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): Paris (Rouen), France to Amsterdam, Netherlands
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.
Amsterdam has a personality all its own, including a long time reputation for tolerance. You'll be thinking of tulips and wooden shoes, perhaps Heineken beer, and some of the city's past inhabitants: Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Anne Frank, who wrote her famous diary hidden in a canal-side house. But do you know that Amsterdam has more canals than Venice (connecting a jigsaw puzzle of 90 islands), joined by some 1280 bridges (many illuminated by fairy lights at night)? Or that it boasts the oldest stock exchange in the world?
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