In Search of the Northern Lights

14th Feb 2024 14 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2404
FREEDOM FARE FROM £2,099 per person
Northern lights in Alta, Norway Northern lights in Alta, Norway
FREEDOM FARE FROM £2,099 per person
£200pp Free On Board Spend or £400pp when booking a Suite

*Applicable to new bookings made from 16/03/2023 on 2022/23 cruises sailing from the UK, of 13 to 15 nights in duration, see terms & conditions.

This cruise has been designed to pack in plenty of opportunities for Arctic exploration, as you go in search of unspoilt scenery, awe-inspiring spectacles and an abundance of incredible experiences in Norway’s astonishing north. During your time within the Arctic Circle, you’ll be on the look-out for the Northern Lights throughout; you might be lucky enough to see Mother Nature’s magnificent light display in all its spellbinding glory, particularly during visits to Alta and Tromso – considered two of the best places on earth to see the remarkable Aurora Borealis. Sailing Arctic waters at night time, away from light polluted skies, gives you the best chance of seeing the lights from Balmoral’s open decks too.[ReadMore]

The excitement of potentially witnessing the Northern Lights isn’t the only thing that’ll captivate you during your Arctic adventure though. You’ll not only get to explore the remote Arctic wilderness, but also get a feel for what life is like living amongst it. From Tromso, you could venture into the wild landscapes via a husky-drawn sled, with an opportunity to mush the team of huskies yourself, and there are chances to meet local Sami communities and visit Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, where an ice sculptor will explain how they helped shape the interior, at Alta. Meanwhile, a visit to Narvik will provide a memorable first glimpse of an Arctic winter’s stunning scenes, while Bodø’s breathtaking landscapes and quaint fishing villages also await. What’s more, on your journey you will – thanks to Balmoral’s smaller size – experience a scenic shortcut through the Tjeldsundet Strait, and divert away from the tourist route to see the likes of Torghatten – a unique mountain with a hole through its centre, and the Seven Sisters mountain peaks, in all their scenic glory.

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 

1. WE ARE PROUD TO SAIL OUR OWN COURSE

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'.

2. SMALLER IS BETTER

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.

3. HAND-CRAFTED, NOT MASS PRODUCED

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 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.