Wintertime Fjords with Shetlands' Up Helly Aa

20th Jan 2021 9 nights Sails from Southampton Balmoral L2102
FROM ONLY £1,099 per person
Cruise Details Image Cruise Details Image
FROM ONLY £1,099 per person

Making the most of a rare wintertime exploration of Norway’s magical fjords, you’ll enjoy a very special seasonal snapshot of inspirational landscapes and enchanting destinations. Breathe in crisp, fresh air and savour spectacular scenery, from on board your ship and during time ashore, all before heading to Scotland in time for the Shetlands’ annual Up Helly Aa celebrations.

The beautiful Boknafjord will provide your first sight of the fjordland’s breathtaking winter scenes. [ReadMoreMob]En route to Stavanger, Balmoral will negotiate Boknafjord’s rugged islands and islets, which – if the weather is on your side – will glisten under a blanket of perfect, powder-white snow. Once ashore in Stavanger, you’re sure to feel the warmth of this culture-rich city through the winter chill, as you explore charming districts such as historic Gamla Stavanger. Heading deeper into the fjordland, a winter wonderland of awe-inspiring mountains and frosted waterfalls awaits within Sognefjord and Aurlandsfjord. Stopping at Flåm affords you an opportunity to get closer to some of the region’s greatest natural attractions, via a ride on the world-famous Flåmsbana Railway. Nearby, the 650-metre-high Stegastein Lookout offers unspoilt views of otherworldly landscapes too. [ReadMoreDesk]

Then there’s Bergen, where postcard-perfect photo opportunities are yours to take advantage of at the top of majestic Mount Fløyen. Reached via funicular railway, the peak of Fløyen is the perfect place from which to appreciate Bergen’s spellbinding winter scenery. With a full day in this Hanseatic city, there’s time to uncover diverse attractions, such as the UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf and the Troldhaugen Museum, too. Finally, after leaving Norway, you’ll sail for home via the Shetlands, where your call into Lerwick is perfectly timed for the Up Helly Aa Festival. You’ll catch the Viking parade in the evening and see hundreds of guizers, dressed in traditional Viking costume and carrying flaming torches, march the streets before partaking in the ceremonial burning of a replica Viking ship. An unforgettable experience and unique end to your winter cruise adventure.  

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.