French River Cruising in Five Nights

17th Dec 2020 5 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2032
FROM ONLY £499 per person
Rouen, France Rouen, France
FROM ONLY £499 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.

Bringing the world closer
Braemar in Bordeux, France

Our size advantage means we can take you to places that some of the larger cruise vessels simply can’t. We dock close to the heart of some of the world’s most beautiful cities and can take you on scenic cruising adventures showcasing inspirational landscapes. Our itineraries are expertly crafted to make the most of this advantage.

Smaller but spacious
Guest swimming in pool, Marquee deck, Boudicca

Aboard our smaller, friendlier ships you'll find there's plenty of room to stretch out by the pool, enjoy a drink and great conversation with like-minded guests, and make the most of your time away. Sailing with hundreds, not thousands, of others allows you to get ashore faster too, and make the most of each destination.

Service with a smile
Waitress with drinks and guest on deck, Boudicca

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 fact, 97% of guests rated Fred. Olsen’s friendly, attentive staff ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’.

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.