Portugal & Spain Discovery

9th Dec 2020 8 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2031
FROM ONLY £899 per person
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £899 per person

For a rewarding pre-Christmas escape, head to Spain and Portugal to discover the delights of a trio of captivating cities. You’ll have opportunities to delve into fascinating history and culture, marvel at magnificent architecture and even sample traditional local flavours, while the sight of Christmas lights and decorations in each city is sure to leave you filled with festive spirit too. [ReadMoreMob]

To kick-off this exciting eight-night cruise, Balmoral will lead the way to Portugal’s historic, charming capital, Lisbon.With two days to explore in-depth, you have ample time to uncover Lisbon’s many highlights, including a collection of insightful museums, architectural gems and iconic monuments that offer an insight into the city’s rich maritime heritage. Jerónimos Monastery, Tower de Belem, Padrão dos Descobrimentos and much more awaits – taking a ride on a classic tram is a great way to take in the sights. For an authentic taste of the city, be sure to visit the famous Pasteis de Belém to sample the crumbly egg custard tarts Lisbon is famous for. Stopping overnight affords you a chance to enjoy a memorable evening exploration too, listening out for the sounds of traditional fado music and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere as you wander picturesque streets illuminated by twinkling fairy lights. [ReadMoreDesk]

After Lisbon, the Portuguese delights continue with a chance to venture into Oporto. Though Balmoral docks in Leixões, Portugal’s UNESCO-listed second city is just a short journey away. Take the trip and you’ll find you’re never far away from arresting attractions in Oporto – particular highlights include the city’s world-famous port wine cellars, the charming Ribeira Historic District and the pastel-fronted buildings lining the banks of the Douro River, best seen on a tour aboard a traditional Rabelo boat. Finally, after a short sail to northern Spain’s gorgeous Galicia region, you’ll arrive in La Coruña. Again, a plethora of attractions await you here, including the ancient Torre de Hercules and pretty Maria Pita Square, where you’ll see the striking facades of ornate buildings such as Palacio Municipal adorned with festive lights and decorations. La Coruña is also your gateway to Santiago de Compostela, where you can stop-by the city’s small, yet enchanting Christmas Market and revel in the sight of the its spectacular, UNESCO-listed cathedral.

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.

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.