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
Enjoy FREE Drinks AND tips covered on Freedom Fares

**FREE All Inclusive Drinks Package and Tips Covered, applicable to new bookings only, made between 01/12/21 and 01/03/22 inclusive, for five to 19 night cruises sailing from the UK, departing from Jan 2022 up to May 2023, inclusive. Offer excludes cruises T2212 & L2205, cruises less than five or more than 19 nights in duration, Saver fares, charters, exclusive sailings, & Tour Operator holidays. Freedom fare terms and conditions apply. Offer is capacity controlled.
FREE All Inclusive 
Drinks Package & Tips covered: offer applicable on selected sailings. Free drinks upgrade package comprises of selected house beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks – for terms & conditions, click here. Tips are paid directly to the relevant staff on board; are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. Recommended amount for Tips is £5 per person per night (where paid). Offer not combinable with any other offer, including, but not limited to Solo offers, or Saver fares - with the exception of Enjoyment Promise. E&OE.

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.

Your Itinerary

  • Discover the many historical sights of beautiful Bordeaux
  • Relax as you cruise serenely along the River Seine
  • From Rouen, perhaps visit Paris to see the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe
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Balmoral, carrying up to 1,350 guests is 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.

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.