France, Spain & Portugal

Balmoral

France, Spain & Portugal Overview

Departs: 28 August 2019

11 Nights Full Board

Sailing from Newcastle

What's Included

Price Includes:

  • All meals
  • A varied and professional entertainment programme
  • Cruise 
  • Baggage Allowance
  • Exclusive Offer

Ports of call

Newcastle • La Coruña, Spain • Vigo, Spain • Lisbon, Portugal • Leixões (for Oporto), Portugal • Lorient, France • Newcastle

Exclusive Offer - All Tips Included PLUS Choose One Offer from:

 

• Up to £200 David Urquhart Sky Travel Voucher

• Up to £200 Free Excursion Voucher

• Free Afternoon Tea On-Board

• Free All Inclusive Upgrade

 

 

 

 

Day 1

Depart Newcastle (PM)

 

 

Days 2 - 3

At Sea

 

 

Day 4

La Coruña, Spain

 

The city of La Coruña is the capital of the province and a busy seaport situated in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. Most famous for its Roman lighthouse, the diverse architectural styles of La Coruña make the city an absolute delight for sightseeing. 

La Coruña boasts an impressive seafront promenade, beautiful beaches and a host of attractions such as the Domus Museum, the Casa del Hombre and Torre De Hercules – said to be the only Roman lighthouse in existence – which offers sweeping coastal views from the top of its 60 metre high tower. The Paseo Marítimo, a lovely 13km walkway and bike path, runs from the port, around the peninsula, and along the ocean beaches.

The compact Ciudad Vieja – La Coruña’s old quarter – is a must-visit area. Often referred to as “the city” by the locals, the medieval centre contains remains of the centuries-old Roman wall that once protected it. The arcaded Plaza de María Pita, surrounded by narrow pedestrianized lanes, is a popular spot, and features the Estatua de María Pita, a statue of a 16th century woman who warned the town of an invasion by Sir Francis Drake. The medieval Church of Santiago, the Museum of Sacred Art and the Military Museum are all fine places of interest.   

Beyond the historic city is a proud, modern metropolis, which boasts a superb food scene and a buzzing nightlife. The world’s best picnic food, empanadas, and the locally produced beer, Estrella, both demand trying.  

 

Day 5

Vigo, Spain

 

Situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and with one of the world’s finest natural ports, the Galician gem of Vigo has been an important part of Spain’s maritime industry for centuries. Boasting a wonderful historic quarter, modern marina and pretty centre, this city is alive with attractions.

The historic old quarter – like many of Vigo’s other attractions – is a great example of the influence the sea has had on the city. Located around the port, the Cidade Vella has narrow streets lined with old fishing houses and large markets selling locally caught seafood. The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria is a neoclassical cathedral built on the site of a grand gothic church that was burnt down by Francis Drake.

In the newer part of town, La Colegiata de la Santa Maria la Mayor is a fine 16th century church with an authentic Renaissance façade. The Pazo de Castrelos, dating from the 17th century, is home to the Quiñones de León Municipal Museum and contains a vast collection of paintings and artefacts that demand discovery. Elsewhere, the Castro de Vigo archaeological site has reconstructed ancient dwellings.

Vigo is a firm favourite with many visitors. Its mild climate, renowned estuary and golden beaches of the Rías Baixas, fine mariscada (seafood platter) cuisine and expansive culture all add up to something very special.

Day 6

Lisbon, Portugal

 

Stretched across its seven trademark hills overlooking the River Tagus estuary, Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city of Lisbon, is a cinematic collection of cobbled alleyways, pastel-coloured buildings, ancient ruins and white-domed cathedrals. Decimated by an earthquake in 1755, modern Lisbon has been shaped by that eventful day. The Pombaline architecture that now defines the city represents some of the first seismically-protected buildings in Europe.

The city’s bridges include the Ponte 25 de Abril – similar to the Golden Gate in San Francisco – and the Ponte Vasco da Gama, which includes over 11km of viaducts. Lisbon’s many fascinating museums, include the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Coach Museum and the Carmo Archaeological Museum.

