European Christmas Markets

1st Dec 2020 8 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2030
Festive cruise
FROM ONLY £849 per person
Hamburg, Germany Hamburg, Germany
FROM ONLY £849 per person

As the festive season begins, start your celebrations in style with a cruise to four enticing European cities that really come to life at the ‘most wonderful time of the year’. At every destination, you’re in for a magical experience, with ample time ashore in each to delight in the enchanting decorations, traditional wooden huts, sweet and spicy scents and warming atmosphere of enchanting, fairytale-esque Christmas Markets.

The cities of Germany are renowned for showing-off their festive spirit, so your visit to Hamburg is sure to be special. [ReadMoreMob]Hamburg’s famous Christmas fare is seemingly on display at every turn, though the dominating Rathaus is the place to be to really sample the city’s seasonal splendour. The grounds of the impressive City Hall play host to the Roncalli Christmas Market, a colourful Christmas wonderland of fairy light-adorned huts selling confectionary and gifts, carousels and gingerbread bakers with the smell of warming spiced wine in the air. Perhaps grab a cup of the traditional festive tipple to enjoy as you soak up the cosy atmosphere – it’s the perfect tonic for Hamburg’s chilly December weather. Alternatively, you could choose to take in attractions such the gothic-style St Nikolai Church, the Chilehaus and the unique Miniatur Wunderland. A stroll along the banks of the beautiful River Elbe always makes for a memorable experience in the winter too. [ReadMoreDesk]

There are Christmas-time charms to uncover in three dazzling Belgian, Norwegian and Danish cities too. Balmoral will call at Zeebrugge for tours to the UNESCO-listed Bruges, where you can explore decorated streets and canals in search of architectural gems such as Church of our Lady and the 13th century Belfry and authentic Belgian chocolate shops, and soak-up the cosy atmosphere of the city’s Christmas market. In Norway, visiting Oslo affords you an opportunity to explore the capital when it’s transformed into a winter wonderland of Christmas markets, fairs and decorations. Be sure to stop-by the National Gallery to see Edvard Munch’s The Scream; visit Vigeland Sculpture Park; and marvel at the medieval Akershus Fortress too. Your visit to Copenhagen, Denmark’s delightful capital, will be one to remember; the legendary Tivoli Gardens is a ‘must-visit’ at this time the year, with its mesmerising displays of light and decoration and stalls offering everything from Nordic handicrafts to tempting local delicacies. The impressive Christiansborg and Amalienborg Palaces and picturesque Nyhavn district are also not-to-be-missed.

Bringing the world closer
Braemar in Bordeux, France

Our size advantage means we can take you to places that some of the larger cruise vessels simply can’t. We dock close to the heart of some of the world’s most beautiful cities and can take you on scenic cruising adventures showcasing inspirational landscapes. Our itineraries are expertly crafted to make the most of this advantage.

Smaller but spacious
Guest swimming in pool, Marquee deck, Boudicca

Aboard our smaller, friendlier ships you'll find there's plenty of room to stretch out by the pool, enjoy a drink and great conversation with like-minded guests, and make the most of your time away. Sailing with hundreds, not thousands, of others allows you to get ashore faster too, and make the most of each destination.

Service with a smile
Waitress with drinks and guest on deck, Boudicca

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 fact, 97% of guests rated Fred. Olsen’s friendly, attentive staff ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’.

Balmoral is the largest of Fred. Olsen's smaller, friendly ocean-going cruise ships – with capacity for up to 1,350 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.