Riga cruises

Sitting on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the River Daugava, Riga is the enchanting capital of Latvia, and the largest city among the Baltic States, which you can visit on certain cruise itineraries around Baltic shores. Having occupied the site since 1201 when it was a base for German knights, Riga then flourished as a member of the Hanseatic League for three centuries. Having later been part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, then the Swedish and Russian empires, Riga has more than a few stories to tell.

Riga’s Cultural Heritage

Riga’s Old Town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, thanks partly to its mediaeval architecture. It is also home to one of Europe’s densest concentrations of Art Nouveau buildings, mostly constructed just over a century ago, and Albert Street offers perhaps the most famous examples. Many of these were designed by Russian architect Mikhail Eisenstein, the father of Sergei Eisenstein, the famous Russian filmmaker. 

One of Riga’s major landmarks is the White House, otherwise known as Latvian National Opera and Ballet, which offers classical opera, modern opera and ballet. Even if your visit doesn’t coincide with a performance, it’s still worth admiring the building’s grand columned façade.

Discover Riga

Among the many highlights are Riga Castle and the Dome Cathedral, whose tower and spire are real symbols of the city; the latter also houses a vast organ which has over 6,800 pipes.

The House of the Blackheads is probably Riga’s most emblematic mediaeval postcard-friendly landmark, and its red-brick façade will no doubt make it into many of your photos too. Inside is just as ornate, with banqueting rooms and conference halls that are unforgettably opulent.

The tiered tower of St Peter's Church is an iconic feature of the Riga cityscape. The church has been there since 1209 and its tower has been built and destroyed several times. Now made of metal, the 400-foot structure has a lift inside and a viewing platform around two-thirds of the way up, inviting you to look out over Riga’s orange rooftops.

One of the great browsing spots is the city’s Central Market, created by the conversion of five vast former Zeppelin hangars into pavilions. It’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Old Riga, a cavernous place where tens of thousands browse for smoked fish and eel, meats, exotic spices, and colourful fruit and vegetables every day.

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.

  • Scenic Sigulda

    Sigulda is often called the ‘Latvian Switzerland’ and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Latvia.

    Scenic Sigulda

    Experience a combination of medieval castles and picturesque landscapes. Embark on a scenic drive to the town of Sigulda, passing through beautiful pine forests and capturing magnificent views of the River Gauja valley.

    Upon arrival at the 13th century Turaida Castle, climb the spiral steps of the fortified tower and enjoy a spectacular bird’s-eye view of the surrounding landscape. Your guide will host you on a walking tour to Turaida Church, where you’ll visit the grave of the ‘Rose of Turaida’ – the heroine of a true love story from the 17th century, who chose to die rather than betray her true love. Afterwards, stroll through the sculpture park dedicated to Latvian folklore.

    Before relaxing over lunch served at a local restaurant, visit the ruins of the 13th century Sigulda Castle and the 19th century Kropotkin’s Manor House.

    Returning to Riga, enjoy a panoramic drive through the Old Town and discover beautiful art nouveau buildings and the famous main street of Brivibas Street, meaning freedom. Upon arrival in Town Hall Square, enjoy some free time to shop for souvenirs.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2½ hours’ walking on this tour over uneven and cobblestoned streets, plus some steps to negotiate. The visit up the fortified tower at Turaida Castle is optional, guests are advised that the spiral staircase is narrow, and may be busy with visitors ascending and descending.

    Tour code

    RIX_004

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Free Time At 3 Sights

    Enjoy some independent exploration, as your three stop transfer takes you to the main sights of Riga, the largest city in the Baltic State.

    Free Time At 3 Sights

    Once onboard your three stop transfer, you’ll be given a map of Riga, so you can plan your free time.

    Your first stop is at Town Hall Square, the historic heart of Riga. Enjoy an hour of free time to wander the charming cobblestone streets. Explore the 13th century St Peter’s and St John’s Churches and walk through medieval John’s yard. In the Old Town you’ll also see the medieval dwelling houses known as the ‘Three Brothers’ and the Dome Cathedral.

    In the Central District admire some of the finest examples of Art Nouveau architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In total there are over 800 Art Nouveau buildings to discover, although it may be a little ambitious to try and view them all during your free time!

    In 1998 Riga Central Market was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Market first opened in 1930 and was one of the largest outdoor markets on the European continent, with five huge pavilions. During your visit you can sample some of the delicious local delicacies and shop for souvenirs and handicrafts.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. A tour assistant will be on hand to provide practical information about where and when to meet for the onward transportation. Please note that the assistant is not a tour guide. A map of Riga will be provided. Entrance fees are not included in the tour price. The sites are located a short drive from one another.