Lisbon is also a shopper’s paradise, with the Centro Commercial Colombo – the biggest shopping mall on the Iberian peninsula – and the elegant Avenidas Novas, full of upmarket shops. Alternatively, there bargains to be had in the local flea market, Campo de Santa Clara. Don't miss the chance to sample iconic egg tarts at Pasteis de Belém too.

Day 7

Leixões (for Oporto), Portugal

 

A short journey from Leixões takes you into the heart of Oporto, with its fortress-like Cathedral and the Baroque Church of Clérigos. Head to the historic Ribeira District, where the narrow, cobbled lanes wind their way down to the Douro River. Don’t forget to visit one of the many wine cellars for a taste of the tipple named after the city, Port. On the ground floor of the Museu Romantico is the Port Wine Institute, where port is served with great ceremony. 

Oporto sits deep in the gorge of the River Douro and on the riverside – dominated by the two-level Luis I bridge – it’s possible to look up at the narrow old town streets climbing out of the valley. Pastel-fronted houses with red-tiled roofs line the streets, mixed with neo-classical buildings and wonderful baroque churches. Dominating the centre of the city is the fortress-like Cathedral, which is worth visiting for the views alone.

Day 8

At Sea

Day 9

Lorient, France

 

The Brittany town of Lorient is a fusion of heritage and landscapes. Its houses, beaches and quays point to the conquest of India and the East Indies, deep-sea fishing, the Second World War and the restored pride of the Celtic nations

A former German U-Boat base, Lorient played a huge role in the Second World War and was a primary target for Allied bombing raids. Today’s rebuilt city is awash with post 1950's architecture and a number of museums and galleries to explore.

Close to Lorient harbour, the Cité de la Voile (City of Sailing), is a modern interactive exhibition with giant audio-visual presentations that highlight the city’s importance in shipbuilding, fishing and, now, ocean racing. With its proud Celtic connections, a glorious mix of kilts, Breton bagpipes, Irish fiddles and Galician pipes, come together at the annual Festival Interceltique.

Away from Lorient, a trip across the water to Port Louis offers up the National Maritime Museum and French East Indies Company Museum. Housed in 16th century military buildings, these museums are rare examples of Lorient’s original architecture and are must-visit sites.

Days 10 - 11

At Sea

 

 

Day 12

Arrive Newcastle (AM)

 

Welcome aboard Fred. Olsen Balmoral

At a glance....

  • 3 Restaurants
  • 2 Cafés
  • 2 lounges
  • 3 Bars
  • Fitness Centre
  • 2 swimming pools
  • 2 Jacuzzis

Balmoral is Fred. Olsen's largest and newest cruise ship, named after the Scottish home of the Royal Family. Still smaller than most cruise ships today, there are 710 cabins and suites and generous public space for the 1,300 guests on board.

Dining on Balmoral

  • Ballindalloch Restaurant: The stylish Ballindalloch restaurant is the main restaurant on board your cruise ship Balmoral, where your taste buds will be tempted by the delicious dishes on offer. Including the lavish affair that is the Gala Dinner, the Ballindalloch Restaurant represents quality dining on board Fred. Olsen cruises.
  • Spey Restaurant: The Spey Restaurant, and her sister restaurant the Avon, offers the quality dining you would expect on board your cruise holiday on Balmoral. Both restaurants provide the same a la carte menu as the main Ballindalloch restaurant on deck 6, but their intimate design and panoramic views combine to give a unique dining atmosphere on your cruise ship.
  • Avon Restaurant: This tastefully designed restaurant provides a beautiful setting to enjoy a delicious meal on board your cruise ship. Situated on Deck 10, the Avon Restaurant – and her sister restaurant the Spey - offers the fine dining you would expect on a cruise on board Balmoral.
  • Palms Cafe: The Palms Cafe on board Balmoral is slightly less formal and ideal for if you prefer not to stick to set dining times. The Palms Cafe offers the perfect alternative for those times when you prefer not to stick to the set dinner times on board your cruise holiday. Of course you will still be offered a fine choice of dishes, prepared to the same high standard you expect with Fred. Olsen Cruises, in a relaxed buffet style of service.
  • Marquee Bar: Enjoy a more casual lunch al-fresco on board your cruise ship Balmoral, at the Marquee Bar (weather permitting).

