European Christmas Markets

1st Dec 2020 8 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2030
FROM ONLY £949 per person
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £949 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.

Real ships
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.

Refurbished in 2017, 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.