OVERVIEW OF EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST

Let us take you on a cruise vacation, where you’ll have the chance to experience a myriad of cultures in two different regions – Europe and the Middle East. Visitors to Dubai and the Emirates can expect to be welcomed by the sight of towering skyscrapers or if you are in Egypt, there’s the oldest nature reserve for you to wander and explore. When you arrive in Europe, you can look forward to immersing in its richness of arts, historical architecture and spectacular scenery. If you're ready to embark on the vacation of a lifetime, we have a ship waiting for you.

   Ports of departure

St. Petersburg is rich in cultural heritage, and a masterpiece of architecture that embodies the soul of Imperial Russia. In 1703, Peter the Great built a fortress on the banks of the Neva River, and by 1712 a new city had emerged. Elegant façades, glorious cathedrals and grand residences were built along the city's canals.

At it's opening in 1869, the Suez Canal was the first salt-water passage between the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Without it, a cargo ship sailing from Italy to Singapore would have to go around the southern tip of Africa, doubling the travel time and distance. The canal is 103 miles long and about 8% of the world's sea trade goes through it.

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is one of the oldest cities on the Baltic Sea, founded in 1154. Its Old Town has remained remarkably unchanged for the past 600 years, making it one of the most attractive cities in Europe. Today's Tallinn is also a thoroughly modern capital filled with parks, museums, sports centers, hotels and cafés.

The largest of the Canary Archipelago, the island of Tenerife consists of many different regions - each with its own characteristics. There are mountains, lush valleys, a gigantic crater (which is now a national park) and, of course, fabulous beaches. If the beautiful landscapes don't bring a smile to your face, the weather certainly will.

 

Marvel at the collision of old-world charm and modern architectural genius in Valencia - Spain's gateway to the Mediterranean. Among the baroque cathedrals, bustling plazas and engineering masterpieces, you'll find friendly locals, inspired artists and a rich cultural heritage.

In 1530, Charles V of Spain granted the island of Malta to the Knights of the Order of St. John. Many impressive 16th-century limestone buildings and fortifications from the Knights have endured, helping make the city of Valetta simply magnificent to experience today.

 

Composed of 117 islands in the Venetian Lagoon and held together by a series of canals, Venice is like no other city in the world. Established more than 1,000 years ago by seafarers and Roman refugees, this magnificent city continues to be the heart of Italian culture as well as a mecca for hopeless romantics.

A busy, mid-sized port on the Atlantic Coast, Vigo is located just north of Portugal and is Galacia's largest and most industrialized city, dating back to Roman times. If you're a beach-lover, then Vigo is for you. You can soak up the rays at one of several sparkling beaches, including Samil, Alcabre and Canido.

Villefranche is your gateway to the one-of-a-kind French Riviera, home to Monte Carlo, Cannes and Nice. Shaded by jagged mountains touching deep blue shores, Villefranche offers sunny beaches, sophisticated resort cities, quaint red-roofed villages and spectacular views.

Visby, a storied seaport and your gateway to Gotland, is Sweden's most alluring island resort. A popular trading spot since the Viking Age, the island has soul and enough medieval architecture to take you back a few centuries. In fact, there are over 92 thirteenth - century churches still in use throughout the island.

Paris, the capital city of France, is a beautiful, artistic city, situated in the north-central part of France. The city lies on both banks of the River Seine. The north bank was historically the area where Royalty and the wealthy merchant-class lived, and today it is the government and commercial district.

Whether you're into sports, history, art, or just lounging by the sea, the charming village of Katakolon, Greece, is a good place to start. From here it's just a quick trip to famed Olympia, birthplace of the modern Olympics and one-time home to a Wonder of the Ancient World.

Located on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Salerno neighbors Italy's cherished Amalfi Coast. One of the larger cities in the area, Salerno is a lively modern center with a charming medieval sector at its heart. Set out from Salerno to visit the Amalfi Coast. Or stay and explore the city's long and eventful history before enjoying a leisurely stroll along Salerno's stunning Lungomare Trieste (seafront promenade), which rivals those of the French Riviera.

 

Naples is not only picturesque, it's also one of the world's greatest cultural centers, filled with extraordinary works of art and architecture in the classical Greek and Roman styles. Several interesting tours are available of the city itself and the fascinating places that lie just outside of Naples.

Founded in 1641, Kristiansand is the capital of Southern Norway and a modern trade, cultural and communications center. Norway?s fifth largest city, Kristiansand is situated on the south coast of Norway, facing the European continent and surrounded by water on three sides.

