Our detailed guide to European destinations.
Things are modernising rapidly in Latvia, and guidebooks are quickly out-of-date. Communications with the rest of Europe are improving, and there are increasing numbers of tourists, particularly Germans.
Ship’s registration papers.
List of crew, with dates of birth and passport numbers.
Report to Customs?
Yes, at ports of entry Riga, Ventspils or Liepaja. Riga has the best facilities. Notify Customs of all valuable items on board eg cameras, watches, radios, etc, as these may be checked later against receipts and money-changing dockets. Keep a record of all your financial transactions in the country, and all bills and receipts. It is illegal to make trade, or sell goods.
At a few harbours.
At most harbours.
Shore power 220V AC
At some harbours. Take a long extension lead.
Cheaper than UK.
Lat (100 santimes).
The Lat is now a fairly stable, strong currency. Take small denominations of US dollars, Deutschmarks, and Finnish currency if you wish, but locals say you’re likely to be overcharged if you use foreign money.Cash is more widely used than credit cards, cheques etc.
Accepted in larger hotels and shops in Riga. A few cashpoints eg at airport, and large banks in Riga. Not yet found in smaller towns. Can obtain cash from credit cards by going inside bank.
Not all banks will change them. Not widely known.
Riga and Ventspils coast radio stations monitor Ch 16.
Yes, allowed in if have proof of anti-rabies injection and certificate of health from a vet. However, there is a risk of your dog catching parvo, which claims hundreds of puppies each year, or hepatitis.
Many phone boxes now on international digital system. Buy tokens. International calls can also be made from hotels.
Dialling code to UK
0044 then the number, omitting first 0.
At time of writing, no VHF or other broadcast services.
Charts and books
Admiralty charts. May be out of date as surveying used to be restricted, and new buoyage being introduced.
The Baltic Sea. RCC Pilotage Foundation. Imray.
RYA booklet C1. Planning a Foreign Cruise.
5J, Alunana Street, Riga LV1010. Tel: 00371 7338126.
Embassy in UK
Latvian Embassy, 45 Nottingham Place, London W1U 5LR. Tel: 020 7312 0040. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Latvian embassy in London can send a booklet, Riga in Your Pocket, with up-to-date info in English.
Latvian and Russian. Many older people speak German; young people’s second language is English.