DAY 1 - 18 Nov 2022
Time at Port: from 12 PM to 12 PM
The UK’s largest cruise port and where many will begin their cruise holiday, Southampton has no shortage of maritime and historical attractions. Discover local landmarks on a walking tour including 30 ancient monuments, learn about the tragic story of the Titanic and escape to the great outdoors at the New Forest National Park. With numerous options for seafood dining and even a free art gallery, Southampton is an undoubtedly great destination for a pre- or post cruise stay.
Things to do in Southampton:
Dedicated to the tragedy of the Titanic, SeaCity Museum excellently portrays the aftermath through interactive exhibits. Featuring a 1:25 scale model of the ship, visitors learn about life onboard as well as the disaster that deeply affected Southampton in 1912.
Solent Sky Museum
Home to over 20 aircraft that were integral to the war effort, Solent Sky Museum is dedicated to the history of the RAF. Southampton itself played a large role in producing Supermarine Spitfires, which you’ll learn all about here.
The New Forest
If you’re looking to escape the busy port city, the New Forest National Park is just a short distance away with native New Forest ponies and lush heathland. Visitors can also catch events, activities and workshops throughout the year.
Tudor House and Garden
As Southampton’s most important historic building, this restored home holds over 800 years of history after having numerous owners. Now a museum, it showcases many artefacts once belonging to past residents of Southampton, as well as a Tudor House Café.
Southampton City Art Gallery
Since opening in 1939, this free art gallery has showcased exhibitions of sculptures, photography and traditional paintings. Thanks to an ever-changing programme of activities, you’ll find something here that the whole family will enjoy.
DAY 5 - 22 Nov 2022
Considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe, Cádiz charms every visitor who sets foot there. It’s 3,000 years of history are just waiting to be discovered through its monuments, museums, and winding streets, with Cadiz Cathedral being a real highlight. Families will love Playa La Caleta which has all the amenities needed to spend a whole day on the sand and in the water, but don’t forget to check out which festivals and celebrations are going on during your visit.
Things to do in Cadiz:
Built between 1722 and 1838, the iconic yellow-domed Cadiz Cathedral is an impressive example of Baroque-neoclassical construction. When taking a look around inside, be sure to check out the wood-carved choir, and listen out for the sound effects in the crypt below.
Castle of Santa Catalina
This free-to-enter monument is a real hidden gem on La Caleta beach. The exterior of this 17th-century fortress is impressive itself, and visitors will find art exhibitions inside as well as craft workshops and concerts.
Filled with swaying palm trees, blooming flora and lush, green fauna, Genovés Park is a brilliant place to escape the faster pace of the city. Boasting plants from all over the world as well as waterfalls and wildlife, people of all ages will love this tranquil garden.
Playa la Caleta
It’s no wonder Playa La Caleta is Cadiz’ most popular beach. Visitors will find everything they need close to the golden sand, including restaurants, bars and flamenco clubs, as well as toilets and showers.
On a small islet at the end of La Caleta beach sits the Castle of San Sebastian. Construction began in 1706 to fortify the bays defence, and in 1985 the structure was declared a cultural landmark. Explore the grounds and discover the long, rich history of this well-preserved fortress.
Casablanca - Overnight onboard
DAY 7 - 8 - 24 Nov 2022
As the largest city in Morocco, Casablanca is the modern hub of the country where business and art comes to prosper. The magnitude of the city means that while it may not have the intimate feel of a small town, there’s plenty to be discovered by simply exploring. Visit the spectacular Hassan II Mosque, discover the history of Judaism in Morocco at the museum and take a long walk along the scenic waterfront boulevard.
Things to do in Casablanca - Overnight onboard:
Hassan II Mosque
With the ocean as a picturesque backdrop, the Hassan II Mosque is a truly breath-taking sight. Take a tour of the largest mosque in Africa (with enough capacity for 105,000 worshippers) and admire the intricacy of the interior it took 6,000 craftsmen to create.
La Corniche Beach
Stretching for several kilometres, La Corniche is the perfect place for a walk at sunrise or a gentle stroll after dinner. Here you’ll find a lighthouse at the end of the jetty, sweeping views of the seascape and numerous restaurants and entertainment.