At the end of the 19th century, Molde was among the leading fjord destination in the country, and the town was one of the main attractions when the first cruise ship with paying passengers visited Norway in 1882. Often referred to as the “Town of Roses”, Molde is the administrative centre of the county of Møre og Romsdal, as well as being an active educational, trading and touristic town.

The city of Catania, often described as the gem of eastern Sicily, is one filled with attractions with a historical and artistic legacy for all to admire. Where the 17th century was a destructive one, marked by an earthquake that brought Catania to its knees, the 18th century showed a city filled with determination and obstinacy in rebuilding itself. Today, Catania thrives with a lively city buzz, along with a certain gaiety and cheerfulness that begs to be explored day and night.

The largest of the seven emirates by area, Abu Dhabi accounts for over 80% of the total land area of the United Arab Emirates. This emirate combines tranquil beaches and desert oases with some of the most vibrant city life in all the UAE.

 

Believe everything you've heard about Dubai - it truly is that incredible. Honestly, where else on earth can you ski both in a shopping mall and out in the desert? As one of the world's fastest growing cities, Dubai has emerged as a premier luxury travel destination, drawing visitors from all over the globe.

The mountainous landscape of Fujairah strikes a bold contrast with the other Emirates, which are primarily blanketed by desert. The weather is seasonal, though generally warm year-round, with an occasional rainy season in the winter months.

As one of the Middle East's oldest cities - dating back to the 2nd century AD, it's hard to believe that Muscat has been open to tourists for only a few decades. But seeing is believing!

The magnificent Cobh Harbor is just a short drive from Cork. An enchanting place, the main district of Cork sits on an island formed by the diverging channels of the River Lee. The city itself is filled with a multitude of picturesque quays and bridges.

Dublin, Ireland's capital, is a thriving modern city. Yet it is also remarkably elegant. This is due in part to the restoration of its magnificent public buildings and distinctive Georgian squares to reveal the elegance of the 18th century to today's visitors. Dublin's people are renowned for being warm, friendly and eager to help visitors enjoy their home city.

Situated at the edge of the Adriatic Sea in the very south of Croatia, Dubrovnik is rich in history and natural beauty. With bays, beaches, steep cliffs and dense woodland areas, Dubrovnik's landscape is unexpected.

A Scandinavian village straight out of your childhood dreams, Flåm is best known for its picture-perfect postcard scenery and the astonishing railroad journey that can show it all to you. High waterfalls, majestic mountains, narrow green valleys, deep clear lakes, calm fjords, rocky plateaus, and forests all join together to form a delightful landscape.

The island of Madeira is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 370 miles off the coast of Morocco. For over 100 years tourists have enjoyed its rugged volcanic peaks, beautiful tropical coastline and a climate that's never too hot or cold. Madeira lace and Madeira wine are both still produced here in the Old World tradition.

Be sure to bring along plenty of extra film, because you'll want to capture the natural beauty of Geiranger's magnificent fjord country. Thundering waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, crystalline glaciers, and still blue lakes make this a truly unforgettable area.

 

For centuries, Genoa has been a major commercial seaport. Today, it is one of Italy's largest cities. Genoa is located in northwestern Italy, in the inner harbor of the Gulf of Genoa. This city was once home to Christopher Columbus and world-renowned violinist Niccolò Paganini.

Located at the southernmost tip of Europe, the Rock of Gibraltar is literally between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Its unique location has played a pivotal role in history, as countries fought for control over this busy seaport.

Greenock is on the southern shore of the Firth of Clyde - slightly west of Glasgow. The town has a four-mile waterfront surrounded by hills and is composed of both a bustling industrial area on the lower water side and a residential area with a 19th-century flavor on the higher land.

Kusadasi is your gateway to Ephesus, a city created by the Ionians in the 11th century B.C. and later expanded by the Romans. Now considered one of the grandest reconstructed sites in the ancient world, the region also hosted the likes of Cleopatra, Mark Antony, the Virgin Mary and John the Apostle.

If there ever was a seafaring city, La Coruña is it. It's been a port and gateway to world travelers for over 2,000 years. And from almost any spot, you can witness spectacular panoramic views of the ocean.

Piraeus is the main port of Athens, the biggest in Greece, and one of the most important in the Mediterranean Sea. Piraeus is walking distance from Kastella, a hill strewn with beautiful houses that offers a majestic view of the Saronic Gulf.

