The southernmost of the three Baltic states, Lithuania is situated on the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, sharing the border with Latvia to the north, another popular cruise destination, and with Belarus to the southeast. At Lithuania’s southwest border is Poland, and the isolated Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
Once Europe’s largest country (during the 14th century), Lithuania once was comprised of Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia. The Russian Empire annexed most of Lithuania’s territory, however, between 1772 and 1795.
Following World War I, Lithuania declared independence in 1918, but beginning in 1940, the country was occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. The Nazis retreated in 1944 as World War II neared its end, but the Soviet Union returned to reoccupy Lithuania until 1990, when in March the country became the first Soviet Republic to declare independence.
Deeply rooted in regional folklore and tradition, amber is mined in Lithuania. Only ten minutes by foot from where cruise ships dock along the Danes river brings cruise passengers to the heart of Klaipeda’s Old Town, where visitors will find a great variety of amber jewelry.
For Port Profiles, Shore Excursions and What To Do In Klaipeda, click on the links below.