The lavish lifestyles and warring ways of kings and courtiers of old left behind the extravagantly decorated Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, the undoubtedly haunted fortress of the Tower of London, and the majestic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris for you to explore. There is also a new Europe, as many cities are experiencing a burst of architectural creativity that is adding excitement to the scene. Not to be outdone, Mother Nature offers the splendors of the far north, in the breathtaking majesty of the Norwegian fjords, and the unique landscapes of Iceland, realm of fire and ice.
Port Combination (change selection): Lisbon, Portugal to Paris (Rouen), France
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its magnificent harbor made it a logical trading port as far back as the Phoenicians, as well as a departure point for 15th century voyages sponsored by Prince Henry the Navigator, patron of Portuguese explorers. The city is rich in architecture, from Romanesque and Gothic to Post Modern, and criss-crossed by monument-studded grand boulevards. Today it is seeking a place on the world stage by hosting, in addition to its own active cultural calendar, film festivals, art, fashion, and design shows, book fairs, marathons, and rock concerts.
The first thing you will notice as you approach Rouen is the Cathedral of Notre Dame, towering high above the city, its 490-foot cast-iron spire the tallest in France. Get lost in the old town where half-timbered houses line a labyrinth of lanes, and stop for a moment at the Rehabilitation Cross, marking the spot where in 1431 Joan of Arc was consigned to the flames. Paris, City of Light, arbiter of fashion, food and wine, and radiating romance, is within easy reach. Stroll along the Champs Elysées, the most beautiful avenue in the world, take in the view from the Eiffel Tower, or immerse yourself in that nirvana for art lovers - the Louvre.
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