Klaipeda

The only Lithuanian port
The Four Winds’ sculpture
The artisan district

Find Northern Europe Cruises

Klaipeda

Where old and young unite

When you arrive in Klaipeda, the cruise ship will berth in the only Lithuanian port, one that has been operating since the middle of the 13th century.

The historic centre, that dates back to when the city was known as Memel, is built in the typical fashion of the German medieval towns, including the square with the majestic clock tower. Klaipeda is divided into two parts: the new town, right of the river Dane and the old town that develops on the left bank.

The latter is built in the classic chessboard layout of the 17th century German towns and still sports handsome trellised buildings like, for example, those in the artisan district: used as warehouses in the past, they now host art galleries, cafés or clubs. There is a variety of sculptures around town, starting from that of the Four Winds, in the port, at the entrance of the terminal where your MSC cruise ship is berthed.

Visit the handsome neo-classic Dramos theatre, which is the main building in the square and where you also find a statue dedicated to the poet, Simon Dach. Your MSC cruise of Northern Europe also offers two excursions, both along the coast. Palanga, in the north, is the largest Lithuanian seaside resort with a walk that ends at the long pier on the sea. This is located along the ancient Amber Road and it is not rare to find bits of this resin stone on the white beach after a heavy storm.

For sure you can admire this stone in the city’s Amber Museum. To the south instead we find the Neringa peninsula, a 98km long sand bar that separates the Curi lagoon from the Baltic Sea and where, in Nida, you find the largest dune in Nothern Europe; this is a UNESCO world heritage site for its importance in the biosphere.

Must see places in Klaipeda

  • Curonian Spit

    Curonian Spit

  • Trakai Castle

    Trakai Castle

  • Typical houses

    Typical houses

Discover our excursions

7 results found

  • CYCLING IN THE CURONIAN SPIT NATIONAL PARK

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    KLJ08

    The Curonian Spit is a long ribbon of land that is shared by two nations, features a spectacular dune landscape that makes it a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also home to the Lithuanian Curonian Spit National Park. This will be your ultimate destination on this enjoyable cycling tour, which will first see you pedalling through the lovely historical quarter of Klaipeda to see theatre square with its famous “Ännchen von Tharau” fountain, the reconstructed yacht harbour and the scenic Dane River promenade. After a short ferry crossing to reach the spit, you’ll continue your bike ride through pine woods on a route that includes key sights such as the harbour gate with its defensive breakwaters stretching into the Baltic Sea, several old boats, fishermen’s houses and the Maritime Museum, home to the only dolphinarium in the Baltic states. There will also be time for you to go for a swim or search for amber on the shore, try some local delicacies and enjoy gorgeous views of the lagoon, the Baltic Sea and Klaipeda before you head back to your ship. Please note: guides available only in English and German. This tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties; guests must be able to bike for approx. 20 km. Min. height needed: 150 cm; max height needed: 190 cm; max. weight restriction: 100 kg. Children aged 14 years on are allowed to take part in this tour. Adjustable tour bikes of different sizes may be provided upon availability and reconfirmation during your cruise.
    • Snack included

    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      4 h

  • HIKING IN DUNES PARADISE

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    KLJ07

    Slip into a pair of comfy walking shoes, hop on a coach and then take a 10-minute ferry to reach the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea, this narrow strand of land boasts a stunning landscape of pine forests and dunes, including the 8-km (5-mile) stretch of the Nagliai Nature Reserve, noted for the intricate windblown patterns of its dunes. You’ll hike through this unique and eerie landscape, under which several villages – including four iterations of Nagliai itself – lie buried beneath the sands. A drive south will then see you reach Juodkrante, the spit’s oldest fishing village and a bustling summer resort. After a look at the late 19th-century Lutheran church, the weathervane gallery and a walk along the sculpture-decorated shoreline, you’ll take a break for Lithuanian beer, fried bread and smoked cheese at a family-run, lagoon-side restaurant. Back in Klaipeda, you’ll visit theatre square to hear the ballad of “Ännchen von Tharau” and browse the amber market before you head back to the ship. Please note: the number of guides in languages other than English is limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. Guests can choose to remain in Klaipeda’s old town, about 800 m (875 yds.) from the ship, after the end of the tour; maps can be provided. This is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • Snack included

    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      4:30 h

  • FLAVOURS OF KLAIPEDA

    CITY TOUR

    KLJ04

    Spend a few hours off the ship exploring not only the lovely town of Klaipeda, founded mid-13th century by German crusaders, but also some of Lithuania’s unique flavours. Your walk around Klaipeda’s timber-framed historical quarter also takes you to see the early 20th-century Simon Dach fountain, built in honour of the Klaipeda-born author of the folk ballad “Ännchen von Tharau”, illustrated by a statue of “Little Anne” on top. But since “Ännchen” sadly went missing in 1945, the current statue is a replica. Next up is the Lithuania Minor Museum, where exhibits charting 10,000 years of regional history and a taste of local delicacies await. You’ll learn about the region’s long-held dairy traditions, see old-fashioned tools used to produce curd cheese, take a peek at the museum’s straw beehive collection, make your own blend of herbal tea and also try some of the locally produced curd cheese, enjoyed with honey and herbal tea in these parts. A visit to the local amber gallery to browse crafted souvenirs and try some amber tea follows before you return to the ship. Please note: the number of guides in languages other than English is limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • Snack included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

