Scenic Gems of the German Landscape

  • 7 nights
  • Sails from Düsseldorf to Basel
  • Brabant
Brabant cruising the River Rhine

Join Brabant and embark on an effortlessly rewarding German jaunt combining stops at a string of enchanting towns and cities with unforgettable daytime scenic river cruising. From spectacular cathedrals and castles to world-famous vineyards, magnificent mountains, rolling hills and more, you’ll experience the best of this beautiful country from aboard your smaller-sized river boat and during time ashore. A taste of historic France is thrown in for good measure too.

Calling first at Cologne, there’s a chance to marvel at the remarkable exterior and interior of the city’s iconic twin-spired cathedral and explore the charming Old Town before continuing onward along the Rhine. You’ll pass by Bonn, birthplace of Beethoven and the former capital of West Germany, and see the historic Dreesen and Petersburg hotels, en route to Königswinter, surrounded by the gorgeous Siebengebirge Mountains. Perhaps use your time here to discover the landmarks of Siebengebirge – one of Germany’s oldest nature reserves – such as Hotel Petersberg and the fairytale Schloss Drachenburg, perched atop the towering Drachenfels. Continuing along the resplendent River Rhine, Brabant will then call at Koblenz, an historic city situated at the famous ‘Deutsches Eck’, where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet. Perhaps stay in Koblenz to visit the ancient Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, the Prussian Electoral Palace, the 13th century Alte Berg; or make the most of your chance to tour to Cochem to delight at the sight of the Moselle Valley’s breathtaking scenery and the imposing Reichsburg Castle. 

Scenic cruising of the Middle Rhine Valley, passing by forests and a collection of fairytale-esque fortresses, follows as you head to Speyer, where the UNESCO-listed Romanesque Cathedral and the city’s stellar museums are ‘must-visit’ sites. A foray into France will then see Brabant bring you closer to the exquisite Cathédrale Notre-Dame and peaceful canals of Strasbourg, before finally it is back to Germany to visit Breisach, gateway to the Swiss city of Lucerne. Sparkling Lake Lucerne, the city’s collection of churches and towers, and Chapel Bridge are all well worth crossing the German-Swiss border for and make for a rewarding end to journey.

Itinerary
Day Destination  
Day 1
  • Düsseldorf, Germany
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  • Dazzling Düsseldorf – the capital of the North Rhine-Westphalia state – is a vibrant modern metropolis situated on the banks of the beautiful Rhine River. A thriving economic centre, this stylish city is one of Germany’s largest, wealthiest and most populated, and renowned for its international media, creative and financial industries, cosmopolitan culture, buzzing nightlife and striking architecture.

    Dazzling Düsseldorf – the capital of the North Rhine-Westphalia state – is a vibrant modern metropolis situated on the banks of the beautiful Rhine River. A thriving economic centre, this stylish city is one of Germany’s largest, wealthiest and most populated, and renowned for its international media, creative and financial industries, cosmopolitan culture, buzzing nightlife and striking architecture.

    At first glimpse of the city you can’t help but be impressed by the sight of Düsseldorf’s landscape-dominating modern marvels. The soaring, 240 metre-high Rhine Tower and the distinctive structures of the MediaHarbor – which is home to the city’s trendiest bars, restaurants, cafés and hotels – are particularly impressive, showcasing the city’s wealth and recent development. Away from the banks of the Rhine there’s much more to discover within the ‘Stadtmitte’ district, such as the bustling, internationally-famous shopping street of Königsallee; the Japanese quarter; and the bustling banking quarter.

    Take time to dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover a plethora of historic highlights in Düsseldorf too. Within the charming Altstadt district – which was almost completely destroyed in World War Two and subsequently rebuilt – you can take in the monuments of Castle Square, including the remains of the baroque palace and the city monument; centuries-old churches such as St Lambertus Basilika and Neanderkirche; the 16th century Rathaus and much more. The Carlstadt district, with its many museums, galleries, markets and collection of pretty baroque-style architecture, is worth a visit too. 

