Port Pionersky (Kaliningrad), Russia

Pionersky is the main port for the Kaliningrad Oblast, the westernmost region of Russia. Completely detached from the motherland, the oblast sits wedged between Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic, giving its namesake city a lively, multicultural vibe. Before World War II Kaliningrad was known as Königsberg, capital of East Prussia; traces of its German heritage can be found in its Brandenburg Gate and the Gothic Königsberg Cathedral, set on Kants Island in the River Pregel. Along the riverbanks stands Rybnaya Derevnya (Fishing Village), a medieval-style complex of quaint shops and cafés. The Kaliningrad Oblast produces the majority of the world’s amber; learn about this valuable “Baltic Gold” at the Museum of Amber, housed in a former Prussian fortress. The UNESCO World Heritage-designated Curonian Spit – a narrow, 61-mile-long sand dune peninsula shared by the oblast and Lithuania – has been inhabited since prehistoric times.