Klaipeda cruises

Standing on the coast of the Baltic Sea, Klaipeda is the third largest city and the largest port in Lithuania, the southernmost of the three Baltic States. You can visit it on selected Baltic cruises along a route that leads to or from St Petersburg.

Split in half by the River Dané, the northern half is more modern, while the southern section offers the more alluring cobbles of the Old Town. As you walk around, you’ll probably notice some of the many inventive sculptures dotted around, including the ‘Black Ghost’ climbing out of the water.

Klaipeda’s Cultural Heritage

Founded by Teutonic Knights under the name of Memelburg in 1252, the former capital of the Prussian Empire has a distinct Germanic flavour, especially in the style of its many wooden- framed houses. While the Russians destroyed much of this German legacy –and especially the churches – during and after World War II, hints of it still remain. Teatro Square for instance, in the northern part of the Old Town, was where Richard Wagner lived and performed during his early career. Turgaus, the Market Square, also makes for an interesting stroll. 

To the north of the city, Palanga attracts many visitors during the warmer months, when the so-called summer capital can become very busy. Yet the rewards of a visit are evident by its sandy beaches backed by dunes, its wooden mansions, numerous museums and even a palace.

Discover Klaipeda 

Klaipeda sits on the northern end of the Curonian Spit, a 60-mile long peninsula less than 2.5 miles wide, and narrower than a third of a mile in places. The spit separates the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Lagoon, is crossed by Lithuania’s border with Poland, and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its fragile ecosystem. As well as dunes, it has swathes of pine forest, replanted to stabilise the spit, that are populated by deer, elk and wild boar, and just a handful of small towns. The largest of these is Nida, just inside the Lithuanian half of the spit, with its wooden cottages and boat-lined harbour.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Charms of Franciscan Kretinga

    Discover the charming town of Kretinga, before visiting the museum within Count Tiskevicius’ 19th century estate.

    Charms of Franciscan Kretinga

    Embark on a drive north from Klaipeda to the town of Kretinga. Here, you’ll visit the Church of the Annunciation dating from the 17th century. In the grounds surrounding the church lie the Stations of the Cross and inside you may wish to visit the underground crypt. The adjoining Franciscan Monastery combines renaissance and baroque elements. The Franciscan friars, who lived in the monastery, made a great contribution to education in Lithuania. They opened the first school and later published books and newspapers. The Monastery was closed by the Tsarist government, and again in Soviet times, but in 1992, after independence, the Franciscans returned. It is likely that one of the Brothers will be your guide.

    Continuing by coach through the centre of Kretinga, you’ll reach Count Tiskevicius’ 19th century estate. One part of the estate houses a museum displaying spiritual and cultural treasures of Kretinga. The museum holds a collection of Lithuanian wooden art and countless pieces of equipment used in authentic Lithuanian living. All of this will allow you to discover the traditions and daily life of local people.

    You’ll also visit a beautiful winter garden with a wide variety of exotic plants from all over the world. In the elegant café, situated among the tropical plants and next to a waterfall, you’ll enjoy tea or coffee and a cake.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves up to 1½ hours’ walking over uneven surfaces. There are 16 steps down to reach the underground crypt at the Church, although this visit is optional. During religious services the Church can be congested and the crypt will remain closed. The tour includes a visit to an historic estate which holds a traditional collection of daily locals’ life; Count Tiskevicius’s mansion will not be visited.

    Tour code

    PLQ_001

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Village Life In Lithuania

    Experience life in the small village of Lapiai, and sample some traditional fare at the home of the former British Defence Attaché to Lithuania.

    Village Life In Lithuania

    Sit back and relax as you head east from Klaipeda to a nearby village. In the heart of the village is the cultural centre where you will see exhibits of local art and may have the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the local people. Learn about the soviet period when thousands of Lithuanians were deported to Siberia and the resistance movement in Lithuania.

    A picturesque drive along the Minijos River leads to the neighbouring village of Lapiai. As you drive along the ‘main street’ your guide will paint a picture of what village life is like and how it has changed since Lithuania regained its independence in 1992. As you wind your way down through the valley, you’ll pass a working farmstead where people live off the land using traditional techniques.

    Afterwards, it’s time to meet one of the residents of the area, the former British Defence Attaché to Lithuania who has lived in the village for over 20 years. Visit his refurbished house and original outbuildings, stroll through the large garden and admire the views of Lapiai Castle Hill. During your visit your host will serve a mouth watering selection of homemade cakes, Lithuanian white cheese, fruit juice, wine, tea and coffee.

    Back in Klaipeda, make the most of a short stop in Theatre Square and shop for souvenirs to remind you of your visit.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. As this tour involves walking over uneven grass pathways, comfortable enclosed footwear is recommended.

    Tour code

    PLQ_006

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • The Best Of Neringa

    Cross the calm waters of the lagoon to the Curonian Spit, more commonly known as Neringa.

    The Best Of Neringa

    Legend has it that the giant ‘Neringa’ gathered an apron full of sand and poured a ribbon of it across the sea to divide it from the peaceful lagoon, thus allowing fishermen to work in safety.

    Embark on a drive through this picturesque narrow stretch of land, and admire the diverse nature that makes up the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll visit one of the oldest fishing villages of Juodkrante with its amber bay. Enjoy stunning views of the 19th century Evangelical Lutheran Church and whilst in the village you’ll visit the Weathervane Gallery. In the 19th century weathervanes were used as a special marking system on the top of the fishing boats.

    Your next stop is in the village of Nida, the oldest settlement on the Spit. Take a walk to see the fishermen’s cottages, the flat boat Kurenas and enjoy some free time to explore or hunt for souvenirs. At the Mizgiris Amber Gallery, you’ll learn more about amber and its origins. At the 172 foot high Great Dune, you’ll see the magnificent panorama over the dunes and the town.