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Day 2
  • Cologne, Germany
  • Cruising Passage of Bonn, Germany
  • Königswinter, Germany
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  • Cologne

    Situated on the Rhine River in the centre of the Rhine-Rhur region, charming Cologne is the beating heart of the beautiful Rhineland. Originally founded over 2,000 years ago by the Ubii tribe, Cologne was once the largest city in the Holy Roman Empire and served as a major trade route throughout the Middle Ages. In recent years the city has been extensively rebuilt and restructured, and is now one of the most important historical and cultural centres in Europe.

    Situated on the Rhine River in the centre of the Rhine-Rhur region, charming Cologne is the beating heart of the beautiful Rhineland. Originally founded over 2,000 years ago by the Ubii tribe, Cologne was once the largest city in the Holy Roman Empire and served as a major trade route throughout the Middle Ages. In recent years the city has been extensively rebuilt and restructured, and is now one of the most important historical and cultural centres in Europe.

    With such a rich history and heritage, Cologne is a picture book of fascinating highlights and experiences. The city’s most iconic site is without doubt the magnificent UNESCO-listed Cathedral, which has long been considered Germany’s single most popular attraction. The soaring gothic spires of this incredible 13th century structure can be seen from all over the city, however visiting the cathedral is a must to marvel at its spectacular architecture up-close and uncover the treasures within.

    The city’s many other must-visit sights and attractions include the impressive Hohenzollern Bridge, which spans the Rhine near the cathedral; a collection of 12 glorious Romanesque churches including St Kunibert, St Severin and St Andreas; the beautiful Forstbotanischer botanical garden; and several galleries and museums such as the Fragrance Museum and Museum Ludwig, which boasts one of the Europe’s finest Picasso collections. For a taste of the local culture – and of the local brew – be sure to stop by Altstadt district, where bustling pubs and beer halls serve the city’s famous sweet pale ale, Kölsch.

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  • Cruising Passage of Bonn

    The Passage of Bonn is a picturesque section of the River Rhine which slices through the heart of Germany’s beautiful Bonn region.

    The Passage of Bonn is a picturesque section of the River Rhine which slices through the heart of Germany’s beautiful Bonn region.

    As you sail along the Rhine you’ll pass by some of the historic landmarks of Bonn – West Germany’s former capital – and the 13th century Godesburg Castle, which towers over the village of Bad Godesburg; see the arresting sight of Hotel Dreesen; and take in the stunning Siebengebirge Hills, where you’ll catch a glimpse of Drachenfels Castle overlooking the pretty resort city of Königswinter.  

  • Königswinter

    The pretty resort city of Königswinter – situated on the east bank of the beautiful Rhine River, just a short sail south from Bonn – is the gateway to one of Germany’s oldest and most beautiful nature reserves, the Siebengebirge hill range. 

    The pretty resort city of Königswinter – situated on the east bank of the beautiful Rhine River, just a short sail south from Bonn – is the gateway to one of Germany’s oldest and most beautiful nature reserves, the Siebengebirge hill range.

    Around 30 gorgeous lush-green hills make up the Siebengebirge, including the 321 metre-high Drachenfels which towers over Königswinter. Arguably the most famous of all the Siebengebirge hills, it’s believed – according to local legends – that Drachenfels was where Siegfried won his infamous battle against a dragon. Atop the hill – which can be climbed via the historic cog wheel railway – you’ll discover the ruins of the 12th century castle, which offers spectacular views of the Siebengebirge, the Rhine Valley and many cities and towns below; the hill’s fairytale-esque Schloss Drachenburg palace is well worth a visit too.

    Choose to stay in Königswinter and you could wander along the pretty waterfront; take in a few historic architectural delights in the centre of the city, including the stately Town Hall, the Evangelical church and the Roman Catholic church of St Remigius; or even visit the fantastic Sea Life centre, which is home to several species of fascinating marine life from around the world. 

