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Fact: A cruise is a great way to discover Europe. You can check multiple cities (in multiple countries) off your bucket list, while only unpacking once. And while your instinct may be to immediately jump to visiting dreamy locales like Rome, Athens and Barcelona, it might be time to shift your gaze north. Northern Europe offers up just as many unique experiences, gorgeous vistas, and amazing cities – including these six…

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Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia
Often overlooked, this former Soviet city is the setting of travelers’ wildest dreams. Winding cobblestone streets, Gothic spires, gorgeous architecture—there’s beauty just about everywhere you look—and for good reason. Tallinn is hailed as one of the best preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe, with a two-tiered Old Town juxtaposed against modern skyscrapers and trendy restaurants.

Sail there with Celebrity Cruises

Klaipeda, Lithuania

Klaipeda, Lithuania

Klaipedia, Lithuania
Pronounced klai-pey-da, this former Prussian capital is another city with a split personality. Its two distinct parts—one old, the other new—are separated by the Dane River, dividing the modern area (home to the university) from the centuries-old side dotted with shops, restaurants, and hotels.

Sail there with Holland America Line

Flam, Norway

Flam, Norway

Flåm, Norway
Positioned on the innermost arm of the world’s deepest fjord, the town of Flåm’s is quite unlike Norway’s bigger cities. Days here are spent on the stunning mountain railway that winds up the town’s surrounding peaks, affording riders some seriously incredible panoramas. Unfortunately, this natural beauty of a town isn’t a well-kept secret, and on summer days, the village can be swamped. Try to visit in spring or fall.

Sail there with MSC Cruises

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Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk, Poland

Gdańsk, Poland
A centuries-old city with a tumultuous past, Gdańsk is an old beauty with faint wrinkles of narrow, cobbled streets and the pungent perfume of the Baltic sea. The city’s atmosphere is distinctively un-Polish, thanks in part to hundreds of years of maritime action, resulting in a melting pot of architecture. Red-brick churches, charming examples of Renaissance styles, and gorgeous Flemish facades ooze out of the city’s so-called Old Town, luring tourists from around the globe.

Sail there with Norwegian Cruise Line

Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia
What do German knights, Swedish kings and Soviet commissars have in common? They’ve all left their stamp on Latvia’s modern-day capital. Heavily cobbled streets and timeless Gothic spires collide with grand boulevards displaying one of the world’s richest collections of Art Nouveau. And it gets even better: all this greatness comes with an astounding river view, which is probably how it scored UNESCO World Heritage site status.

Sail there with Royal Caribbean

St Petersburg, Russia

St Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia
Dubbed the Venice of the North, St. Petersburg—Russia’s imperial capital—is an oh-so-elegant canal city. Snaking under some 342 bridges, St. Pete’s waterways are lined by some of the world’s most incredible baroque and neoclassical palaces, including the Winter Palace (official residence of the Russian monarchs).

Sail there with Princess Cruises

Looking for more amazing destinations to discover? Explore other sailings with Orbitz Cruises.

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Tagged: Europe

Katie Straw

Katie Straw

Katie is a writer, lover of words and pizza connoisseur currently living in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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