    Before you head back to Klaipeda, a short stop will be made at the Blue Flag sandy beach, considered to be one of the best on the coast of the Baltic Sea.


    This excursion will operate by coach, ferry and on foot. To reach Neringa you will take a 10 minute ferry ride. This tour involves up to two hours’ walking over asphalt paths and uphill to the top of the Great Dune.

    Tour code

    PLQ_004

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    5½ hours

  • Klaipeda and Amber Factory

    Discover the importance of Baltic Amber, during visits to an Amber Factory and the Amber Antique Gallery.

    Klaipeda and Amber Factory

    Relax as a panoramic drive takes you through the centre of Klaipeda, passing the Clock and Watches Museum, the Neo-Gothic Post Office, Park of Sculptures and the University. A stop will be made at the Soviet WWII memorial, before your journey continues through typical residential areas, built during Soviet times and dating as far back as the Khrushchev era. Step back in time as your knowledgeable guide brings to life the history of the Soviet era.

    Here, amongst the soviet buildings you’ll find the home of the biggest amber processing factory. During a guided tour of the Amber Factory, you’ll see the craftsmen at work, lovingly turning rough pieces of natural amber into elegant pieces of jewellery through cutting, polishing and even baking.

    Afterwards, head to Klaipeda Old Town, where you’ll visit the Amber Antique Gallery. Upon arrival you’ll have the opportunity to taste amber tea, whilst listening to tales of the amber trading route stretching as far Rome.

    Complete your tour with a guided stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets of the Old Town, pausing at Theatre Square to view the sculpture of Annchen von Tharau.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1¼ hours of walking on this tour, some of which is over cobblestones. There are around 10 steps to negotiate to enter the Amber Antique Gallery.

    Tour code

    PLQ_009

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Cycle to the End of the Dunes

    Get ‘on your bike’ and explore the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Curonian Spit.

    Cycle to the End of the Dunes

    Board your bike at the pier and head to the pedestrian ferry, for the short journey across the lagoon to the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage site, also known as Neringa. Legend has it that the giantess ‘Neringa’ gathered an apron full of sand and poured a ribbon of it across the sea to divide it from the lagoon to provide safety to fishermen, creating the Curonian Spit. This narrow strip of land is home to the tallest migrating dunes in Europe.

    At the Curonian Spit, hop back on your bike and follow your instructor as they lead you along the lagoon to Hagen hill. Pause to take in the wonderful panoramic views.

    Continue cycling towards the beautiful long, white sandy beach, where a stop will be made to allow you to catch your breath and purchase refreshments at a nearby café.

    Your route then takes you through the pine forest, passing the 19th century Prussian military fort, before riding to the very narrow Klaipeda Sea Gate.

    Pass traditional flat bottom fishing vessels and a typical 19th century fishermen's farmstead, before taking the ferry back to Klaipeda and biking to the heart of the Old Town. Enjoy some free time at Theatre Square before cycling back to the pier.


    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion will operate by bike, ferry and on foot. Children are not permitted to participate on this tour. Passengers will cycle approximately 17 kilometres during the tour, over varying terrain, including some inclines. Participants must be in good physical condition and some cycling experience is required. Helmets are provided and must be worn. Please wear comfortable footwear and clothing suitable for bike riding.

    Tour code

    PLQ_008

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Kayaking on the Minija River

    Enjoy lovely scenery as you paddle the waters of the River Minija.

    Kayaking on the Minija River

    A scenic drive takes you through the countryside and towards the lush green valley of the River Minija. During the drive your guide will enlighten you with tales of the history of the area.

    Upon arrival at the launch site you’ll be introduced to your instructor and assigned your two-man kayak. Then, following a short safety briefing and instructions it will be time to take to the water! Follow your instructor as they ‘paddle the way’ along the River Minija, treating you to the wonderful scenic landscape of the region.

    After your kayak adventure, a well-deserved traditional Lithuanaian snack will be served on the bank of the river.

    A wonderful experience for those that love the outdoors and have a sense of adventure!


    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion will operate by coach and kayak. There is approximately 2 hours of kayaking on this tour. River kayaks are stable and are sit-inside kayaks with 2 seats. Children under the age of 8 and pregnant women may not participate. Participants should be competent swimmers and physically fit. Ensure to bring a towel and change of clothes as you may get wet. Please wear your swimwear as there are no changing facilities available. You’ll be required to wear a life jacket. Waterproof bags will be provided to store your belongings, however please keep these to a minimum.

    Tour code

    PLQ_007

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Klaipeda And Palanga

    Combine the sights of the old city of Klaipeda with the marvels of the Amber Museum in Palanga.

    Klaipeda And Palanga

    Sit back, relax and admire the scenery, as you drive through central Klaipeda to Palanga, to visit a charming Open Park. The Park’s 19th century neo-renaissance style mansion houses the Amber Museum, which reveals the marvels of the ‘Baltic gold’. Learn of the amber’s origins and how jewellery is made, stroll in the gardens whilst enjoying the peaceful views.

    Anyone visiting Palanga is drawn to the Basanavicius, a stretch of road boasting cafes, restaurants and souvenior shops. Enjoy some free time to amble along the pier or sit in one of the many cafés, bars and restaurants which line either side of the street.

    Upon your return to the Old Town of Klaipeda you’ll stop off in Theatre Square to admire the square’s famous symbol, a sculpture of Annchen von Tharau. Your guide will then host you on a stroll along the narrow streets of the old town where craftsmen, shoemakers, blacksmiths and bakers used to live. During your walk a stop will be made in one of the local restaurants for you to sample a glass of Lithuanian beer and traditional garlic bread.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot.

    Tour code

    PLQ_002

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours