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Wildlife & Traditions of the Scottish Isles

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Guest taking a picture of Fingal's cave from deck Old Man of Storr rock formation on Isle of Skye, Scotland
04 Jul 2024
Rosyth
8 nights
Balmoral

Your cruise at a glance

Hand-crafted highlights

Discover some of Scotland’s wildest and most scenic island landscapes, which provide a haven for wildlife and boasts a long and fascinating history. Balmoral is small enough to dock in Lerwick and will divert away from the main coastal routes to take you on a scenic cruise past remarkable sites, from the Small Isles archipelago to the basalt columns of Fingal’s Cave. You can enjoy birdwatching as you sail past Sumburgh Head, and search for whales from your ship with the help of wildlife charity ORCA. Ashore, you can marvel at the Isle of Skye’s scenery, including the Old Man of Storr; learn about Shetland’s local farming traditions; visit the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae in Orkney; and discover Harris’s Gaelic culture.

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Highlights

Old Man of Storr, Scotland

Discover the Rugged Landscapes of the Scottish Isles

We have designed this cruise to offer you the opportunity to discover the rugged landscapes of the Scottish Isles. Many scenic cruise highlights await, including the dramatic rock formations and basalt columns of Fingal’s Cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa and the bonnet shaped Bac Mòr, known as Dutchman’s Cap. Balmoral will also divert away from the main costal routes to take you past remarkable sights such as the Orkney sea stacks and the Small Isles archipelago. Meanwhile, ashore, the Old Man of Storr awaits exploration on the Isle of Skye.

Bar man pouring whiskey into glass

Experience the Local Way of Life

As we explore the scenic Scottish Isles together, you can take the chance to immerse yourself in the traditional ways of island life. In Stornoway, you can discover the history of Gaelic language and traditions, including how the language is being kept alive in the local area whilst enjoying a showcase of local Gaelic singing, or join a local Crofter who will share traditions of the crofting community. There is also the opportunity to sample locally-produced whisky with a visit to the Isle of Harris distillery.

Puffins on a cliff, Scotland

Spot Dolphins, Whales & Seabirds

During this cruise, you will have the best possible chance of spotting the remarkable wildlife which resides in and around the Scottish Isles. Ocean conservationists, ORCA will be on board, leading wildlife spotting sessions out on deck and delivering a series of talks on the wildlife that can be found in this region. While ashore, you will have the opportunity to visit Sumburgh Head, a designated nature reserve that provides a habitat for a variety of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes.

Itinerary

Cruise 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.

Balmoral
Fred. Olsen ship Balmoral sailing at dawn

Balmoral

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.

Sumburgh Head Bird Cliffs & Lighthouse

Embark on a scenic drive across Shetland to Sumburgh Head, where a local expert offers a guided tour. Explore the RSPB Nature Reserve, observing nesting seabirds like guillemots and fulmars, and keep an eye out for passing cetaceans. Visit the Sumburgh Head Visitor Centre to delve into the area's history and natural heritage.

££££

Lerwick

Western Shetland - Meet the Locals

Delve into the significance of Shetland's fishing industry with insights from a local fisherman. Journey through Tingwall Valley, encountering Shetland ponies and learning from a breeder. Explore Girlsta and Weisdale before visiting the Shetland Jewellery Workshop to witness craftsmanship and perhaps acquire a unique piece.

££££

Lerwick

Crofting Shetland

Crofting Shetland

Enjoy working sheepdog demonstrations, a talk on their training, and see some iconic Shetland ponies and sheep with local crofter, David Murray.

££££

Lerwick

 Skara Brae & Skaill House

Skara Brae & Skaill House

This exploration of Skara Brae village will shed light on prehistoric life as your tour guide leads you through the remains of eight dwellings built during the Stone Age and the manor of Skaill House

££££

Kirkwall

Scapa Distillery Experience with Royal Oak Gardens Walk

Visit Scapa Distillery to learn about the distilling processes and the history of Scapa Flow. Then, visit The Noust to sample whiskies whilst soaking in the surrounding views of Scapa Flow, and conclude with a stroll along the sandy bay of Scapa and visit the Royal Oak Gardens.

££££

Kirkwall

Old Man of Storr rock formation on Isle of Skye, Scotland

Northern Scenic Drive

Journey to Kilt Rock, a 200ft-high cliff with a waterfall, before passing Staffin, en route to Kilmuir Settlement to explore the Skye Museum of Island Life, whilst listening to the myths and legends of Skye along the way.

££££

Portree Isle of Skye

The Croft - Island at the Edge

Visit a local croft where you can admire the sheep, listen to their breeding process and learn about the history of the croft. Try your hand at spinning wool wihlst learning about the wool process, before concluding with refreshmentst.

££££

Portree Isle of Skye

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.

ORCA
Ocean Wildlife

Orca

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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Tom Roswell
History

Tom Rowsell

Historian and media producer, Tom Rowsell will be speaking about the Viking settlers of the Orkney and Shetland Islands as well as the Stone Age Innovation in Orkney.

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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.

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Cabins, Prices & Offers

Cabin Options On Your Cruise

* Prices correct as of 06:00 16/06/2024, 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 06:00 16/06/2024, 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
Suite

Balcony Junior Suite (BJ)

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

Freedom Fare From £3,799 pp
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Suite

Superior Suite (SS)

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

Freedom Fare From £3,999 pp
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Suite

Marquee Suite (MS)

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

Freedom Fare From £4,499 pp
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Suite

Premier Suite (PS)

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

Freedom Fare From £4,799 pp
Please Call
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Suite

Owner's Suite (OW)

Exclusive Suite - please call for more details

Freedom Fare From £5,499 pp
Please Call
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What's Included

SO MUCH ALREADY 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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