French River Cruising with Antwerp

15th Jun 2019 8 nights Sails from Rosyth (Edinburgh) Balmoral L1912
FROM ONLY £999 per person
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £999 per person

Journeys along beautiful rivers in daylight hours and calls at a trio of charming destinations in France and Belgium make for a spellbinding escape, packing gorgeous countryside scenes, cultural delights and wealth of historic highlights into this eight-night cruise aboard Balmoral.

Beginning your summer adventure in France, you’re sure to feel inspired throughout your time on the gorgeous River Seine. You’ll start with several hours of scenic cruising along the Seine, passing by unspoilt countryside and pretty communes as Balmoral heads for Rouen. Quaint, narrow streets packed with half-timbered houses and historic landmarks await discovery at your first port of call; Place du Vieux Marché, where the Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake in 1431, and Rouen’s spectacular Cathédrale de Notre Dame are not-to-be-missed. You could also tour to Paris from Rouen, for a romantic evening in the iconic French capital. Back along the Seine, charming Honfleur beckons before Balmoral continues on to Belgium. Honfleur offers plenty to fill your full-day here; eye-catching landmarks such as St Catherine’s Church – France’s largest timber church – and the historic Vieux Bassin maritime district are particular highlights. Stopping here until late also affords you time to tour to Claude Monet House and Gardens. [ReadMore]

Your time in Belgium begins with wonderful river cruising too, diverting inland via the Western Scheldt River to Antwerp. Vast mud flats, salt marshes and nature reserves, which are home to variety of bird species, come into view on this winding route. When Balmoral finally arrives in Belgium’s picturesque second city, you’ll dock close to the city centre. Within easy reach will be Grote Markt – the ‘Great Market Square’ – with its elaborate 16th century guildhalls and extravagant City Hall, and the mighty Cathedral of our Lady. Venture even deeper into the city and you’ll be rewarded with Antwerp’s most prized possessions, such as the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the legendary Diamond District. Away from the city, you could take the chance to tour to nearby Ghent, for artisan chocolatiers and some of Belgium’s most iconic landmarks, including the UNESCO-listed Belfry.

Single supplement offers are available on selected grades on this sailing, please call for details.

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.

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.