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Day 3
  • Koblenz, Germany
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  • Situated at the famous ‘Deutsches Eck’ where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet and the magnificent Hunsrück, Eifel and Westerwald mountain ranges converge, it’s no wonder Koblenz is considered one of the most picturesque cities in Germany. The appeal of Koblenz isn’t just skin-deep however; over 2,000 years of history and an abundance of cultural and historical monuments ensure this ancient city is always a memorable and rewarding stop on a German river cruise.

    Situated at the famous ‘Deutsches Eck’ where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet and the magnificent Hunsrück, Eifel and Westerwald mountain ranges converge, it’s no wonder Koblenz is considered one of the most picturesque cities in Germany. The appeal of Koblenz isn’t just skin-deep however; over 2,000 years of history and an abundance of cultural and historical monuments ensure this ancient city is always a memorable and rewarding stop on a German river cruise.

    While Koblenz’s beginnings date back to Roman times, the Franks, the French, the Prussians and of course, the Germans have all controlled and heavily influenced the city over the years. Many centuries-old fortifications and castles, impressive palaces and sculpted parks, which offer an insight into Koblenz’s fascinating past, highlight this rich and diverse history. The magnificent 19th century Stolzenfels Castle, watching over the Rhine on the left bank of the river; Alte Berg, the former electoral castle built in the 13th century; the Prussian Electoral Palace, where the Prussian Crown Prince and Kaiser Wilhelm I once resided; and the neo-romantic Prussian Government building are all among the highlights. Also not to be missed is the ancient Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which can be reached via the Koblenz cable car and offers stunning views of Koblenz and the surrounding river scenery from 118 metres above the city.

    It’s also well worth taking the time to venture into the charming Altstadt district, where pretty squares, ornate churches such as Liebfrauenkirche and St Castor Basilica, and the iconic Vier Türme towers await. In the old town you’ll also find a number of friendly bars and restaurants serving the finest local flavours.

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Day 4
  • Koblenz, Germany
  • Cruising Middle Rhine Valley, Germany
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  • Koblenz

    Situated at the famous ‘Deutsches Eck’ where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet and the magnificent Hunsrück, Eifel and Westerwald mountain ranges converge, it’s no wonder Koblenz is considered one of the most picturesque cities in Germany. The appeal of Koblenz isn’t just skin-deep however; over 2,000 years of history and an abundance of cultural and historical monuments ensure this ancient city is always a memorable and rewarding stop on a German river cruise.

    Situated at the famous ‘Deutsches Eck’ where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet and the magnificent Hunsrück, Eifel and Westerwald mountain ranges converge, it’s no wonder Koblenz is considered one of the most picturesque cities in Germany. The appeal of Koblenz isn’t just skin-deep however; over 2,000 years of history and an abundance of cultural and historical monuments ensure this ancient city is always a memorable and rewarding stop on a German river cruise.

    While Koblenz’s beginnings date back to Roman times, the Franks, the French, the Prussians and of course, the Germans have all controlled and heavily influenced the city over the years. Many centuries-old fortifications and castles, impressive palaces and sculpted parks, which offer an insight into Koblenz’s fascinating past, highlight this rich and diverse history. The magnificent 19th century Stolzenfels Castle, watching over the Rhine on the left bank of the river; Alte Berg, the former electoral castle built in the 13th century; the Prussian Electoral Palace, where the Prussian Crown Prince and Kaiser Wilhelm I once resided; and the neo-romantic Prussian Government building are all among the highlights. Also not to be missed is the ancient Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which can be reached via the Koblenz cable car and offers stunning views of Koblenz and the surrounding river scenery from 118 metres above the city.

    It’s also well worth taking the time to venture into the charming Altstadt district, where pretty squares, ornate churches such as Liebfrauenkirche and St Castor Basilica, and the iconic Vier Türme towers await. In the old town you’ll also find a number of friendly bars and restaurants serving the finest local flavours.

