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Cruises to Riga

78 Reviews
Riga (Photo:Chamille White/Shutterstock)

About Riga

Riga, founded in 1201, is the geographical center of the Baltic States and arguably one of Northern Europe's best kept secrets ... tourism is just now beginning to boom in what's quickly becoming one of Europe's top cultural capitals.

The city of 800,000 on the Daugava River is the capital of Latvia, a country finding its place in a new world after being occupied for 50 years (1941 to 1991), first by the Nazis and then by the Soviet Union. Today, visitors will see a city in transition: women embracing fashion trends, men following the latest news on American sports teams, and a Caribbean-themed bar serving mean mojitos (while patrons stare at a portrait of Fidel Castro). School kids are learning English as a second language instead of Russian.

Today, Riga is a happening place boasting big-city attractions for visitors. Opera, music and ballet flourish (even during Soviet times, Riga was known for its arts offerings). The city has museums that house displays on everything from art and textiles to fire-fighting and the history of medicine. Old Riga, the historic center of the city, has been recognized by UNESCO, and the city's Art Nouveau architecture is among the finest in Europe.

Nightlife is active, with hopping bars and dance clubs open until 6 a.m. on weekends. A large number of restaurants serve up an impressive diversity of international options (Russian, Armenian, Tibetan, Tex-Mex). There are shopping malls and hotels springing up, and new cars clog the streets.

But perhaps most intriguing is how the city still feels like a bridge between the Old Soviet and modern Europe -- our advice is to get here now before things rapidly change.

  • More about Riga

  • Why go to Riga?

  • Riga Cruise Port Facilities?

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Sirena
Sirena

10 Night
Europe - Northern CruiseDetails

244 Reviews
Leaving:Stockholm
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Sep 9, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn

9 Night
Europe - BalticDetails

2,901 Reviews
Leaving:Stockholm
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Aug 15, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Holland America Rotterdam
Holland America Line's Rotterdam at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

14 Night
Jewels Of The BalticDetails

57 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Sirena
Sirena

7 Night
Europe - Northern CruiseDetails

244 Reviews
Leaving:Copenhagen
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Sep 19, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

12 Night
Europe - BalticDetails

2,901 Reviews
Leaving:Stockholm
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Sep 15, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Jewels Of The BalticDetails

197 Reviews
Leaving:Copenhagen
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jun 8, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Europe - BalticDetails

2,901 Reviews
Leaving:Stockholm
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jun 5, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
Legends Of The Fjords & Baltic JewelsDetails

197 Reviews
Leaving:Ijmuiden
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
May 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

9 Night
Europe - BalticDetails

2,901 Reviews
Leaving:Copenhagen
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Aug 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Europe - BalticDetails

2,901 Reviews
Leaving:Le Havre
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
May 24, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Jewels Of The BalticDetails

197 Reviews
Leaving:Copenhagen
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jul 2, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Europe - BalticDetails

2,901 Reviews
Leaving:Stockholm
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jun 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Europe - Northern CruiseDetails

1,187 Reviews
Leaving:Southampton
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Jun 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Europe - Northern CruiseDetails

730 Reviews
Leaving:Southampton
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jul 11, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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29 Night
Baltic Jewels & Atlantic SojournDetails

57 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Sep 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Riga

Why go to Riga?

Pros:

Riga has a decidedly Old World feel, but at the same time it boasts a vibrant, trendy nightlife and restaurant scene

Cons:

Watch out for the strip clubs and roaming British bachelor parties

Bottom Line:

This grand city of art nouveau architecture and cobblestone boulevards has what it takes to rival any major European capital of culture

Riga Cruise Port Facilities?

The ferry terminal has a small cafe and a money exchange office, but nothing else of interest.

Good to Know?

There are easily avoidable strip clubs that have gained fame, especially among partying young Brits (prostitution is "illegal" but "allowed").

Getting Around?

By Taxi: Taxis are available at the pier. The city's transportation system includes trams, trolley cars and buses, and a ride anywhere is about 35 cents. You buy tickets from the conductor onboard. The Number 7, 5 and 9 trams go from the ferry terminal area (Ausekja), two stops to the center of the city.

By Car: Auto Europe is among car rental firms with downtown rental locations in Riga.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The national currency is the euro. ATM's can be found at banks all around the city.

Language?

The official language is Latvian. Russian is widely spoken, as is English (particularly by younger people). School children are now learning English as a second language rather than Russian.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock at the ferry terminal on the Daugava River, and it's about a half-mile (15-minute walk) to Old Riga. Other sights of interest, such as the Art Nouveau district, require a taxi or public transportation, unless you take a shore excursion.


Riga Cruise Reviews
We had 2 days in Riga, the first we did some research and decided to self tour old town visiting the Museum of the Occupation (a sobering eye opening museum that does a fabulous job of showing Latvia's plight and figRead More
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KittyCruz
Again with TJ Travel and another great guide. This tour included a trip to Jurmala, a beach resort area. Old town Riga was beautiful a great walk through the old streetsRead More
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Devilaw
Ship was docked over 10km from old Riga. We took a ship sponsored city tour, it was terrible, so bad I complained to the excursions desk. The city itself was interesting but had a very different vibe than the other cRead More
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Wayne813
In the port we went to an organic farm. It was run solely by a woman in her 70's, It was an amazing trip with her sampling her grown food and honey. Also, for the first time ever saw Storks.Read More
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GICNJC

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