Museum of Moroccan Judaism
Originating as an orphanage in 1948, The Museum of Moroccan Judaism is now dedicated to the 2000-year history of the Jewish religion in the Arab world. Visitors will find artefacts, clothing, photographs and a reconstructed 1930’s synagogue.
Considered to have the best views of the city, Sky 28 is a bar and restaurant situated on the 28th floor of the Kenzi Tower Hotel. Dine in luxury while you admire the panoramic view of Casablanca, and enjoy live music, entertainment and delicious cuisine.
United Nations Square
This huge square is bustling with life and you’ll find yourself frequently becoming part of the crowd that passes through. Here you’ll find musicians and street performers setting the tone, as well as numerous restaurants, cafés and shops in the surrounding area.
DAY 9 - 26 Nov 2022
Rebuilt in 1960 following an earthquake, Agadir has established itself as a thriving destination for sun, beaches, markets and delicious Moroccan cuisine. The beachfront promenade is where you’ll find a buzz of attractions as well as the numerous activities on the beach itself. Try your hand at jet skiing, take some photos with a camel or simply relax in the sun before dancing the night away at the many bars and clubs.
Things to do in Agadir:
With numerous waterfront cafés and the promenade just a short walk away, Agadir Beach is a tourist hotspot when in Morocco. For those looking to relax, grab a lounger and top up your tan, but for the more adventurous, try your hand at jet skiing, quad biking and even camel riding.
Agadir Bird Valley
Perfect for families and children, Agadir Birds Valley is home to a huge variety of birds including peacocks and ostriches, as well as goats and llamas. Wander around at your own leisure in the sun, admiring the animals and waterfalls, or let the kids enjoy the play area.
Agadir Crocodile Park
More than 300 crocodiles await you at Agadir Crocoparc! Follow the circuit around the park and discover more about the resident species, the Nile crocodile, as well as the botanical garden boasting more than 300 species of plants.
For some of the best views of Agadir city, venture up to the Kasbah on the hilltop. This imposing structure survived the 1960 earthquake and is well worth exploring to discover the history and stories surrounding the mountain.
Souk Al Ahad
The third biggest market in North Africa, Souk Al Ahad is where you’ll find fresh fruit and vegetables, fragrant herbs and spices, as well as traditionally-produced souvenirs. A guide can help you find your way through this vibrant market, which is well worth a visit for a taste of local life.
Museum of Amazigh Culture
Dedicated to the history and culture of the Berber people of the region, this museum features traditional Berber artefacts, predominantly jewellery, as well as pottery and crafts. Events and exhibitions are also held here.
DAY 11 - 28 Nov 2022
The largest and capital city of Portugal, and one of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon is an idyllic cruise holiday destination, offering attractions to suit all interests. From ancient forts to artistic neighbourhoods and the breath-taking Jerónimos Monastery, this port of call has plenty to explore. Families will love to discover the many species at the Oceanarium, while couples will love an escape to the charming town of Sintra to explore the castle.
Things to do in Lisbon:
One of the oldest and most vibrant districts of Lisbon, Alfama is the place to be for artisan eateries, quirky boutiques and Fado bars. It’s best explored on foot or by the tram to experience as many of the attractions and highlights as possible.
One of the most visited sites in Lisbon, the Jerónimos Monastery was completed in the seventeenth century. In 1983 UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site and it’s certainly a must visit to admire the beautiful architecture both inside and out.
Here visitors will discover over 450 different species of marine life, including sharks, rays, penguins and otters. Cruisers of all ages will love following the route around the central aquarium to learn about the major ecosystems of the ocean.
Torre de Belem
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Torre de Belém was built to protect Lisbon from attackers from the sea. Despite its role, the fort was decorated with lavish carvings and details, which are best viewed from the banks of the Rio Tejo.
Tram 28 is the classic Lisbon mode of transportation – rattling around the narrow streets in a bright yellow tram that dates back to the 1930’s. Hop on and take one of the best tours of Lisbon, passing highlights and attractions along the way.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural landscape, Sintra is a romantic destination to escape to for the day. Featuring enchanting palaces and rolling hills, this town is easily accessible from Lisbon via a regular train service.
