“Seasing” the day with a boat charter in Gdansk

Last updated May 24, 2021

Boat charter in GdanskGoing on a boat charter in Gdansk might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of going to the Polish city. However, there are a lot of nice waterways in Gdansk that will be like chicken soup for your soul. We have been on several boat trips during a press trip to Gdansk. This was one of them. 

Wistula river tour

So our tour (that was specially made for us) started in Malbork that is outside of Gdansk. We went on the Nogat river down to Biala Gora which is a floodgate and then up the Wistula river to the city Tczew. This is also called “Zulawy loop cruise”. We had an amazing day and I will tell you all about it.

Our story contains Mini as a “captain”, drinks and ruptured pants! But first thing’s first. Let’s start with information about how you can book your own boat during your visit to Poland and Gdansk.
The map from our boat charter

Charter your own boat in the Gdansk area

You don’t need to have a license to be allowed to charter a boat from the Vistula Cruises company. They will teach one person all you need to know and then you are good to go! So how does this work? You contact them and then you charter a boat. It costs 4 000 zloty (2017) for one boat for one week. You can bring your whole family (if it’s not huge) and it does not cost you more. You will have to add about 300 zloty for diesel for the boat.

And after learning how the boat works, you are good to charter the boat! One more thing… you will have to provide the food yourself. Either you camp out somewhere or you dock the boat and check into a hotel – that’s up to you!
Boat charter


Even if you don’t need to be certified in order to charter a boat I do want to recommend that you have some sort of boat experience. You want to feel safe while on your vacation. The company also offer you several suggestions for different routes to take. Here are three of their suggestions. Just to let you know – one of them are on our bucket list!

  • PETLA ZULAW: Rybina – Elblag – Malbork – Gniew – Tczew – Gdansk – Rybina. The route is about 200 kilometers. Suggested time: One week. While visiting Malbork make sure to visit the worlds largest castle made out of bricks.
  • PETLA ZULAW + KANAL OSTRODZKO-ELBLASKI: Rybina – Elblag – Kanal Ostrodzko-Elblaski – Ilawa and Ostroda and Stare Jablonki – Elblag – Malbork – Gniew – Tczew – Gdansk – Rybina. The route is about 500 kilometers and it is recommended to do this rout in one or two weeks. The Kanal Elblaski is on our bucket list. That is a unique place where the boat is taken out of the water and dragged on land on a train track. I don’t have any more information about this and I will do my research – once there, going through the canal!
  • KANAL OSTRODZKO-ELBLASKI: Rybina – Elblag – Kanal Ostrodzko-Elblaski – Ilawa and Ostroda and Stare Jablonki – Elblag – Rybina. The route is about 320 kilometers and it’s ideal for a week or two.

And if you feel like you want to do a cruise like this but don’t want to drive the boat yourself – I’m pretty sure that they can get you a captain so that you can just relax. Visit their website here: http://zeglugawislana.pl/pl/.
Malbork castle

Our day at the boat – Starting with food

So our group got to spend an afternoon at one of the boats and it was fantastic. Our captain Krzysztof Charlinski, was one man short so Mini got to act as a captain for the day. Since he has his Yacht Master – he jumps on every opportunity to steer a boat. Since we just had a visit to the Malbork Castle, we started out by getting our lunch on the boat.

First, we got soup. Some sort of vegetable soup that was really good and tasted homemade. The second course tasted a lot better than it looked. Yes, it looked like a turd but it was chicken that had mushrooms rolled into it. And there were mashed potatoes and a salad. It was really good and tasted like something a mom would make to her children. The food was delivered to us so unfortunately, I don’t know who made it. But be certain that if I did, I would recommend this restaurant!

A tranquil day in Gdansk, Poland

I don’t think that you can get closer to nature than we did during our boat charter from Malbork to Tczew. It was so peaceful and calm and everyone just had the best time ever. It seemed like even the birds of prey that we saw were getting along and being friends. Some of us started writing, some were drinking more and more drinks, read Mini, and some of us were just talking. I had a great opportunity to talk to our guide Agnieszka and we spoke about everything, from children to religion.

Everyone was just enjoying themselves. We passed loads and loads of mistletoe. We were cruising through water and I believe that we all fell in love with Poland.

Getting through the Biala Gora

We also got to go through a real floodgate that had to be filled with water while we were inside the floodgate. This was really fun because it was a first for me and I got to see it up close. It didn’t take that long, about 10 minutes for us to enter the dock and to get out on the other side.

And then we continued our cruising. Even if we were in a motorboat, the sounds from the engine were not bothering us. We could hear the sounds of the birds and nature itself. This was a great way to relax even if we were close to the busy city at all times! We believe that this will become more and more popular in the near future so make sure to check it out!

And at the end of the boat trip Mini ended up cracking his pants! Yes, he did! It turns out that you can’t take a huge step of a boat with narrow pants :).
two people in a boat

Read more about our trips on the water of Gdansk:

Being the crew at the tri-city sailing cup.

Sailing from Gdansk to Sopot.

Floodgate in Poland

Visit Poland press trip


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