Wine Regions of Portugal, Spain & France

4th Sep 2021 16 nights Sails from Newcastle Balmoral L2128
Jardim Tropical de Monte Gardens in Madeira Jardim Tropical de Monte Gardens in Madeira

Visiting exquisite regions and destinations carefully selected for their links to world-renowned wines, this full-flavoured voyage is the perfect excuse to indulge in an authentic taste of Portugal and France, while revelling in the beauty, culture and history of a gorgeous island and attraction-packed cities.

With Balmoral spending a night docked in Madeira, you’ve an unmissable opportunity to experience the very best of the 'garden island'. You can explore the lush-green landscapes via the scenic levada walking trails, and take in the ocean views from the Cabo Girao cliffs, or discover the delights of Funchal. Ride the cable car in the capital, and watch thrill-seekers ride toboggans down the steep hills; visit the botanical gardens; or simply relax with a glass of sweet Maderian wine at a local bar. On the mainland, some of Portugal’s finest flavours are yours to sample in Oporto; this UNESCO-listed city is home to wine cellars, bars and restaurants famed for producing, storing and serving the world’s finest port wines.

Your time in France begins with over 50 nautical miles of relaxing scenic cruising along the Gironde and Garonne rivers, as your smaller ship takes you straight into beautiful Bordeaux. A wine-lovers paradise, the ‘Pearl of Aquitaine’ is renowned for its Medoc, Merlot and Saint Emilion wines; and you’ve ample time to enjoy a glass or two at your pick of the city’s stylish bars, or even visit one of the family-run countryside vineyards nearby to sample them at source. As Balmoral docks alongside the promenade in Bordeaux, close to the city’s UNESCO-listed heart, it’s easy to take in historical, architectural and cultural highlights such as the gothic Cathédrale Saint-André, imposing Place de la Bourse and Calihau Gate too. Finally, a visit to Honfleur not only allows for rewarding exploration of the charming Vieux Bassin, to immerse yourself in rich maritime history, but also time to enjoy Normandy’s delicious Calvados and Pommeau.

Your Itinerary

  • Indulge yourself in the flavours of Portugal and France
  • Sample the locals tipples of Madeira, Porto & Bordeaux
  • See the tropical gardens and landscapes of Madeira too
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Bringing the world closer

Our size advantage means we can take you to places that some of the larger cruise vessels simply can’t. We dock close to the heart of some of the world’s most beautiful cities and can take you on scenic cruising adventures showcasing inspirational landscapes. Our itineraries are expertly crafted to make the most of this advantage.

Smaller but spacious

Aboard our smaller, friendlier ships you'll find there's plenty of room to stretch out by the pool, enjoy a drink and great conversation with like-minded guests, and make the most of your time away. Sailing with hundreds, not thousands, of others allows you to get ashore faster too, and make the most of each destination.

Service with a smile
Waitress with drinks and guest on deck, Boudicca

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 fact, 97% of guests rated Fred. Olsen’s friendly, attentive staff ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’.

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.