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  • Cruising Middle Rhine Valley

    The enchanting Middle Rhine Valley – also affectionately known as the ‘Romantic Rhine Valley – is Germany at its finest. World renowned for its breathtaking, postcard-perfect scenery, the Middle Rhine features imposing cliffs and picturesque rolling hills, steep vineyards, historic landmarks including a collection of magnificent medieval castles and a string of picturesque riverside cities, towns and villages such as Bacharach, Boppard, St. Goar and Linz. 

    The enchanting Middle Rhine Valley – also affectionately known as the ‘Romantic Rhine Valley – is Germany at its finest. World renowned for its breathtaking, postcard-perfect scenery, the Middle Rhine features imposing cliffs and picturesque rolling hills, steep vineyards, historic landmarks including a collection of magnificent medieval castles and a string of picturesque riverside cities, towns and villages such as Bacharach, Boppard, St. Goar and Linz.

    The UNESCO-listed Rhine Gorge – a 65 Kilometre-long section of the Middle Rhine between Koblenz and Bingen – is particularly spectacular, with its dramatic and varied natural landscapes which are interspersed with around forty of the region’s most impressive castles and fortifications, as well as a number of charming wine villages.

    As you relax on the deck of your river boat, soaking up the sunshine and perhaps enjoying a glass of wine from the vineyards you’re sailing by, you’ll quickly understand why this stunning part of the world is so highly sought-after.  

Day 5
  • Speyer, Germany
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  • Compact, picturesque and beautifully well-preserved, stunning Speyer always makes for a rewarding stop while cruising along the beautiful River Rhine. Easily explored on foot, the city is perfect for a few hours of relaxing sightseeing in the sunshine.

    Compact, picturesque and beautifully well-preserved, stunning Speyer always makes for a rewarding stop while cruising along the beautiful River Rhine. Easily explored on foot, the city is perfect for a few hours of relaxing sightseeing in the sunshine. Having survived the Second World War largely unscathed and unspoilt – something which can't be said about many settlements strategically situated on the banks of Germany's waterways – Speyer is a 'living museum' of magnificent monuments and landmarks exhibiting several centuries of incredible history.

    The main attractions include the soaring neo-gothic Memorial Church – the tallest structure in the entire Rhineland-Palatinate – which was built between 1893 and 1904 to commemorate the city's imperial protests in the 16th century; the Old City Gate and the 'normal foot', remnants of Speyer's fortifications from the Middle Ages; and reminders of the city's remarkable Jewish heritage, such as the ruins of the medieval synagogue and the 12th century Jewish ritual bath. The late Baroque architecture of the stately City Hall is worth a look too.

    Off all the city's impressive sights, the UNESCO-listed cathedral is without doubt the crowning glory. This mighty architectural wonder has loomed large over Speyer for nearly 1000 years, having been founded by Konrad II in the 1020s, extended by Henry IV in the 1080s and extensively rebuilt in the 18th century after the Palatine War. Today it stands proud as the largest preserved Romanesque church in Europe.

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Day 6
  • Strasbourg, France
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  • Part beautifully preserved medieval gem, part unofficial capital of Europe and one of the most important modern cities on the continent; Strasbourg – the glorious capital of France’s beautiful Alsace region – is as cosmopolitan and captivating as they come. The city’s cultural centre is particularly appealing, with its eye-catching old and glittering European quarters boasting an array of diverse architectural treasures. 

    Part beautifully preserved medieval gem, part unofficial capital of Europe and one of the most important modern cities on the continent; Strasbourg – the glorious capital of France’s beautiful Alsace region – is as cosmopolitan and captivating as they come. The city’s cultural centre is particularly appealing, with its eye-catching old and glittering European quarters boasting an array of diverse architectural treasures.

    At the very heart of Strasbourg’s cultural centre is Grande Île. This section of the city is the most popular tourist spot here and for good reason too; it was the first city centre to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, in recognition of its magnificent medieval architecture and displays of Franco-German culture. No time spent in Strasbourg is complete without exploring Grande Île to the full. Here you can marvel at the mesmerising 15th century gothic cathedral, the world’s fourth largest church; visit the ancient churches of St Thomas, St Pierre-le-Vieux, St Pierre-le-Jeune, and St Étienne; take in the rows of charming half-timbered houses and medieval fortifications within ‘Petite France’; and stop-by Palais Rohan, the former residence of the prince-bishops.