St George's Castle
Established in 200 BC, Castelo de Sao Jorge is one of the biggest highlights of Lisbon. Get to know the city’s unique and fascinating history, explore the imposing walls, wander the shady gardens and admire the vast views from the Observation Terrace.
DAY 15 - 02 Dec 2022
As one of the oldest seaside cities in the British Isles, Portsmouth plays host to some of the best maritime attractions you'll ever experience. It is also home to the naval base, making it a must-visit for military history enthusiasts who will love the naval museum ships and fortresses, as well as a stroll around the dockyard. You can also witness the Mary Rose at her museum, as well as the HMS Victory, and for the best views of Portsmouth, visit the Spinnaker Tower.
Customer reviews for Balmoral
Based on 104 reviews
Value for money
We wanted to do the Christmas Markets and found a cruise on the Balmoral. Having never cruised with Fred before we didn’t really know what to expect. Couldn’t fault it - from embarkation to disembarkation, there were no issues at all. The staff were brilliant and just can’t do enough for you. We had a superior suite which was spacious and very comfortable. Food was top notch and evening entertainment very good. Great stops and always not too far to go to get into the towns and the markets. We enjoyed it s much we have booked to do it all again in 2020.
1 Jan 2020
This was our first cruise with Fred Olsen and having just returned from a 10 day Mediterranean cruise with Azamara, we weren't sure what to expect. However, we were not disappointed! Our cabin was surprisingly large and a very substantial bathroom! We were very fortunate in that we had amazing weather sailing from Scotland to Orkney and Shetland and even on our day at sea, we were unaware we were sailing. There were many features on the ship itself which were pleasing - my husband loved the carpets and liked the general decor on the ship. The food was good and the service efficient. For us, it was a huge bonus sailing from Rosyth - only a 40 minute drive from home!
24 Sep 2019
Well appointed ship with varied passenger groups leaning towards older. The food was excellent and well presented and there was little or no queueing for anything. Good entertainment and superb staff!! Fair prices in all outlets however shore excursions were very expensive.
31 Aug 2019
This was my first ever cruise and I chose Fred Olsen for the destination and departure port. We had a very smooth check-in, embarkation and luggage delivery - you couldn't fault it. The suite was spotlessly clean and fresh, and was a very comfortable place to spend time. When underway you really had to strain your ears to hear any engine or internal noise at all. There were plenty of different public areas, but they were a little bland in appearance and all looked alike. The service, whilst overall very good, was lumpy. Breakfast and dinner were well executed but lunchtime had no finesse or style to it whatsoever. On several occasions, with just two of us dining, one person's plate was removed as soon as they finished and the next course served,straight way, which left us having different elements of the meal at the same time. The restaurant wasn't busy and there was no reason not to pace the service so that each diner was enjoying the same course at the same time. The Marquis Bar, on the top deck, had very poor service, and more often than not you had to go to the bar and order yourself. The Lido Bar at the back of the ship was, in contrast, somewhere where you wanted for nothing. What really let the ship down was the quality of the daytime and evening entertainment. It was beyond words. Daytime entertainment consisted of nothing more than 'Crafts with Marjorie' (that's a direct quote), Bingo, Carpet Bowling, or other mind-numbing offerings. The evening shows, with the exception of the ship's dance and singing troupe were equally dire, with several 'comedians' working hard to raise a laugh. The lesson to learn from that was to bring your own entertainment, for there was nothing to be found onboard. That said, we enjoyed it enough to decide to go again, as the overall journey, service levels, cabin environment etc were really enjoyable.
All offers and prices are subject to change and availability at time of enquiry. Prices are based on two passengers sharing unless otherwise stated and are subject to the Tour Operator's terms and conditions. Cabin and Flight supplements may apply. Other supplements may apply in addition to the price shown above. Flight details, timings and routing may be subject to alteration. Other tour operator charges may also apply. Any Onboard Spending money or drinks package value shown will be per cabin, again based on two sharing.
Note: On 13 January 2018, new European legislation is being adopted in the UK which as result will mean that we may change our required method of payment at our discretion, irrespective of how any deposit or prior payment was made.