Exploring the Canaries & Madeira

1st Mar 2021 13 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2105
FROM ONLY £1,499 per person
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £1,499 per person

Begin spring in style on this indulgent island-hopping adventure, visiting five diverse destinations in the Canaries and Madeira, complemented by a day in the historic Portuguese capital. During an unforgettable fortnight aboard Balmoral, you’ll bask in soothing warmth and spectacular scenery, and discover a smorgasbord of astounding attractions – the perfect way to recover from the long, cold winter.

The fragrant, colourful scenes of Madeira start things off: a call at Funchal affords an opportunity to delight in the highlights of Portugal’s gorgeous ‘garden island’. [ReadMoreMob]There’s the scenic levada walking routes, providing spellbinding views of lush, verdant landscapes; tropical gardens bursting with vibrant flora and sweet scents; and towering Cabo Girão sea cliff, offering stunning ocean views, to name just a few. Whatever you choose to do, Madeira makes for the perfect first stop. Then it’s off to the Canaries, to immerse yourself in the rich culture, fascinating history and untouched natural beauty of four breathtaking islands on four consecutive days. The entire island of La Palma is a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve ripe for exploration, with scenery ranging from untouched forests and tumbling waterfalls, to soaring volcanos and rugged craters. Docking here until late evening, you might – if the skies are clear – experience first-hand why La Palma is considered one of the best places on earth for stargazing. [ReadMoreDesk]

In Tenerife, a full-day call at Santa Cruz allows ample time to take in the interesting museums, elegant parks and pretty squares of the island’s capital, and stop-by welcoming restaurants for a taste of authentic local cuisine. Elsewhere on the island, the secrets of the mysterious Pyramids of Güímar are yours to unravel, while majestic Mount Teide provides views of Spain’s highest peak. The island-hopping continues as you reach Gran Canaria, where you can make the most of the Canaries’ renowned tropical climate among the oasis-like dunes of Maspalomas, or – to delve into local history and culture – tour to the charming towns of Teror and Arucas. You Canarian discovery concludes with a visit to Arrecife, from where the unmissable attractions of Lanzarote await discovery, such as the lunar-like landscapes of Timanfaya National Park, the magnificent Fire Mountains and the beautiful saltwater lagoon of Jameos Del Agua Cave. Before arriving back in the UK, Balmoral diverts to the mainland Portugal for a stop in Lisbon, one of Europe’s most beguiling, for a feast of fascinating museums, maritime history and architectural wonders.

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.