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Northern Europe or Southern Europe?

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I know the answer will be "it's up to your own taste", but I'd still like opinions.

My wife and I are both mid-50's. 25 year anniversary coming up. The thought is to spend roughly 15 days in Europe, including a 10-12 day cruise. Based on work and family schedules, we probably need to do this over the summer. Possibilities include the Southern route (some combination of Barcelona, France, Italy, and Greece), or the Northern route (some combination of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallin, or other nearby cities).

We had thought about possibly a river cruise, but based upon what I've read on this forum about problems with high or low water levels, we think we've eliminated this.

We're not experienced cruisers. Alaska, a few Caribbean cruises is all we've done. Mostly travelled in US, a few trips to Israel, separate two week land trips to England, Scotland, and Ireland.

I am worried about the heat on the Southern route in the Summer.

Thoughts about North vs. South? Agree that River cruises are too risky? We've taken two Princess cruises, should we stick with them or are there better cruise lines we should do in Europe?

Sorry the questions are so long. Thanks.

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