French Rivers of Normandy and Bordeaux

19th Apr 2023 9 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2308
FREEDOM FARE FROM £1,199 per person
Aerial view, Bordeaux vineyard, landscape vineyard, France Aerial view, Bordeaux vineyard, landscape vineyard, France
FREEDOM FARE FROM £1,199 per person
Solo traveller offer available

Fantastic reduced single supplement deals available on selected grades on this sailing. T&Cs apply*

£100pp FREE On Board Spend or £200pp when booking a Suite

*Applicable to new bookings made from 16/03/2022 on 2022/23 cruises sailing from the UK, of 7 to 9 nights in duration, see terms & conditions.

During explorations of four captivating cities, and scenic cruising of beautiful waterways, you get to experience the history, culture, beauty and flavours of France to the full. Discover the very best of Bordeaux; Balmoral docks alongside the promenade in this elegant city, so you can simply step off the ship and explore. You’re perfectly placed to take in highlights such as Cathédrale Saint-André, the Grand Théâtre and Cité du Vin. Alternatively, tour to one of Medoc’s small family run vineyards, to learn the region’s wines and taste them straight from the barrel. Your departure from Bordeaux will be memorable too, sailing the scenic Gironde and Garonne rivers.[ReadMore]

Cruising the River Seine, through springtime countryside scenes of verdant fields and rolling valleys, as you sail to Rouen is sure to be a highlight. Once docked in Rouen, you’ve ample time to see this historic city’s sights, or even tour to nearby Paris, to see iconic sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre, and perhaps indulge with the cuisine of one world’s culinary capitals. Elsewhere there are visits to La Pallice – starting point for visiting La Rochelle or boat trips into the marshlands of Marais Poitevin – and Honfleur, where you may be tempted to try Camembert and Calvados while people watching at one of the French cafés.

In recent years, we have seen a new era emerging in cruising.

There is a trend for everything to get bigger and busier, and for a cruise to be seen as an alternative to a large luxury resort, with a limitless flurry of activity. But this is not for us. Find out more 


We are free to do things a different way because we are family-run. Of course some people enjoy the bigger, busier cruises, but it is not for everyone, and it is not for us. We prefer to do things, 'The Olsen Way'.


We have fewer guests, so the atmosphere on board our ships is always warm and civilised. Our smaller ships allow us to visit the more interesting places that the world has to offer.


We pride ourselves on putting our all into the Fred. Olsen cruise experience. Our itineraries are created from scratch every year, our service is genuinely personal and each and every area of our ships is designed by hand.

Balmoral, carrying up to 1,350 guests is small enough to navigate narrow waterways such as the Kiel Canal, and bring inspirational sights and experiences closer to you.

Like the rest of the fleet, Balmoral conveys a warm, welcoming atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation and lounges, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space.