French River Cruising in Five Nights

17th Dec 2020 5 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2032
FROM ONLY £599 per person
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £599 per person

If you’re after a short, yet immensely rewarding and relaxing pre-Christmas break, this escape to two historic, highlight-filled French cities is just the ticket. A wealth of historical, architectural and cultural treasures await you, as well as enchanting Christmas markets that are sure to fuel your festive spirit, while there’s memorable scenic river cruising to enjoy too.

The first morning of this five-night cruise promises to be unforgettable, as Balmoral meanders the beautiful River Seine en route to Rouen. [ReadMoreMob]You’ll wake to views of green fields and rolling hills, passing by the waterside houses and tall, pointed spires of quaint villages as your smaller-ship navigates the Seine. Once ashore in Rouen, you’ll find plenty of highlights in the historic centre of Normandy’s regional capital. You could wander into the cobbled Place du Vieux-Marché, bordered by a collection of traditional timber-fronted buildings, and connect with French history at the spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake; and see the gothic-style facades of the city’s spectacular cathedral. You might stumble upon the delights of charming Christmas markets too. [ReadMoreDesk]

Alternatively, you could take the opportunity to tour from Rouen to romantic Paris at the ‘most wonderful time of the year’, to see world-famous landmarks such as the Champs-Élysées and Eiffel Tower adorned with twinkling lights and decoration; or head to Claude Monet House and Gardens, a real feast for the senses. Back along the Seine, at the mouth of the river, you’ll stop overnight in Honfleur too. This seafaring city is famed for its picturesque harbour – fronted by colourful, towering buildings and spires – and the historic Vieux Bassin quarter, a delight to explore with its cobbled streets and stunning 15th and 16th century architecture.

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.