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Portugal's Islands in Search of the Meteor Shower


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Sete Cidades landscape, Sao Miguel Island, Azores, Europe Sete Cidades landscape, Sao Miguel Island, Azores, Europe

07 Aug 2024


15 nights


Your cruise at a glance

Hand-crafted highlights

We have planned this cruise to showcase the natural wonders of the Azores, from verdant volcanic vistas to fascinating flora and fauna. You’ll have chances to discover the Sete Cidades crater lakes, the volcanoes of Capelinhos and Pico, and the Algar do Carvão lava tube. What’s more, we’ve timed your sailing to coincide with the Perseid Meteor Shower, affording chances to see shooting stars as Balmoral sails the remote waters of the Azores, and when hydrangeas – the archipelago’s national flower – are in bloom. Cultural experiences await your enjoyment, too, including thermal bathing in the Furnas Valley, dolphin- and whale-watching, riding the iconic trams in Lisbon, and tasting local delights like pastéis de nata and Port wine.

Explore the Itinerary


Vila Franca Islet, also known as the Princess Ring is a vegetated uninhabited islet

The verdant volcanoes of the Azores

The volcanic peaks, craters, and lakes of the Azores archipelago provides visitors with a wide variety of breathtaking views. Unique twin lakes, one a vibrant green and the other a beautiful blue, can be found in Sete Cidades. These lakes are the focus of numerous mythological stories, the most well-known of which is the tale of the young princess and the shepherd boy, whose love was forbidden by her father, the King. You can explore caves and magma chambers formed by the cooling and solidification of lava flows in the Algar do Carvão lava tube. São Miguel Island's Furnas Valley is well known for its lush surroundings and geothermal characteristics, including hot springs and boiling mud pots. Balmoral will sail close to Vila Franca Islet, known for its unique crater that forms a picturesque natural swimming pool.

Yellow tram on a colourful street in Lisbon

Immerse yourself in the Portuguese way of life

A strong sense of community permeates daily life in Portugal and the Azores and is often centered around rituals like fado music, food, and wine. Join us to experience a poignant Fado performance by local musicians. Fado music originated in the mainland of Portugal, but the Azorean islands have given it a distinctive sound with its eerily melodic undertones. While in Lisbon, take some time to sample some fresh sardines or a delectably buttery pastéis de nata at a local cafe, and do enjoy a ride on one of the famous wooden trams to further explore the city's winding streets lined with brightly-coloured buildings.

 Perseid Meteor Shower observation. Colorful shooting stars.

Perseid Meteor Shower

On the evening of 12th August, we’ll host a special Sky at Sea evening, when the Perseid Meteor Shower will be at its peak. The shower will produce some of the brightest and most active meteors to be seen, so turn your eyes to the sky to look for bright, fast-moving streaks across the night sky. As we’ll be at sea heading towards Horta, there will be ideal opportunities to see impressive meteors. Be sure to look out for shooting stars originating from the Perseus constellation from which it gets its name, during this celestial spectacle.

White and blue hydrangeas lining a path in the Azores

See Azorean Hydrangeas in Bloom 

This sailing has been designed to visit the Azores when the famous hydrangeas are in full bloom. Now known as the national flower of the archipelago, these iconic flowers create stunning vistas against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and are renowned for their vibrant blue, red, pink, white and purple hues, thanks to the mineral-rich, volcanic soil which determines the colour of the petals.

Whale Tail as seen from deck

Marine and birdlife spotting

Take the opportunity to join our conservationists from ORCA out on the decks of Balmoral, as they assist you with spotting different species of marine and birdlife. You may see sperm and minke whales and a variety of dolphins, as the archipelago is known as an essential stopping off point for many cetacean species as they migrate, due to the nutrient-rich waters of the islands.


Cruise Itinerary

Explore the Itinerary
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Life On Board

Introducing Balmoral

Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate some of Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral retains a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open deck space.

Fred. Olsen ship Balmoral sailing at dawn


Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral offers a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space.

710 cabins
1,325 guests
551 crew
43,537 GT
16kts max speed
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Sample Shore Tours

At each port of call on your cruise, we carefully research and hand pick Shore Tour options for you, designed for you see as many of the world's best destinations as possible.

Below, you will find some sample Shore Tours which will give you an example of what to expect on your cruise. Your Shore Tours will be available to book approximately 8-13 weeks prior to departure via your My Cruises account.