Entertainment on Balmoral

  • Neptune Lounge: Take your seat in the Neptune Lounge on board your cruise ship as the sun goes down and experience the music, dancing, lights and costumes. Shows, reviews and evenings of cabaret are guaranteed to have you shouting “encore”. Music and entertainment is on offer throughout Balmoral during the evening on board your cruise holiday, but the Neptune Lounge has ample room for passengers whichever dinner sitting you are on, so you can find a seat to enjoy the glitz and glamour of the evening shows.
  • Gaming Tables: See if lady luck is smiling on you when on board your cruise holiday. Your cruise ship Balmoral includes a gaming area where you may try your hand on the Black Jack table or Roulette wheel. Try and beat our experienced croupiers, and there is even the opportunity to learn how to play better, with daytime sessions teaching you how to win big.
  • Lido Bar: The Lido Bar is the perfect place to unwind after a hard days sightseeing or to simply relax during your cruise holiday. The Lido Bar looks out over the aft pool and the stern of your cruise ship and is the ideal spot to appreciate the talents of our on board pianist or musical duo. Our friendly and attentive bar staff are always on hand to serve you your favourite drink - often remembering what that may be.
  • Marquee Bar: The Marquee Bar on board your cruise ship offers plenty of refreshment options, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Situated on Deck 11 of your cruise ship, the Marquee Bar is the perfect way to settle down with a drink, or just to enjoy some cool shade for a while, on a hot, sunny day. The floor-to-ceiling windows let the light flood in, letting you take in the panoramic views, which are a key feature of so many Fred. Olsen cruise holidays.
  • Morning Light Pub: Like your own local, the pub on board your cruise ship is the ideal place for socialising with friends old and new. The Morning Light Pub on board your cruise ship, Balmoral, is decorated in a traditional style, depicting the century and a half of Fred. Olsen history. Daytime or evening you can be entertained by occasional live music or stand-up comedians.
  • Observatory Lounge: The Observatory Lounge allows you panoramic views of your cruise holiday. The large picture windows in the Observatory Lounge offer fantastic views which are enhanced with plenty of binoculars spaced around the lounge. A grand piano provides the perfect background music as you enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail on your cruise holiday, or you can dance into the small hours upon the glass dance-floor.