 

Located on the southeastern coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille is the oldest city in the country and second largest after Paris. Thanks to its long and unique past - Greek sailors originally settled the city back in 600 B.C. - this bustling port is filled with history and amazing architecture.

Ships, ships and more ships. Toulon is France's exciting naval epicenter. Bobbing sailboats dot its busy harbor. On land you'll find tons of maritime museums, ancient fortresses and a fair share of sailors. And in true French fashion you'll also find plenty of stylish spots for shopping and lunching.

Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, is truly a vacation destination with something for everyone: sunshine, spectacular beaches on the Aegean Sea, a medieval walled city, an ancient acropolis, and much more. In ancient times, the people of Rhodes chose Helios, the Sun, as their divine patron.

Once a tidy merchant port on the coast of the Red Sea, in recent years Safaga has developed into an attractive and popular resort town known for water sports, relaxation and rejuvenation. Sun lovers and sportsmen are attracted to its magnificent bay, islands and beautiful beaches.

Experience Madrid - Spain's version of "the city that never sleeps." Here in Spain's capital our cruisetour guests can experience fine restaurants, eateries, and bars for as long as you can stay awake.

 

A bustling coastal city and the capital of Costa del Sol, Málaga is the second largest port in Spain. One of the most interesting places to explore is the old historic quarter, which dates back nearly 800 years. The birthplace of Pablo Picasso, Málaga boasts miles of beautiful beaches, picturesque gardens and fantastic weather.

 

Just three miles off the coast of southern Italy's mainland is the port town of Messina on the island of Sicily. This bustling town has a complex history with roots in Greek mythology but, because of an earthquake in the early 1900s, it's a relatively young city architecturally.

 

An international port located on the estuary of the rivers Stour and Orwell in northeast Essex, Harwich is one of England's busiest coastal towns. It's also just 69 miles from London. Throughout history, the town has been a crucial port, providing a sheltered anchorage for many ships.

Helsinki is the sparkling capital of Finland, an elegant city of spectacular architecture, beautiful gardens, and harborside parks. The Finns have long been admired for graceful design and imaginative architecture. Many styles from centuries past and present are represented here, from medieval to neoclassical.

The culture and style of Ibiza is as varied as its pronunciation ("e-vee-tha" or "e-bee-tha" or "e-bee-zha," depending on where you're from). And you'd be hard-pressed to find such a cosmopolitan mix outside Paris or Manhattan. Ibiza attracts all sorts of people with its vibrant nightlife, gorgeous beaches and perfect Mediterranean climate.

Renowned as Napoleon's birthplace, Ajaccio's many squares and plazas pay homage to the conqueror who never returned home. Located along Corsica's west coast, Ajaccio is a short drive away from hospitable beaches, soaring mountains and unforgettable gorges.

Alesund is a small fishing center in the middle of Norway's popular tourist region between Bergen and Trondheim. Although its history dates back to the Viking period, you'll notice that the architecture throughout the city has an interesting art nouveau style. This is because after a massive fire in 1904, the entire city was rebuilt.

Founded by its namesake, Alexander the Great in 332 B.C., Alexandria has been home to many historical figures, including Cleopatra, Mark Antony, Julius Caesar and Euclid. Today the city has a distinctly Mediterranean feel, perhaps a remainder of its ancient Roman connection.

 

Barcelona is located in the northeastern part of the country, 90 miles south of the French border. People from all around the world enjoy visiting this city for its individuality, cultural interest and physical beauty. When Hans Christian Andersen visited in 1862, he remarked that Barcelona was the "Paris of Spain".

Bergen offers visitors a cornucopia of delights, from the sheer splendor of its rugged glacial scenery to an ancient stone church containing the finest example of Baroque art in Norway. All of it, no doubt, inspired the great composer Edvard Grieg, whose home and gardens are open to visitors.

Cádiz may, in fact, be the oldest inhabited city in the western world, with more than 3,000 years of history. Located on the southern coast of Spain, it borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

One word: beaches. As the second largest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinia is surrounded by gorgeous blue waters and sandy-white beaches. And since Sardinian towns are often farther inland, many beaches have been left unspoiled and perfect for catching rays or scuba diving in amazing underwater caves.

Welcome to the French Riviera. Once a small fishing town owned by monks, Cannes is now home to all the glamour of the International Film Festival and hosts a multitude of major festivals and conferences each year. Up the coast is Nice, the capital of the Riviera that lies along the brilliant Bay of Angels.