    The contrasting sights of the thriving European quarter are well worth a look too. This energetic district, situated in the north section of the city centre, is home to many of the continent’s most important and iconic buildings including the impressive European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament building.

    Elsewhere in the city you’ll discover fine examples of art nouveau architecture, such as Palais des Fêtes; and contemporary architectural delights such as the Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain and Hôtel du Département. Don’t miss the eclecticist designs of the Neustadt (German Quarter) too. Strasbourg is also home to a collection of fantastic museums and galleries, as well as several beautiful parks such as Parc de l'Orangerie, Parc de la Citadelle – built around the remains of a 17th century fortress near the Rhine – and the Jardin botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg. 

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Day 7
  • Breisach, Germany
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  • Situated in the south-eastern corner of Germany near the beautiful Black Forest, just the width of the River Rhine separates Breisach from the gorgeous Alsace region of neighbouring France. With this in mind, it may come as little surprise that this charming city shares a passion for delicious cuisine, wines and striking architecture with the pretty French settlements you can see across the water.

    Situated in the south-eastern corner of Germany near the beautiful Black Forest, just the width of the River Rhine separates Breisach from the gorgeous Alsace region of neighbouring France. With this in mind, it may come as little surprise that this charming city shares a passion for delicious cuisine, wines and striking architecture with the pretty French settlements you can see across the water.

    The historic heart of Breisach offers little to remind you that around 85% of the city was destroyed in World War Two, so meticulous has been the reconstruction of the delightful cobbled streets, pastel-hued houses and magnificent monuments. Not to be missed as you wander around this German gem is the impressive 13th century St Stephen Cathedral – Breisach’s most famous and eye-catching structure – which towers over the terracotta rooftops as a symbol of the city’s defiance; the rebuilt Rathaus; Radbrunnen Tower, originally built in the Middle Ages; and the Baroque Rheintor Tower.

    If you, like many of the locals here, have a penchant for fine wines, be sure to stop by one of the many taverns dotted around the city to sample locally-produced tipples from the renowned vineyards of the Baden region; or perhaps even visit one of the biggest wine cellars in Europe, Badischer Winzerkeller.

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Day 8
  • Basel, Switzerland
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  • Often overlooked by those who fly straight to the larger, well-trodden cities of Zürich and Geneva, beautiful Basel is one of Switzerland’s – if not Europe’s – most underrated destinations. Situated in a scenic setting on the River Rhine between the borders of France and Germany and boasting an eclectic mix of sights and attractions, both historic and contemporary, this charming city is sure to enchant and inspire. 

    Often overlooked by those who fly straight to the larger, well-trodden cities of Zürich and Geneva, beautiful Basel is one of Switzerland’s – if not Europe’s – most underrated destinations. Situated in a scenic setting on the River Rhine between the borders of France and Germany and boasting an eclectic mix of sights and attractions, both historic and contemporary, this charming city is sure to enchant and inspire.
     
    Visiting Basel via river boat is the best way to experience all that this Swiss gem has to offer. You can enjoy views of the gorgeous surrounding scenery as you sail the Rhine straight into the city, then step ashore in the heart of it all to take in Basel’s many delights. The engaging medieval Old Town – one of 19 fascinating ‘quarters’ spread across the city – is a particular highlight. Here you can uncover beautifully preserved 15th century buildings, the Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, the imposing Rathaus and the ancient Spalentor gate, which all stand defiantly alongside a few fabulous modern structures designed by world-renowned architects.