  • KLAIPEDA OLD TOWN & PALANGA AMBER MUSEUM

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    KLJ01

    Amber, a kind of fossilised tree resin, is much admired as a gemstone for its mellow golden glow and since the Baltic is known for its extraction industry, this tour teams a look at Klaipeda’s old town with a visit to the Amber Museum in Palanga. Your walk around the old town begins at theatre square to see “Ännchen von Tharau”, a statue commemorating a folk ballad written by Klaipeda-born poet Simon Dach. As you pass the timber-frame houses of the old town, you’ll also have a chance to browse market stalls selling handicrafts and amber jewellery before you move on to Palanga. You’ll be visiting both the Palanga Botanical Gardens, created more than 100 years ago, and the co-located Amber Museum, housed in the 19th-century Tiškeviciai Palace. The museum provides information on where “Baltic Gold” can be found, its uses and its characteristic inclusions – history captured in beads of resin. You’ll then have time to explore Palanga’s promenade, which ends the Baltic Sea and features numerous cafés, bars, restaurants and souvenir stalls, or visit the 19th-century Neo-Gothic church, after which you’ll return to the ship. Please note: the number of guides in languages other than English is limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair; there are 8 steps to negotiate to enter the Amber Museum. Moreover, the excursion includes walking on cobblestone streets in Klaipeda old town. Guests can choose to remain in Klaipeda’s old town, about 800 m (875 yds.) from the ship, after the end of the tour; maps can be provided.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

  • SOVIET NUCLEAR WEAPON SITE

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    KLJ06

    The former Soviet missile base in the middle of the Plokštine Forest, part of the Žemaitija National Park about an hour’s drive from the port, closed its doors in 1979 and has since reopened as a grim reminder of the Cold War years that followed WWII. Built under the cloak of secrecy in 1960, the site went live in 1963 with four silos housing R 12 missiles pointed at Berlin, London, Madrid and Paris. It was also the site from which the missiles were deployed that sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The underground Soviet control centre and the silos are now open for inspection, as the first site of its kind, and you’ll have a chance to go on a guided tour of its grisly corridors and tunnels, accessed via a mine shaft reaching 27 m (30 yards) into the ground. You can also see the inside of one of the silos by climbing through its narrow hatch – a unique opportunity. As a contrast to the sober theme of the visit, your return journey will be one of glorious views, delivered by the beautifully clear waters of Lake Plateliai and its three lovely islands. Please note: the number of guides in languages other than English is limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour includes approx. 40 steps to negotiate, walking underground and visit very narrow and small rooms, so it is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties, using a wheelchair or who suffer from claustrophobia. Guests can choose to remain in Klaipeda’s old town, about 800 m (875 yds.) from the ship, after the end of the tour; maps can be provided.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

  • KLAIPEDA & THE MYSTERIOUS HILL OF WITCHES

    NATURAL WONDERS

    KLJ02

    The beautiful port of Klaipeda lies opposite the northernmost tip of the Curonian Spit, a narrow belt of land separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. A coach ride and ferry crossing will first take you to the spit, after which you’ll make your way to the seaside resort of Juodkrante. Once a part of Old Prussia and then called by the German name of Schwarzort (Black Place), Juodkrante boasts numerous beautiful 19th-century buildings that go to make up its special charm and is also home to Amber Bay, the site of amber extraction since the 19th century. And while modern sculptures can be found adorning the shoreline of the lagoon, a set of rather mystical pieces can be found at the Hill of Witches, which you’ll visit. The open-air gallery boasts around 80 large wood carvings, spread out on a forested sand dune, that go to bring Lithuanian folk tales to life. You’ll then move on for a look at the Dead Dunes, so named for several villages that were taken by the sands, before you return to Klaipeda. Please note: the number of guides in languages other than English is limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. This tour includes walking for a total of 8km so it is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      5:15 h

  • THE WEST OF LITHUANIA BY COACH AND BOAT

    SCENIC ROUTE

    KLJ03

    Treat yourself to a generous helping of Lithuania’s wonderful landscape on this scenic tour, which begins with a coach ride to the south of Klaipeda en route to the shore of the Curonian Lagoon, on the other side of which lies the Curonian Spit. The route will take you through the town of Priekule, the birthplace of Immanuel Kant’s grandfather, to your first stop: the Kintai fish farm, a popular spot with local anglers and people wishing to explore by boat – as you will then do. Your leisurely cruise on the beautiful Curonian Lagoon comes with views of the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will take you through the small fishing village of Minija, which is unique in that the Minija River forms its main “road” and there are no bridges! Minija is also the gateway to Lake Kroku Lanka (Krokai), a shallow saltwater lake that an abundance of waterfowl calls home. Leaving the lake, you will then head back to Kintai with more views of the spit, the lagoon and the small town of Šilute to enjoy on your way back to the ship. Please note: the number of guides in languages other than English is limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. Guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made. Guests can choose to remain in Klaipeda’s old town, about 800 m (875 yds.) from the ship, after the end of the tour; maps can be provided.
    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4:30 h

The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

Lithuania

Hospitality and pride
Hospitality and pride

Lithuania is a vibrant, quirky and largely unspoiled country, which has undergone rapid change since becoming independent from the Soviet Union in 1990.
 
During an MSC Northern Europe cruise, you’ll find ample grounds for outdoor pursuits in the national parks and a number of great beaches, as well as a stark contrast between city life and rural simplicity. Fiercely proud of their country, the Lithuanians are more exuberant and welcoming than their Baltic neighbours and you are likely to encounter their hospitality everywhere.

On a cruise to Lithuania, the small size of the country makes getting around inexpensive; even in well-trodden destinations the volume of visitors is low, leaving you with the feeling that there’s still much to discover here. The capital, Vilnius boasts a Baroque Old Town and narrow alleys, while the second city, Kaunas, has an attractive centre and a couple of interesting museums, along with some excellent restaurants and bars.

The port city of Klaipėda is a convenient overnight point en route to the resorts of Neringa (the Curonian Spit), a unique sliver of sand dunes and forest that shields Lithuania from the Baltic Sea, or to Palanga, Lithuania’s party town, where everyone flocks in the summer for a good time.