Algar do Carvão

Explore Inside Algar Do Carvâo Volcano

Explore Algar do Carvã, an ancient volcano located in one of Terceira's geological nature reserves. Journey 330ft below the Earth’s surface where extraordinary caves, magma chambers and even an underground lake with crystal clear waters await you.


Praia da Vitória

 Dolphin and Whale Watching

Dolphin & Whale Watching

Sail across the sparkling crystalline waters of the Azores in search of dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. These blue coastal waters are home to an abundance of magnificent marine mammals including the humpback, minke, blue, sei, and northern bottlenose whales.



Lagoa das Sete Cidades

Crater Lakes Scenic Drive and Bike Ride

Relax and soak up the spectacular scenery as a leisurely drive takes you to the beautiful Sete Cidades Crater Lakes where you will embark on a scenic bike ride while your guide tells tales of local legends and folklore.


Ponta Delgada

Jeep Adventure

Sete Cidades Jeep Adventure

Enjoy an exhilarating Jeep adventure up into the mountains to soak up the magnificent surroundings. Visit Sete Cidades and the main crater of this extinct volcano to admire the views of the two lakes below. Finish with a visit to Santiago Lake, situated at the bottom of an extinct crater.


Ponta Delgada

Your Guest Speakers

We’ve arranged for some wonderful guest speakers to join us for this cruise. They will be delivering a programme of insightful talks and activities to deepen your cultural, artistic and historical understanding of the destinations we will be exploring, well as helping you to enjoy the natural beauty of the places we visit.

Tony Waltham

Dr. Tony Waltham

Experienced geologist, Dr. Tony Waltham will be on hand throughout your cruise to deliver a series of engaging talks about the volcanoes and volcanic landscapes of the Azores.

Ocean Wildlife


Founded in 2001, ORCA is a group of Ocean Conservationists. Join them out on deck to search the seas for marine life.

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Paul Fellows

Paul Fellows

Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Paul Fellows, will be on board delivering insightful talks and hosting stargazing sessions. As we explore the Azores together, join him out on deck as he brings the night sky to life.

Tony McMahon
Exploration and Age of Discoveries

Tony McMahon

TV historian, Tony McMahon’s ability to speaks Portuguese has enabled him to understand relevant documents and books over the years to provide you with an insight into the Age of Discoveries and exploration in a series of engaging talks onboard.

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Treats & Pastimes

In addition to our Signature Experiences, we have a selection of lovely Treats & Pastimes for you to enjoy when on board. Just check your Daily Times each day for full details.

Discover our Treats & Pastimes

Cabins, Prices & Offers

Cabin Options On Your Cruise

* Prices correct as of 15:00 19/04/2024, based on the lowest available Cruise Only fare, and on two people sharing a twin cabin. Please call +441473746175 for live availability & prices.

* Prices correct as of 15:00 19/04/2024, based on the lowest available Cruise Only fare, and on sole occupancy. Please call +441473746175 for live availability & prices.

Cabin Grades

Standard Pricing Solo Pricing

Balcony Junior Suite (BJ)

Balmoral's Balcony Junior Suites have a large cabin area and private balcony

Freedom Fare From £4,899 pp
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Superior Suite (SS)

Located on decks 9 & 10, Superior Suites have a balcony and large cabin area

Freedom Fare From £5,399 pp
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Marquee Suite (MS)

Situated on deck 10, Marquee Suites have a private balcony and large cabin area

Freedom Fare From £6,999 pp
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Premier Suite (PS)

Located on deck 10, Premier Suites have a private balcony and large cabin area

Freedom Fare From £7,299 pp

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Last few cabins remaining!

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Owner's Suite (OW)

Exclusive Suite - please call for more details

Freedom Fare From £8,999 pp
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Cruise Offers

FREE On Board Spend   Saver Fare
Freedom Fare

What's Included


As well as our Signature Experiences, there are a host of other treats to enjoy on board our ships.

  • À la carte breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Daily buffet dining options
  • Late night Supper Club
  • Afternoon tea
  • Self-service tea & coffee
  • In-cabin dining & snacks
  • Evening shows
  • Live music & dancing
  • Dance classes
  • Lectures & talks
  • Cookery demonstrations
  • Traditional deck games
  • Daily games & quizzes
  • Swimming Pools
  • Jacuzzis
  • Fitness Centre
  • Fitness Classes

Enhance your cruise

Each of our cruises has been carefully designed for you to get the very best out of your time on board; and now you can enhance your cruise to make it even more special.

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