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Diamonds, Chocolates & Canals

16th Sep 2018 9 nights Sails from Newcastle Balmoral L1830
FROM ONLY £799 per person
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £799 per person
Solo traveller offer available
Prices include savings of up to £350pp
Summer Sale Offer - No Single Supplement
Experience scenic cruising of picturesque waterways as Balmoral sails beyond coastal ports and straight into engrossing destinations in the heart of Belgium and the Netherlands. Featuring four of Europe’s finest cities, this nine night adventure is packed with culture, cuisine and fascinating history.

Three days in Belgium begins this rewarding cruise in style, calling first into Ghent following an early morning glide along the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal. A collection of Belgium’s very best museums and most iconic landmarks – including the gothic style St Bavo’s Cathedral and the Castle of Counts – await your discovery here, offering a glimpse into the city’s remarkable medieval past. The UNESCO-listed, 91 metre-high Belfry is a ‘must-see’ on a walking tour of the city; while no time spent in Ghent is complete without tasting authentic Belgian chocolate and enjoying a relaxing canal boat tour. You’ll have the chance to encounter Antwerp’s abundance of attractions, with an overnight stay affording you time to see the sights at your own pace. Take your time to uncover gems such as the magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, tucked away within the pretty cobbled streets; and visit the renowned diamond district. Or perhaps you would prefer to take a tour to the historic Battlefields of Waterloo, marvelling at the unspoilt countryside en route. Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to enjoy the relaxing journey along the Western Scheldt River after departing Antwerp. [ReadMore]

Next Balmoral will head north to the Netherlands and into Rotterdam via the Nieuwe Mass. If you’re up early enough you’ll have the opportunity to view the iconic Erasmusbrug Bridge and the city’s soaring skyline from your ship as you sail into port. Once docked you have a full day to explore the Netherlands’ stylish second city, which is home to a plethora of fantastic museums and unique architectural wonders. From the innovative 1970’s Cube Houses to the modern Markthal, there’s something to please all tastes. Finally it’s on to Amsterdam to experience the unique diversity of the vibrant Dutch capital after an early morning scenic cruise of the Nordzeekanaal. There’s much to discover during your overnight stay, including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum; the world-famous Anne Frank House; the grand architecture of the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring; and of course, the legendary Red Light District. You could also use your time to enjoy a typically Dutch experience on a venture to the quaint windmill village of Zaanse Schans, followed by a tour to Edam to learn about how the local cheese is made.

Balmoral is the largest of Fred. Olsen's smaller, friendly ocean-going cruise ships – with capacity for up to 1350 guests – yet is still small enough to navigate narrow waterways such as Kiel Canal and bring inspirational sights and experiences closer to you. Like the rest of the fleet, Balmoral retains a warm, welcoming atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation and lounges, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space.

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

  • Comfortable rooms and suites with TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and individually controlled air conditioning
  • Tempting cuisine every day throughout your cruise - with five-course à la carte dinners, casual breakfast and lunch buffets and late-night snacks
  • Unlimited, self-service tea and coffee at selected venues, afternoon tea* with sandwiches and cakes, and in-room sandwiches and snacks
  • All evening entertainment, including cabaret shows, dancing and live music
  • Captain's Drinks Party and Gala Buffet (on cruises of 5 nights or more)
  • On board leisure facilities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and gym
  • A wide choice of on board activities and lectures throughout the day
  • All UK port taxes (where collectable in advance)
  • Luggage porterage between your room and the drop-off/pick-up point
  • Flights, as confirmed as part of a fly-cruise holiday

​Cruise descriptions include optional, chargeable experiences that may be enjoyed independently and/or with optional Fred. Olsen Shore Tours. *Premium Traditional Afternoon Tea not included.

Real ships
We’re not interested in gimmicks like zip wires, climbing walls or celebrity chefs. We don’t have boastful megaships. We take immense pride in our fleet of smaller-scaled vessels that retain the style, ambience and understated quality of a country house hotel.  We ensure they remain contemporary too: from winter 2016 to spring 2018 the whole fleet underwent dry dock refits to further enhance the facilities for guests. With the fifth generation Fred. Olsen as Chairman and 170 years of seafaring heritage behind us, we believe we’ve found the perfect formula for you to get the best out of your holiday with us.

Smaller but spacious
A smaller ship doesn’t mean less space; far from it. Each room is comfortably sized, with all that you’ll need to enjoy your holiday. In fact, our rooms are comparable to those on some of the mammoth cruise ships. While our vessels are on a more accessible scale, you can have just as much private space.  With fewer people on board it’s easy to find a quiet spot to relax in peace with a drink or a good book. There’s room to stretch out by the pool and you can get ashore more quickly too. And when you’re ashore, you’re seeing the best of each port of call with hundreds – not thousands – of others, giving you a much more authentic experience.

Service with a smile
Each member of the Fred. Olsen team has been carefully selected for their warm and welcoming personalities. The quality of our people, supported by training and development, ensures they will give you a great holiday: in guest feedback our staff are always the most highly-rated aspect of the whole experience.