Cherbourg offers everything you could want from a seaside town in France - beautiful gardens, cute little shops, appetizing restaurants. As a port, however, Cherbourg is a maritime institution, playing major roles in early transatlantic travel, submarine building and nautical pastimes.

 

Civitavecchia is the gateway to all the magnificence of the ancient city of Rome. Whether it's the Forum, the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon or St. Peter's Basilica that sparks your interest and intellect, Rome is home to a lifetime's worth of historical, architectural and spiritual sites.

 

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is an elegant city, rich in history and tradition. Castles and crown jewels, galleries and museums, cathedrals and canals - sightseeing in this city is fascinating. One of the city's most celebrated sights is Tivoli, a unique combination of picture-perfect gardens, lakes and more than 100,000 colored lights.

Known as the "Emerald Island" because of its lush greenery and breathtaking beauty, Corfu is one of the hidden treasures of the Mediterranean. The second largest of the seven Ionian Islands, Corfu is just 593 square kilometers (368.253 square miles).

With its landscapes filled with beaches and more than 300 volcanoes, plus perfect weather all year round, you'll quickly see why Lanzarote is an award-winning tourist destination.

Gran Canaria is one of the seven Canary Islands, located off the northwest corner of Africa. As the most populated island of the archipelago, you'll find the local culture is a unique blend of Spanish, African, Latin American and Northern European communities. But the diversity doesn't end there.

 

Paris, the capital city of France, is a beautiful, artistic city, situated in the north-central part of France. The city lies on both banks of the River Seine. The north bank was historically the area where Royalty and the wealthy merchant-class lived, and today it is the government and commercial district.

Portugal is for explorers. Its valiant seamen first charted the Azores, discovered Japan and unlocked the major sea routes the world over. As your ship sails into the harbor of Lisbon, share the anticipation these sailors experienced as they ventured into new and exciting lands for the first time.

Livorno, in the Tuscan region of Italy, is ideally located for exploring some of the most beautiful cities in Italy, including Florence and Pisa. Florence is most noted as the birthplace of the Renaissance.

We offer two unique cruisetours to London. You can choose to experience history firsthand, by visiting the many cultural and historical highlights of London. This trip has its own own magic and provides an interesting look at one of the world's greatest cities.

In the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean lies one of the most inviting places in all of Greece - Mykonos. Its countless bays and beaches and its quaint cobblestone streets are bound to welcome any visitor.

 

Naples is not only picturesque, it's also one of the world's greatest cultural centers, filled with extraordinary works of art and architecture in the classical Greek and Roman styles. Several interesting tours are available of the city itself and the fascinating places that lie just outside of Naples.

 

Oslo is the oldest of the Scandinavian capital cities with a varied collection of cultural attractions and natural wonders. Situated at the head of a 60-mile fjord on the southern coast, Oslo is beautifully framed by a vast expense of woods, moors and lakes. Today, Norway's capital is a blend of 19th and 20th-century architectural styles.

 

Palma de Mallorca is the largest of the Spanish Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and is located just off the east coast of Spain. The island's coastline is marked by a series of small caves and beautiful beaches. Palma de Mallorca is the capital city of the Balearic Islands and nearly two-thirds of the total population live in Palma.

Black-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and whitewashed villages that cling to volcanic cliffs make the island of Santorini a wonder to behold. Many visitors come to Santorini to uncover the mysteries of the lost kingdom of Atlantis, while others revel in its relaxed mountaintop atmosphere to enjoy the scenic waters of the Mediterranean.

 

One of the world's most famed ports, Southampton served as the launching point of the Mayflower and the Titanic. Today, it's one of the busiest passenger ports and home to a waterfront dotted with restaurants, shops and curios.

Split is one of the Adriatic's most amazing seaports and Croatia's second-largest city. Not only does this 1700-year-old harbor have its share of historic monuments, museums and galleries but from here you can visit dreamy Adriatic islands, sporting some of the world's best beaches.

Made up of volcanic rock and lush green vegetation, there's no wonder why the island of La Palma is also known as "The Pretty Isle." It's one of seven islands in the Canary Islands archipelago off the coast of Africa and is dominated by natural beauty, from bright blue skies to black-sand beaches.

The port city of La Spezia is surrounded by spectacular Tuscan scenery. Set off from here to explore Florence - the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and home to world-class art galleries, museums and dining

Located on the Adriatic coast in North-East Italy, Ravenna was briefly the capital of the Roman Empire and later the Italian capital of the Byzantine Empire. During this time, incredible mosaics were constructed throughout the city. Described as a symphony of color in Dante's Divine Comedy, Ravenna's well-preserved mosaics are some of the finest remaining in the Western world.