    Known as Switzerland’s ‘cultural capital’ Basel also boasts the largest collection of museums found in any Swiss city, with around 40 to discover dotted around the many districts. Among the most interesting are the Kunstmuseum, Gegenwartskunst and Schaulager museums, which all exhibit spectacular artwork from various eras and world-famous artists; the Museum der Kulturen ethnographic museum; Antikenmuseum, which houses a huge collection of antiquities; and the Puppenhaus teddy bear museum. Basel is also home to Switzerland’s oldest and largest zoo; and is known as the ‘green city’ thanks to the abundance of pretty parks botanical gardens.

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Dates & Prices
7th June 2018 - R1810
From £1,499 per person
Standard Room on Brabant

Standard Room

In the Standard Rooms on Haydn Deck 1, there’s plenty of room to relax and each is fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable holiday. Amenities include an en suite bathroom with shower and toilet, ample wardrobe space, a flat-screen TV, a choice of bed configuration (double or twin), a direct-dial telephone, a hairdryer, individual climate control and a safe. Please note: the windows in the Standard Rooms are positioned high up and cannot be opened and the rooms are approximately 161 sq ft. 

Room Layout

 
Fly-Cruise from £1,499 per person For cruise only deduct £300pp
Juliette Balcony Room Strauss Grade

Juliette Balcony Room Strauss

The spacious Juliette Balcony Rooms on Strauss Deck 2 are approximately 161 sq ft. and offer a generous amount of room for an enjoyable river cruise experience. These rooms also include floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, plenty of wardrobe space, a choice of bed configuration (double or twin), an en suite bathroom with shower and toilet, a direct-dial telephone, a hairdryer, a flat-screen TV, individual climate control and a safe.

Room Layout

 
Fly-Cruise from £1,699 per person For cruise only deduct £300pp
Juliette Balcony Room Mozart Grade

Juliette Balcony Room Mozart

The sizable Juliette Balcony Rooms on Mozart Deck 3 offer everything needed for an enjoyable stay. The rooms are approximately 161 sq ft. and facilities include floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, an en suite bathroom with shower and toilet, a choice of bed configuration (double or twin), plenty of wardrobe space, a flat screen TV, a direct-dial telephone, a hairdryer, individual climate control and a safe.

Room Layout

 
Fly-Cruise from £1,779 per person For cruise only deduct £300pp
Juliette Balcony Room Suite on Brabant

Juliette Balcony Suite

There are just two Suites on board Brabant, both beautifully furnished and with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Features include a choice of bed configuration (double or twin), ample wardrobe space, a flat-screen TV, a direct-dial telephone, a hairdryer, individual climate control and a safe. Extra benefits include a large comfortable seating area, an en suite bathroom with bathtub and toilet, complimentary bathrobe and a mini-bar (payable). The Juliette Balcony Suites are approximately 236 sq ft.

Room Layout

 
Fly-Cruise from £2,299 per person For cruise only deduct £300pp
What's Included

Rest assured, all of the following comes as standard on every Fred. Olsen river cruise:

  • Comfortable en suite accommodation with TV, hairdryer, safe and individually controlled air conditioning 
  • Tempting cuisine every day throughout your cruise – with ‘early riser’ breakfast, breakfast buffet, casual lunch, five-course à la carte dinner and late-night snacks
  • Complimentary tea & coffee station 24 hours a day 
  • Complimentary afternoon tea & coffee with sandwiches and cakes 
  • Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner and Captain’s Gala Dinner 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi 
  • Use of leisure facilities including Fitness Room and Wellness Tub 
  • Lounge music by pianist, or duo every day 
  • All local taxes and port charges (where collectable in advance)
On Our Boat

Built in 2006, this elegant and comfortable vessel is in keeping with the fleet of our ocean-going cruise ships. Brabant’s bright and spacious public areas and 79 well-equipped rooms and suites, spread across four decks, provide the intimate, home-from-home feel which Fred. Olsen’s guests already know and love. Cruise ship staples such as swimming pools, a number of lounges and on-going activities are not in evidence on board, making way for a comfortable ambience and ample space in which to relax and enjoy the river cruise experience with around 150 fellow guests.

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