    Tour code

    RIX_011

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Riga by Tram and on Foot

    What better way to discover the sites of the medieval city of Riga than by vintage tram and on foot!

    Riga by Tram and on Foot

    Your guide will greet you on the pier before leading you to your awaiting ‘retro’ tram. This remarkable small tram car stands out against the modern urban environment and is renowned for its Art Nouveau design. Hop aboard for a charming journey through Riga’s two most beautiful boulevards; Meierovica and Aspazijas, and towards the Mezaparks district. During the journey you’ll have wonderful views of the National Opera, the Freedom Monument, Old Riga and Basteja hill.

    Arriving back in the city centre, join your knowledgeable guide for a walking tour of the old town. Listen carefully as they bring to life the history of Latvia’s Capital city which dates back to 1201.

    A short stop will be made for the opportunity to purchase a souvenir of your visit, before your walking tour brings you back to the pier.


    This excursion will operate by tram and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking on this tour, as well as three steep steps to board the tram. There is limited availability on this tour, therefore booking early is recommended.

    Tour code

    RIX_013

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • The Best Of Riga

    Discover the charming capital of Latvia, during a scenic drive and guided walking tour.

    The Best Of Riga

    Discover the historical city of Riga on foot and acquaint yourself with the 13th century St Peter’s, St George’s and St John’s churches. In the old town, you’ll also see the medieval dwelling houses known as the ‘Three Brothers’ and pass by the Large and Small Guild buildings on Livs Square.

    The Dome Cathedral is a well-known symbol of the old town and contains elements of Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and modern architectural styles. The Dome is famous for its magnificent organ, constructed in 1883, with more than 6,000 pipes. The highlight of your visit will be a short organ recital, demonstrating the power and beauty of its impressive sound.

    By coach you’ll travel through the boulevards of Riga city centre, viewing fine examples of Art Nouveau architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You’ll pass by the symbol of Latvian independence - the Freedom Monument - which was erected in 1935 during Latvia’s initial period of independence and was at the heart of the Latvian freedom movement in the late 1980’s.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour includes two hours’ walking. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended and care should be taken over the cobblestone streets.

    Tour code

    RIX_001

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Panoramic City Sights

    Sit back and relax on a scenic tour around the Latvian capital of Riga.

    Panoramic City Sights

    Embark on a panoramic drive through the streets of Riga to enjoy the medieval architecture and beautiful examples of Art Nouveau buildings. A short stop at the Freedom Monument offers you the opportunity to capture photographs of this symbol of Latvian independence, erected in 1935.

    Cross the River Daugava for a magnificent panoramic view of the Old Town with its skyline highlighted by the many church spires. See the 14th century Powder Tower, the only remaining tower of the former city defence wall. On the way back over the River, you’ll pass by the National Theatre and view the interesting architecture of the 19th century wooden buildings.

    During your tour a stop will be made at the Town Hall Square, where you’ll have around 40 minutes of free time to explore independently or shop for souvenirs.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The amount of walking on this tour is at guest’s discretion during the photograph stops and the free time at Town Hall Square.

    Tour code

    RIX_002

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    2½ hours

  • Relaxing Riga & Tea

    This leisurely tour allows you to discover the highlights of the Capital, and admire the city skyline whilst you take tea on the terrace..

    Relaxing Riga & Tea

    Sit back and relax, as you embark on a panoramic drive through the streets of Riga. The Latvian capital is a real blend of architecture through the ages, from the medieval times, to the beautiful Art Nouveau era, to today’s modern constructions. Have your camera to hand, as you pass by the Old Town, whose outline is dominated by numerous church spires, admire the 14th century Powder Tower, the only remaining tower of the former city defence wall. At Town Hall Square, enjoy a brief stop to take in your stunning surroundings.

    No visit to Riga would be complete without a visit to the Freedom Monument, erected in 1935 as a symbol of Latvia’s independence.

    Following your scenic discovery, retreat to the terrace of the Hotel Islande. From the 10th floor terrace admires the marvelous panoramic view of the Old Town and the ship berthed in the distance, whilst you sample a selection of local canapés and pastries, served with tea or coffee.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour includes approximately one hour of walking in total, including several photograph stops.

    Tour code

    RIX_012

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3 hours