Klaipeda

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

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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.

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    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.

     
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