Crusaders and German merchants sailed into the area that would become Riga in 1201. From that point on, trade flourished, and Riga became a major port. Dominating the skyline are church steeples and the high-rise building known as Sun Stone on the bank of the River Daugava, the oldest part of an international trade route between the Baltic and Black seas.
Vanshu Bridge connects the two banks of the river, and behind the bridge is Riga Castle. Most cruise ships dock at the city center, a 10-minute walk from the old town.