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Into the Heart of Amsterdam & Antwerp

8th Dec 2018 5 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L1837
Festive cruise
FROM ONLY £749 per person *
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £749 per person *
Prepare for the festive season in style on this fantastic, five night pre-Christmas escape to Belgium and the Netherlands featuring in-depth explorations of two engrossing, culture-rich cities and relaxing scenic cruising.

Your getaway begins with a short sail to the Netherlands where, after sailing into Amsterdam via the complex locks and waterways of the Nordzeekanaal, Balmoral will dock overnight in the Dutch capital. The evening is the perfect time for a boat tour of the iconic canals here, as seeing the world-famous landmarks in all their illuminated splendour after night fall is always simply unforgettable. Alternatively you might prefer to wait until the next day to take in the sights via bicycle, the locals’ trusted transport of choice. However you choose to explore, be sure to stop by Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum; and for an authentic experience, visit the legendary Red Light District. [ReadMore]

In Belgium a journey along the winding Western Scheldt River will lead you into the heart of Antwerp. Again an overnight stay in the beautiful second city will ensure you have plenty of time to explore the pretty cobbled streets and see the sights at your own pace. The mighty Cathedral of Our Lady and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts – which houses the works of Rubens and other Flemish masters – are among many gems to discover in Antwerp, a city famed for its legendary diamond district; while no visit is complete without stopping by one of the friendly cafés and chocolate shops. You could indulge yourself with authentic Belgian chocolates, perfectly complemented by delicious coffees; or perhaps pick up a few Christmas gifts for your friends and loved-ones back home and on board.

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’re not interested in gimmicks like zip wires, climbing walls or celebrity chefs. 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.