Stavanger, located in southwestern Norway, is a delightful mixture of old-world charm and cosmopolitan bustle. An active seaport and thriving economic center, Norway's 4th - largest city is nestled between imposing mountains and sandy beaches. Prepare to explore narrow, romantic streets and a historic marketplace where fresh fish and vegetables have been sold in the open air since the 9th century.

Comfortably sitting in central Norway, Trondheim is widely considered the gateway to the north and the cradle of national patriotism. Though often described as Norway?s capital of technology, Trondheim is a lively historical university town filled with classic wooden townhouses of the 19th century and terraced flats. The old Pilgrims? Route between Olso and Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim have attracted many to the ancient pilgrimage site.

Picture a colorful arctic city with a lively cultural scene, a delectable dining scene, a bustling nightlife and residents who are ready to help you in your quest for arctic fun. Winters are characterized with rides in reindeer-driven sleighs, dog sledding and ice fishing while summers offer canoeing in tranquil forests, wild bike rides down hillsides and hiking the Lyngen Alps

Soak up the expansive landscapes in Skjolden, a village in the middle of Sognefjord, the largest fjord in Norway. The blend of greenery, glaciers and waterfalls surrounding this picturesque village are sure to invigorate.

In the southeast of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, you'll find a natural harbor surrounded by five hills - welcome to the seaport known as Cartagena. Cartagena was the main city of the Spanish Carthaginians, who named it after their own capital. The port is rich in ancient and maritime history. The town is walled, the harbor defended by forts, and Roman ruins are scattered throughout. Let the adventure begin!

Situated on the largest of the Ionion Islands on Kefalonia, Argostoli is perfect for nature and history lovers. Tour the ruins of St. George Castle, see loggerhead turtles feeding and take in sweeping views atop its cliffs.

Chaniá is the second largest city of Crete, and one of the most beautiful. It lies along the north coast of the island at the east end of the Gulf of Chaniá. Chaniá is the site of the ancient Minoan settlement the Greeks called Cydonia (Kydonia), which was mentioned in Virgil's Aeneid. The site has been continuously inhabited from Neolithic times-at least 5000 years. The city's rich history can be traced through historic buildings and monuments with Venetian, Turkish and Greek architecture.

The majestic White Cliffs of Dover reign high and edge this small seaside village - renowned for its rich history, natural beauty and pastoral charm. Often called the Gateway to England, sea passage through Dover Straight offers breathtaking views of a coastline that has been a pivotal site in European history. With its fairytale castles and unspoiled scenery, journey to Dover is always an inspiring and memorable experience.

Home to the famous Greek historian Herodotus, the popular Aegean resort and yachting port of Bodrum is situated on a beautiful peninsula. During your visit, you'll find enchanting villages of houses painted in white and trimmed with purple bougainvillea, miles of sandy beaches and a myriad of historical attractions. The nights seem longer and the city retains a certain charm that can only be experienced first-hand.

The second largest city in Sweden, Gothenburg - Göteborg in Sweden - has become an up-and-coming city break destination for culture, shopping and entertainment. Altering its image from industrial seaport to contemporary cultural and international sports venue, Gothenburg has also acquired a stellar reputation as one of Northern Europe's most exciting gastronomic hubs. A handful of the city's sights & attractions are located within easy walking distance, as are most shops, restaurants and cafés.

Shetland's only town, Lerwick is a bustling, cosmopolitan seaport with services and amenities only found in much larger places on the British mainland. The extensive leisure and entertainment facilities provide warm hospitality to visitors. The old waterfront is thronged with pleasure boats, visiting yachts, historic craft and working fishing boats. Explore a variety of lively bars and clubs, ranging from popular "theme" bars to more traditional hostelries.

Inverness in the Scottish Highlands is the stuff of myths and legends. It was here that Gaelic King Macbeth, Shakespeare source for the famous play, once ruled. And just down the River Ness is the mythical Loch Ness.

A few miles from the North Pole and tucked away between mountains that reach 1000-1500m is the bustling, cosmopolitan town of Akureyri. With a summer crammed with lively festivals, some of Iceland's best winter skiing and a fine selection of museums, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, it's no surprise Akureyri is a popular destination for short or long stays.

Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, is small in size but vast in culture and heritage. Founded thousands of years ago by Nordic settlers, this destination boasts a breathtaking coastline with scenic peninsulas, crisp straits and picturesque islands.

