European Christmas Markets


View of Hamburg at night, Christmas time, Germany Christmas at Tivoli gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

Departed 21 Dec 2023


8 nights


Your cruise at a glance

Hand-crafted highlights

Our itinerary planners have carefully crafted your cruise to coincide with traditional Christmas Markets in three European cities. Hamburg’s markets – which you can enjoy by day and night on this sailing – feature decorated wooden huts brimming with unique wares. You can sample Glühwein and wurst as you mingle with locals and fellow travellers, soaking up the festive atmosphere. Oslo’s city centre and Copenhagen’s colourful quayside, Nyhavn, boast even more markets for you to explore. Your journey also includes a scenic sailing along Oslofjord, passing the Olsen family home in Hvitsten, and navigating the iconic Kiel Canal – a feat only possible on a smaller ship.

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Christmas markets in Hamburg, Germany

A Trio of Magnificent Christmas Markets

This cruise on board Balmoral will take you to traditional Christmas markets in three magnificent European cities. The Hamburger Weihnachtsmarkt in Hamburg, is a winter wonderland of festive lights and enchanting stalls selling handcrafted gifts and delicious Christmas foods, alongside the aroma of mulled wine hanging in the air. [ReadMoreMob] The iconic waterfront area of Copenhagen – Nyhavn – holds its annual festive market alongside the picturesque canal, with stalls full of unique foods and crafts exuding Danish charm, with the facades of its historic buildings providing a charming backdrop; or enjoy a visit to Tivoli Gardens, with its magnificent fountains and beautiful gardens. Oslo’s Christmas market – known as Bærums Verk Christmas Market, considered to be one of the best and most charming in Oslo, will offer you the chance to sample traditional Norwegian foods, buy authentic festive gifts and take a ride on a Ferris wheel.

Balmoral cruising the Kiel canal, Germany

The beauty of the Kiel Canal

On this cruise, Balmoral will sail along the Kiel Canal, as it cuts through the picturesque German countryside, providing you with a beautifully scenic passage from Hamburg to Copenhagen, and avoiding 250 nautical miles of ocean sailing. As only ships of up to 40 metres high can pass under the bridges of the canal, Balmoral’s smaller size makes it the perfect vantage point admiring the green conutryside and small towns along the waters edge. The Kiel Canal has a lock at each end, at Kiel-Holtenau and Brunsbüttel, and the transit time between the two is around eight hours, thus allowing guests plenty of time to enjoy time out on board. In Hamburg, you will also have the opportunity to explore Germany’s largest port and throughout your cruise, former Royal Navy Radio Operator, Mick Gentry, will be on hand to deliver insightful talks on Europe’s maritime history.

Figure heads in garden

Cruising by the Olsen Family Home

The historic home of the Olsen family is located on the shores of Oslofjord, at Hvitsten, and is nestled within spectacular Norwegian scenery. Lysedal Mansion is positioned close to the beautiful wooden church given to Hvitsten by Fred. Olsen’s mother, Bolette in 1903, and who was the inspiration for another of our ships in our fleet. A number of figureheads from Fred. Olsen ships are displayed in the parks and gardens of the village; and it was here where Edvard Munch spent some years painting several of his most famous artworks. A museum is dedicated to the life and work of Munch, offering guests the chance to see some of his paintings.


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Life On Board

Introducing Balmoral

Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate some of Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral retains a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open deck space.

Fred. Olsen ship Balmoral sailing at dawn


Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral offers a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space.

710 cabins
1,325 guests
551 crew
43,537 GT
16kts max speed
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Our Signature Experiences

To make your experience even more special, our Journey Planners have designed a unique programme of Signature Experiences which will allow you to discover real insights about the culture and nature of the places we are visiting, so you can arrive in each destination fully prepared to get the most out of your visit.

Itinerary Insights

We have carefully curated a programme of events to give you a deeper understanding of each of the destinations you will be visiting

Scenic Discoveries

Our Scenic Discoveries are designed to allow you to enjoy seeing the world from the unique perspective of our ships

The Ship and the Sea

Maritime is in our DNA - our history in shipping goes back almost 200 years

The Sky at Sea

There’s very little in the natural world more beautiful than a clear night sky, sunrise or sunset seen at sea

Treats of the Region

We love to bring a taste of the region's food, drink, local tastes and culinary traditions to life on board

Treats & Pastimes

In addition to our Signature Experiences, we have a selection of lovely Treats & Pastimes for you to enjoy when on board. Just check your Daily Times each day for full details.

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Cabins, Prices & Offers

Cabin Options On Your Cruise

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What's Included


As well as our Signature Experiences, there is a host of other treats to enjoy on board our ships.

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Each of our cruises has been carefully designed for you to get the very best out of your time on board; and now you can enhance your cruise to make it even more special.

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