ALA plans ‘Hello, Latvia!’ sightseeing tour

The American Latvian Association is once again offering its “Hello, Latvia!” group tour for people who want to visit Latvia and get to know its history, geography, culture and society. Tentative dates for the bilingual tour are from July 20 through Aug. 4.

The tour provides an opportunity to see and experience more of Latvia than one might be able to travelling alone, the ALA said in a press release. In addition to getting to know life in the capital city of Rīga, participants will see highlights of the four provinces of Latvia. 

ALA tours have earned a reputation for being well-organized. Hotels, meals and transportation, as well as guide services, are planned for well in advance. In addition to the local full-time tour guide, a group leader from the United States will accompany the tour. Participants can concentrate on enjoying the trip, while everyday details are taken care of by the tour guide and others. Participants who speak only English will have the opportunity to get to know Latvia in depth, while at the same time being assured of safety, convenience and comfort.

The trip will include time at the beginning and end of the tour in Rīga, which is fast becoming a major international tourist destination, as well as a planned evening at the acclaimed Sigulda Opera Festival, where performances take place in the ruins of a medieval castle. A detailed itinerary will be available in early spring.

The “Hello, Latvia!” trip for 2005 requires that at least 10 participants sign up by Feb. 28. A deposit of USD 200 is required, which will be applied to the trip fee of USD 2,995. The trip fee includes round trip airfare from an East Coast gateway airport to Rīga, as well as hotel accommodations, local transportation, meals, admission to museums and events included in the program, and the services of a full time tour guide.

The ALA offers the option of meeting the group in Rīga, which would reduce the participation fee by the amount of the airfare. However, a minimum of 10 participants are needed to get guaranteed group rates. 

For further information, write to Anita Juberts at the American Latvian Association, 400 Hurley Ave., Rockville, MD 20850. The ALA also may contacted by telephone at +1 (301) 340-1914 or by e-mail at

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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