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Tulips & Chocolates

20th Apr 2018 5 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L1807
FROM ONLY £529 per person
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £529 per person
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Sail to Belgium and the Netherlands in the spring on an indulgent and highly rewarding short escape and make the most of extended stays in charming Antwerp and attraction-packed Amsterdam to uncover a host of world-famous highlights.

After sailing overnight from Southampton to the Netherlands you’ll enjoy a wonderful early-morning glide through the complex locks and waterways of the Nordzeekanaal before Balmoral stops in Amsterdam, the culture-rich Dutch capital. There’s a host of iconic attractions to discover here, from the grand structures of the historic, UNESCO-listed Canal Ring and the unique sights of the ‘Red Light’ district to the fascinating Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum, and a full day stay will offer you the chance to tick many of the highlights off of your ‘must-visit’ list. Not to be missed is the gorgeous Keukenhof Gardens, especially at this time of the year. Amsterdam’s famous tulips burst into their fragrant full bloom in the spring and Keukenhof is one of the best places in the city to see various species in their colourful seasonal splendour. [ReadMore]

In ​Belgium, a relaxing cruising along the winding Western Scheldt River will lead you into the heart of Antwerp. An overnight stay in Belgium’s 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 to sample authentic Belgian chocolate. Antwerp is also your gateway to enchanting Ghent, where on a tour you could marvel at St Bavo’s Cathedral and learn more about Belgian chocolates from one of the city’s artisan chocolatiers.

Balmoral is the largest of Fred. Olsen's smaller, friendly ocean-going cruise ships – with capacity for up to 1350 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.

Rest assured, all of the following comes as standard on every Fred. Olsen cruise:

  • Comfortable rooms and suites with TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and individually controlled air conditioning
  • Tempting cuisine every day throughout your cruise - with five-course à la carte dinners, casual breakfast and lunch buffets and late-night snacks
  • Unlimited, self-service tea and coffee at selected venues, afternoon tea* with sandwiches and cakes, and in-room sandwiches and snacks
  • All evening entertainment, including cabaret shows, dancing and live music
  • Captain's Drinks Party and Gala Buffet (on cruises of 5 nights or more)
  • On board leisure facilities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and gym
  • A wide choice of on board activities and lectures throughout the day
  • All UK port taxes (where collectable in advance)
  • Luggage porterage between your room and the drop-off/pick-up point
  • Flights, as confirmed as part of a fly-cruise holiday

​Cruise descriptions include optional, chargeable experiences that may be enjoyed independently and/or with optional Fred. Olsen Shore Tours. *Premium Traditional Afternoon Tea not included.

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.