Germany's second largest island in the Baltic Sea and the region with most hours of sunshine. The Southeastern part of the island is Polish. At the Baltic coast one can find 42 kilometres of fine white sandy beaches but not berthing opportunities. In return many small harbours are located at the inner jagged coastline of the "Achterwasser" and the "Stettiner Haff".
Besides the outer coastline of Usedom Island the estuary comprises the “Peenestrom”, the “Achterwasser” and the “Kleines Haff”. Important places of the region are the cities Anklam and Wolgast, the seaside resorts Karlshagen, Zinnowitz, Zempin, Koserow, Ückeritz, Bansin, Heringsdorf and Ahlbeck as well as the villages Peenemünde, Kröslin and Freest.
Berlin's “bathtub” – as the region is being called in the vernacular – is the sunniest region in Germany and a perfect estuary for sailing and surfing. Along the fine sandy beaches famous seaside resorts as Zinnowitz, Bansin, Heringsdorf and Ahlbeck are lining up like a pearl necklace. Magnificent villas are shining in new glamour; piers invite you to a stroll and make you sense the flair of the emperor’s time.
What’s more of interest for the sailor is the inner coastline of the island which provides a large number of berthing facilities in small cosy harbours. The extensive water surface (300 m²) is connecting to the river Oder which leads to Berlin and into the European waterway network, as well as the rivers “Peene” and “Uecker” which lead up 180 km inland. When entering the “Peenestrom” and the “Achterwasser” one has to pass the bridges in Wolgast and Zecherin. After that the buoyage is pretty uncomplicated. The entire estuary is easy to steer in since the average depth of around three meters is preventing rough seas. In the estuary the climate is of inland character and due to the surrounding forests strong winds are reaching the region very seldom.
The Southern part of the “Peenestrom” and the “Achterwasser” are easy to access with a depth of around 2 meters. The smaller harbours Krummin, Lassan, Rankwitz, Zinnowitz, Stagnieß and Ückeritz are inviting your to stay over.
The estuary Usedom Island is offering fun for everyone. Numerous berthing facilities can be found at the “inner” side of the island. In order to avoid the many shoals especially in the “Peenestrom” and the “Achterwasser” one must use up-to-date chart material.
Since Poland joined the EU in May 2004 a crossing of the blue border between the countries is no problem. A wonderful sailing estuary is also the “Stettiner Haff” which can be accessed through the “Peenestrom” or the “Kaiserfart” (between Usedom Island and Wollin Island). Searching for the perfect wave surfers can be active on the open sea but also on the calm “Achterwasser”. Water touring can be done from the mouth of the rivers “Peene” or the river “Uecker” up inland.
The emperor baths Bansin, Heringsdorf and Ahlbeckl but also the seaside resort Zinnowitz beats everything when visiting Usedom Island. The fame of Peenemünde is based on the sad fact that this was the place where the first long-range missile was developed during Second World War – today an exhibition in the Historisch-Technisches-Informationszentrum reminds of the history of this birthplace of space travel. The largest submarine of the world – the U 461 – is located in the harbour of Peenemünde. Two famous artists have drawn their strength and inspiration on Usedo Island – the writer Maxim Gorki and the painter Otto Niemeyer-Holstein. The living and working rooms of Maxim Gorki in the “Villa Irmgard” in Heringsdorf are hosting a museum of literature. At the dreamlike property of Niemeyer-Holstein in Lüttenort paintings and sculptures and be admired.
The most beautiful places of the island can be discovered by bike or on foot. The network of paths throughout the nature preserve area is in an excellent condition. The “Usedomer Bäderbahn” is coming from the mainland, driving along the Baltic side of the island over the Polish boarder into the city of Swinoujscie. In the old duke city Wolgast the massive church St. Petri towers above the beautiful market-place. In memory of the famous son of the city Philip Otto Runge his old house has been named after him. More os the history of the city can be found in the “Kaffeemühle” – an old half-timbered house which received its name doe to its appearance. Anklam as being the city of birth of Otto Lilienthal dedicates a collection of historical aircraft machines. In the old city centre of Ueckermünde is being guarded by the castel from the 16. century.