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Spanning numerous islands in the Baltic Sea, Stockholm boasts a bevy of attractions within its waterfront setting. Wander the Old Town district, known as Gamla Stan, to see Stockholm Cathedral, the changing of the guard ceremony at the Royal Palace and the Vasa Museum, home to the world's only preserved 17th-century warship. Tours of City Hall reveal where Nobel Prizes are awarded, and a nearby museum delves into the history of this accolade and the laureates who have claimed it. Escape into nature with a cruise down the Djurgarden canal, or spot sea eagles on a kayaking exploration. The region is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Birka, an archeological outpost once ruled by Vikings; the Woodland Cemetery, with its remarkable landscape architecture; and Drottningholm Palace, the private residence of the country's royal family.

Language: Swedish
Currency: Swedish Krona (SEK)

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Past and present collide in Tallin, Estonia's capital city. Stops here start with explorations of the old town, which is divided into two sections. The upper portion features Toompea Castle, the seat of the country's power since the 13th century, along with a pair of churches: St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, with its onion-dome architecture, and the Cathedral of St. Mary the Virgin, boasting an interior decorated with coats of arms. The Kohtuotsa observation platform offers views of the district's historic, red-roofed buildings contrasted against the city's modern skyline. In the lower section, cobblestone streets lead you to the main square, where you can visit Europe's oldest continuously operating pharmacy; stare up at the 400-plus-foot spire of St. Olav church, once the tallest building in the world; and ascend the 115 steps to the belfry balcony of the Town Hall Tower. Tasting tours allow you to sample delicacies such as smoked elk and a variety of locally sourced spirits.

Language: Estonian
Euro (EUR)

Language: Latvian
Currency: Latvian lats (LVL)

This port in the Baltic region has charming 17th-century streets and a medieval old town. City tours visit the historic sites of the old town, including 13th-century St. George's Church and Livonia Knights' Castle, now an art and history museum. Wandering the crooked streets on your own is one of the pleasures of this city.

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Language: Lithuanian

Currency: Lithuanian Litas (LTL)

The most northern ice-free Baltic seaport is also Lithuania's third-largest city. The city dates back to the construction of the castle of Memelburg at the mouth of the Dane River in 1252. Visit some of the local museums to learn about the fascinating history or go to one of the art exhibitions held throughout the year.

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Language: Polish
Currency: Polish Zloty (PLN)

Shop for crystal, silver, amber, embroidered linens and nice arts and crafts such as wood carvings and painted wood articles in the historic center of Gdansk. Visit one of Gdansk's museums to learn more about the history and culture of the area.

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Language: German
Currency: Euro (EUR)

Passengers are usually taken by train from the port of Warnemunde to Berlin, 150 miles southeast, but the resort town offers a seaside promenade, white-sand beach, and beer gardens.

In Germany's capital city, visit the Berlin Wall Memorial to see the surviving portion of the barrier, then head to the Brandenburg Gate, which has come to symbolize the city's reunification. Most tours stop at Charlottenburg Palace, situated amid an expansive garden, as well as Bebelplatz square, home to Humboldt University, the State Opera House and an underground installation that honors the authors who were silenced when Nazis burned their books in 1933. Learn about the Holocaust at a memorial to the lost Jews of Europe, and revel in more than 6,000 years of history in the five museums on Museum Island. After browsing the shops along Kurfürstendamm boulevard, duck into a pub for bratwurst and beer.

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Language: Danish
Currency: Danish Krone (DKK)

Copenhagen is the lively capital city of Denmark with storybook charm. Tourists will want to view the Little Mermaid statue, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale; visit Tivoli Gardens, the world-famous amusement park; and witness the changing of the guard at 18th-century Amalienborg Palace, home of the Danish royal family. Another palace of note is the grand Christiansborg Palace, located on the island of Slotsholmen atop ruins of a castle from 1167. Now a government building, the palace hosts the Danish Parliament, the Supreme Court and the queen's throne room. Many excursions feature these major attractions as well as the Royal Danish Opera and Kronborg Castle, the setting of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." Other outings explore Copenhagen's canals and bustling harbor by boat or kayak, or head to Dragor, a charming fishing village with winding cobblestone streets and seaside restaurants.

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This vibrant city in the Netherlands, lining a maze of canals, offers endless surprises. The top shore excursions here visit the world-renowned Rijksmuseum (it houses Rembrandt's "Night Watch"), Dam Square and the Royal Palace. In spring, the tulip gardens are a favorite destination. The Anne Frank House and the Heineken Brewery are open for tours.

Language: Dutch
Currency: Euro (EUR)

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Once home to Charles Dickens, Tilbury features attractions like the 12th-century Rochester Castle and Tilbury Fort, with its collection of moats. Tour these sites or travel 30 miles west to London to see Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace, where you can witness the changing of the guard ceremony. At the Tower of London, marvel at the British monarchy's Crown Jewels, learn about the weaponry once used to defend this fortress and discover the legend of the resident ravens. Visits to Windsor Castle afford a look at Queen Mary's Dolls' House, while a cruise along the River Thames gives passengers views of the Shard skyscraper, Tower Bridge, Shakespeare's Globe and more. For a bird's-eye perspective of the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben clock tower, enjoy a glass-capsule ride on the London Eye observation wheel.

Language: English
Currency: Pound Serling (GBP)

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Zeebrugge sits on the coast of the North Sea, providing the starting point for trips to Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels. It is a 30-minute drive by car or a 10-minute ride by train to Bruges.

Language: Dutch, French & Flemish
Currency: Euro (EUR)

Language: French
Currency: Euro (EUR)

Le Havre is a gateway to Paris and Normandy. Most day-trippers join an excursion to the Normandy beaches. A tour of Normandy offers a look into the past with visits to the historic D-Day landing sites and the Museum of Landing Day. Those traveling to Paris are offered a number of tours that highlight the city's world-famous landmarks. Shorter excursions to the fishing village of Honfleur and the seaside resort of Deauville are also offered from this port.

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