More tourists lured to Lithuania’s sandy coastline

Klaipėda looks forward to big year for cruise and other tourists
Lithuania’s coastal city of Klaipėda will be a place to watch in 2016, tourism industry experts say. Cruise ship passengers are growing steadily and the type of visitors to the unique coastline are now younger or with families.
“Our estimate is over 60,000 passengers [this year],” says Romena Savickienė, director of Klaipėda’s Tourism and Culture Information Centre. “The increase is largely prompted by the fact that larger passenger liners started mooring in the port. Generally speaking, every year Klaipėda sees more arrivals of larger cruise ships, containing 2,000 passengers and more.”
As the ships expand in size and cruise prices fall, they are more affordable to younger people and families with moderate incomes.
The biggest liner to dock last year was Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas at 293 metres. Passengers often embark on pre-paid excursions to Neringa and the Curonian Spit, a strip of land with pines and sand dunes stretching almost 100 kilometres to the south. Others cycle along 220 kilometres of flat, smooth and well-signposted routes around western Lithuania.
Almost 50% of foreign guests to Klaipėda are German, followed by Scandinavians, Poles, Latvians, Americans and Russians.
While projects like the reconstruction of Klaipėda’s Castle Museum have stalled, others such as expansion of the popular dolphinarium, now three times as large, have been completed. It’s possible to jump aboard the passenger ferry from Klaipėda to the spit, visit the dolphinarium and then the beach. There is now also a third ferry terminal.
Lithuania Tribune