Relax and Fitness on Balmoral

  • Atlantis Spa & Salon: Disappear into the Atlantis Spa and find true relaxation. Hydrating, purifying, renewing and nourishing facials. Full body or hot stone massages, waxing and body shaping treatments are just some of the ways you can embrace the pleasures and indulgence of your cruise holiday! Or enjoy all the glamour of formal nights with a new salon style, holiday highlights or a nourishing conditioning treatment. Just sit back, and enjoy the pampering. The Atlantis Spa is open from 8am till 8pm whilst at sea and in port. On occasional evenings the spa will remain open until 10pm. These services tend to be in high demand, so please do make sure you book your treatment early. Remember when you’re on board to check your cruise ship’s Daily Times – there may be a special offer to take advantage of.
  • Fitness Centre: After all that relaxing, get your blood pumping in the Fitness Centre. There are friendly fitness instructors available to give you help and guidance. Burn off the calories and stay in shape with treadmills, rowing machines, exercise bikes and free weights -  it’ll give you an excuse for extra dessert at dinner! Situated at the front of the ship on Deck 10, it offers perfect views as you exercise at your own pace. Take a yoga, aerobics, stretch and tone or pilates class while you cruise. Or make the most of the beautiful views and join the ‘walk a mile’, with a revitalising stroll, or more energetic walk round your cruise ship deck in the mornings
  • Swimming pool & Jacuzzis: Enjoy a dip in one of the two pools situated on Balmoral’s Lounge and Marquee decks. Both the swimming pools on board your cruise ship are heated to a comfortable temperature. The pool on the Lounge deck of Balmoral is located at the aft of the ship, adjacent to Palms café. The aft pool also incorporates a pair of whirlpool jacuzzi’s meaning that this area is perfect to relax your days away. Situated on the Marquee deck this beautifully tiled pool is the perfect area to relax in the sun on your cruise holiday. Burn off some of the five-course meals with a few lengths of the pool, or relax on one of the comfortable sun loungers and bathe in the sun instead. There are also two whirlpools adjacent to the pool, the ultimate indulgence.
  • Sun Deck and golfing: The large deck area on board Balmoral is the ideal sun trap where you can relax on one of the many sun loungers. The Marquee Pool Bar staff are always on hand with a long cool drink, so sip a cocktail and immerse yourself in a good book. For those keen golfers, take in sweeping sea views as you hone your perfect swing. Take some time to yourself in our practice golf nets. You could come home with a new technique up your sleeve!
  • Library: Balmoral’s well stocked library is a popular area of the ship. With an array of novels, historical, geographical, autobiographical and many other books, the library on board your cruise ship Balmoral is a true haven of peace and tranquillity. The majority of our books are in English; however we do offer a few titles in French, German and Dutch.
  • Card room: Find card tables and competition in our card room. Bridge is always a popular pursuit on board, so you’re sure to find players for a hand or two and more – whether casual or competitive is up to you! There’s always time to settle into a classic card or board game, whilst on board your cruise ship. Perfect for when you feel like a break from the elements.
  • Arts and crafts room: The Arts & Crafts Room on board your cruise ship Balmoral is situated on deck 3 and is the perfect space to explore your ideas and designs with our arts and crafts lecturers and on our Vistas themed cruises. So, for the creative amongst you, there will be plenty to keep you entertained throughout your cruise holiday, and perhaps leave you with your own self-crafted souvenir to take home.
  • Art gallery: You’ll be inspired and intrigued by some of the works on show. Paintings from the Olsen family’s private art collection hang on the walls around your cruise ship. A number of pieces form a mini-gallery on the way into the Ballindalloch Restaurant.
  • Braemar Lounge: The light and airy Braemar Lounge is perfect for watching the world go by, or for meeting up with new found friends. Along one side, large windows offer you uninterrupted views and the lounge is graced with comfortable sofas and armchairs in a tasteful and cheerful yellow and red colour scheme.  Intimate live music often adds to the relaxed atmosphere on board your cruise holiday.
  • Promenade: One of the pleasures on board a Fred. Olsen cruise ship is the extensive deck space. On board your cruise ship Balmoral, the Promenade runs all the way round the Lounge Deck where you can take a traditional stroll in the fresh air before dinner, or for the more energetic, perhaps take a jog in the morning. Or simply join friends and fellow passengers for an invigorating game of shuffleboard or deck quoits.
  • Stern: The stern of Balmoral is the perfect place to relax in the sunshine on board your cruise holiday. Why not enjoy breakfast, lunch or a cocktail or two out on deck?  With the Avon and Spey restaurants close by, you don't have far to go to enjoy the culinary delights on board your cruise ship Balmoral. During days at sea, the stern offers the perfect area to relax, take in a book, or just soak up the sun.

Other Facilities

  • Internet Centre: The internet has become part of daily life for many and especially during one of our longer cruise holidays the internet is vital to keep in touch with friends and family, or simply to make everyone back home envious with all your stories from your trip. In our well-equipped internet room it is possible to stay in touch with those back home and keep up to date with news and sporting events.
  • Launderette: One of the treats of being on board your cruise ship is to leave behind the routine chores. And of course, there is a comprehensive on board laundry service which your cabin staff will be pleased to arrange for you. Full details and prices for this service can be found in your Welcome Pack waiting in your cabin. However, occasionally there may be items you wish to deal with yourself, and the self-service launderette is very well equipped with washing machines, tumble dryers and ironing facilities. A particularly useful facility for those guests enjoying a longer cruise holiday.
  • Medical Centre: Rest assured that on each of Fred. Olsen cruise ships, have a doctor and/or nurse on call. The Medical Centre offers primary care, whenever you might need it.
  • Reception: Once on board Balmoral, you will find that the Reception Desk is at the heart of your cruise ship. 24 hours a day, our Reception staff on board your cruise ship, are on hand to advise and answer your queries. With their breadth of knowledge, they are sure to be able to help make your cruise holiday as pleasurable as possible.

Vital Statistics

Cabins 710
Passengers 1350 Standard Occupancy
Crew 510
Refitted 2008
Fully Stabilised Yes
Tonnage 43,537 grt
Length 218.18 m
Beam (width) 28.2 m
Speed 18.5 knots