Klaksvík is located on Borðoy, one of 6 islands that make up Denmark’s Norðuroyggjar, the Northern Isles. The town is not only the capital of the Northern Islands but also the second largest town of the Faroe Islands. With the opening of the Leirvík sub sea tunnel, Klaksvík is physically linked with the mainland of the Faroe Islands and can now be considered one of its key ports. Residents are found to be enterprising, appreciative of nature and are deeply rooted in the Faroe cultural heritage.

Welcome to Riga, Latvia - a metropolis with a big-city atmosphere. Funky and vibrant, Riga invites you to summers of sitting out all night in the city's beer tents or playing beach football, and winters of hurtling down a championship bobsleigh track at 100 kilometers per hour followed by a soothing massage in one of the city's top spa complexes.

The Arctic Circle is an invisible circle of latitude on the earth's surface that runs 66° 33? 39". The Arctic Circle is also the name given to the region around the North Pole.Vast and spectacular, it is a region of immense beauty, unusual wildlife and interesting peoples. Whether it is an adventure into history, an exploration of natural wonders, or a look at rare and amazing cultures, there is a voyage for everyone in the land of the midnight sun.

Warnemünde is a lovely fishing hamlet on the banks of the Warnow River and one of the most sought-after destinations on the Baltic. Its soft, wide white-sand beaches are pretty popular with the locals, and the town's laid-back vibe can be felt everywhere, especially in the many charming restaurants and pubs. This sleepy little seaport is also a jumping-off point for Rostock and Berlin.

Monte Carlo is a buffer between the Maritime Alps and the azure-tinted waters that give the Côte d'Azur its name. Active casinos, pampering resorts, and countless sporting events lend themselves to unforgettable moments in Monaco.

Koper, the Old Town at least, is one big sight. From carved grey Istrian limestone to narrow intertwining streets leading to the main square, boasting the largest cathedral in Slovenia, everything in Koper narrates a story of past and present moments. While wandering and mixing with locals, visitors and hoards of day trippers, you are liable to hear Italian spoken as well as Slovenian, and there are Italian signs everywhere.

 

Como is situated at the tip of the southwestern branch of Lake Como in Lombardy. The popular vacation destination is an ancient town more than 400 years old with magnificent churches and historic monuments. Considered a town off the beaten track, there are many incredible places to see and things to do such as visiting beautiful towns and villages tucked away in the surrounding mountains.

 

A glittering fjord and a vast sea. Towering mountains. Blue glaciers between green valleys. Norway's Nordfjord region is all this and more. And the sleepy little village of Olden is the key that unlocks the door to these natural wonders.

 

Alicante is located on the eastern coast of Spain known as the Costa Blanca, the White Coast. Blessed with white-sand beaches and rugged mountain ranges, as well as a thriving nightlife and cosmopolitan feel, it's become quite a popular vacation spot

Aqaba is a thoroughly modern and energetic resort town with a few glimpses into Middle Eastern antiquity. Visit the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Aqaba, along the Red Sea, and you're likely to encounter a fascinating mix of revelers: scores of bikinis and tanned muscles, with the occasional local in more traditional and modest Muslim garb.

Situated in the far north of Norway, Honningsvåg is the gateway port to the famous Nordkapp, North Cape. The little fishing community invites you to get to know the Sami culture, visit herds of reindeer, and join a king-crab safari or a dog-sledding team under the Northern Lights. Part of the Arctic Circle region, you can also witness some of nature's greatest phenomenon, the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights.

Bilbao, Spain's sixth-largest city, is being revitalized with the help of astounding strides in art and architecture. New life arrived in this commercial/industrial hub via the astonishing Bilbao Guggenheim Museum; the new, sleek glass and steel tube metro system; and the stunning glass-decked parabolic arch footbridge above the Nervión River. Bilbao also provides an excellent home base from which to explore the diverse Basque country, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pyrenees.

 

Situated where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea, Stockholm was founded as a fortress in the mid-13th century. The fortress grew into a town, spread to nearby islands, and the mainland eventually became the capital of Sweden. It is a city of remarkable beauty with its numerous parks, tree-lined squares and boulevards and pleasant water vistas.

One of the oldest and most famous Montenegrin towns is Kotor. The coastal town is located in a most secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor, at the foot of mountain Lovcen. Kotor is a typical Mediterranean travel destination with old narrow streets, romantic bars and restaurants, small shops, antique monuments, churches and picturesque buildings. Famous poets and writers have used the beauty of the Bay of Kotor as inspiration for their works.

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