Exploring the Canaries & Madeira

1st Apr 2021 16 nights Sails from Newcastle Balmoral L2109
FROM ONLY £1,899 per person
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £1,899 per person

Sailing in style aboard Balmoral, you’ll get to unearth the true essence of a string of stunning Macaronesian islands on this Easter exploration of epic proportions. A tempting menu of arresting landscapes, glorious beaches and soothing warmth awaits in the Canaries, while a visit to Madeira affords an opportunity to see the ‘garden island’ in full spring bloom.

You’ll begin this special springtime escape with an Easter weekend to remember, enjoying three restful days at sea and a stop at the port of Leixoes, from where you can tour to Oporto for world-famous port wines, picture-perfect riverscapes and the magnificent architecture of the UNESCO-listed Ribeira District. [ReadMoreMob]Arriving in Funchal signals the start of five consecutive days of island exploration. Madeira bursts into life in the spring and you’ll have a day to enjoy a seasonal sensory feast. Explore the levada trails to see lush, forested landscapes at their verdant best; experience the sweet fragrances and vibrant colours of botanical gardens; and indulge with delicious sweet wines. Four inspiring Canary Islands provide a plethora of breathtaking attractions too. La Palma, known locally as the ‘Pretty Island’, will beg for your exploration from Santa Cruz, the island’s capital. Among the untouched forests and volcanic landscapes of this UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve, Los Tilos and the San Antonio volcano are the top highlights to uncover. [ReadMoreDesk]

Mount Teide can be admired in all its majestic glory in Tenerife: a scenic cable car tour from Santa Cruz de Tenerife is an exciting way to see Spain’s highest peak. Elsewhere, the Pyramids of Güímar is a unique attraction, with its mysterious stepped structures and poison gardens, while the famous golden beach of Playa de Las Americas is certain to tempt. A third day in the Canaries sees Balmoral call at Gran Canaria. Here you could absorb the interesting mix of architectural styles in Las Palmas’ charming Vagueta District, or perhaps venture into the tranquil Agaete Valley. Alternatively, the oasis-like sand dunes of Maspalomas make for the perfect place to enjoy Gran Canaria’s renowned tropical warmth. The island-hopping concludes in Lanzarote, home to Timanfaya National Park, an otherworldly, lunar-like landscape dominated by the impressive Fire Mountains, and a collection of stunning sites developed by César Manrique, including the gorgeous saltwater lagoon of Jameos Del Agua Cave. La Coruña beckons. This Spanish city boasts ancient monuments such as the Torre de Hercules, though you might be tempted to take a tour to see Santiago de Compostela’s magnificent, UNESCO-listed cathedral.

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.