Explore Lithuania's natural beauty, and the former nuclear threat imposed by its Soviet neighbors, during this visit to the Plokstine Forest and Soviet Nuclear Weapons Site.
A stark reminder of the Cold War, the Soviet Nuclear Weapons Site was constructed in Zemaitija National Park under great secrecy in 1960, and became operational in 1963. Soldiers working around-the-clock excavated the silos by hand. Four silos housed the R 12 surface-to-surface missiles. The nuclear missiles were targeted towards the biggest European cities, including Berlin, London, Madrid and Paris. In 1962, similar missiles were deployed to Cuba from this site, creating what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Nuclear Weapons Site was closed in 1979. Today, four silos and the central control complex remain.
Depart the pier for the drive to Zemaitija National Park, one of the most beautiful places in the Plokstine Forest, and home to the Soviet Nuclear Weapons Site. Upon arrival at the site, you will begin your guided tour of the 88.5-foot-deep corridors, mineshaft and underground tunnels of this old Soviet launch site. Along the way, you will see some of the symbols of the Soviet Army, and have an opportunity to climb through the narrow hatch and view one of the silos.
In sharp contrast to this apocalyptic site, the Plokstine Forest is filled with an abundance of scenic vistas. On the return drive, you will view the most beautiful sites of the national park, including the crystal-clear waters of Plateliai Lake, and three spectacular islands. A stop will then be made at a Lithuanian cafe to sample some national dishes before returning to the pier and ship.
Please note: If you are claustrophobic, do not enter the tunnels. The Soviet Nuclear Weapon site has not been reconstructed, and there are some uncomfortable areas in the underground tunnels. Following your visit, you may opt to rejoin your coach and proceed directly back to the pier and ship, or remain a bit longer in the Old Town of Klaipeda, and find your own way back to the ship. Lunch includes a choice of two beverages: local beer, soda or water.