireland might have to be our winter sites. Thanks again for writing back. We can not wait to see your part of the world
Anyway - if You want to winter in Baltic, Poland will be the cheap way to do it - just let me know.
I think that club winter berth here will cost You no more than hundred dollars in club subscription
Poland is EU, but Shengen visa and country visa are different things, so it is doable.
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Old 05-02-2014, 14:42   #12
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

One can. I would probably opt for out of water. The ice can be 2 meters thick at times.

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Old 06-02-2014, 04:04   #13
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

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Poland is EU, but Shengen visa and country visa are different things, so it is doable.
so Poland is not Schengen area...???
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:25   #14
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

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Poland is sounding like a great possible option. Thank you once again
Poland is Schengen and EU, so staying there will not help you reset either the EU VAT clock nor the Schengen visa clock.

To continue the line of thought started by Double Whisky:

As a general rule, it is a very expensive, difficult, irritating, and time-consuming process to clear a yacht into Russia. There is no separate procedure for yachts, so you are treated like a ship. So you need an agent and a lot of patience and not small amount of money. You will need to check whether Kaliningrad has its own separate regime -- it might. I am speaking from experience in Sochi, which is the Russian mainland. Kaliningrad has special visa-free travel for Poles, customs and VAT relief, and other privileges since its an exclave, and I could imagine that Kaliningrad might have an easier procedure for clearance than you would get in St. Petersburg. But you'll have to find that out yourself; I don't know.

You don't need to worry about organized crime or so forth in Kaliningrad. That's all gone with the 1990's. It's quite safe. There is plenty of corruption, but you are unlikely to ever encounter it unless you are doing business there, privatizing land, involved with some kind of shady business, etc. Big exception is if you drive there -- the traffic police are corrupt and annoying.

The whole area is extremely interesting -- the Baltic parts of Poland, the Baltic States, etc. Gdansk (former Danzig), Riga, and Tallinn are especially worth spending some time in. You could have a whole lot of fun over a winter in that part of the world. Worthwhile to read up on the history of East Prussia and the Baltic region beforehand.

You will want a multiple entry visa to Russia. This is very easy to get in any Russian embassy. You can even do it by mail through countries like Andrew's Consulting in London. It surprises some people, but it is much easier to get a multi-entry Russian visa than it is to get any kind of long-term visa for any Schengen country.

Oh, and one more thing -- it's Russia (the Germans were all moved out in a horrendous program of ethnic cleansing right after the war). So the girls are amazingly pretty.
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:30   #15
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Re: Is it possible to winter in Kaliningrad.

Paul

I am the Danish delegate to a group named Baltic Sea Cruisers Network (BSCN). We have recently gathered all the information necessary for EU and non-EU persons who want to cruise the Baltic.

If you PM me with a mail address, I will send it to you. We have also posted it on Noonsite.

Included in this booklet is the contact information for a very reliable Russian Agent (Vladimir -. I know him personally). You should not undertake to visit either Kaliningrad or any other part of Russia without using an agent.

The BSCN "Useful Information" book covers all the countries around the Baltic, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany Denmark, Sweden and also Norway and the UK.

Listed are contact names and address in each country of a knowledgeable person who will be happy to help you with further information.

By the way - Kaliningrad is VERY cold. Personally I would winter in Denmark or Germany, where the gulf stream keeps the temperatures a fair bit milder.
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