Sail on Fred Olsen’s Balmoral on a five-night cruise to Belgium and The Netherlands in mid-April 2018.

This is an interesting itinerary as, while it only offers two ports of call, it combines other great features of cruise holidays – a relaxing day at sea and an overnight port call.

Spending the night in Antwerp affords you time to explore this city in more depth (or stock up on more chocolate), and a day in Amsterdam means you can tick off the tourist attractions there too.

The five-night mini cruise departs on Friday 20th April 2018, returning back to Southampton early on Wednesday 25th April. If you are looking for an excuse for a long weekend break, this could well be it.

You will board Balmoral in Southampton and have an afternoon and evening to explore your new home away from home. The ship may well be the largest in the Fred Olsen fleet, but it exudes a warmth and friendliness in a way that only smaller ships can.

The following afternoon will see Balmoral arrive in Antwerp. Head out on deck to watch the manoeuvre in the River Scheldt to berth alongside the pier. From here, take an optional sightseeing excursion or head out on your own. It is a relatively short walk into the city centre. The ship remains in port overnight, so you might want to opt for a long dinner at one of the city’s top restaurants, or you might choose to have an after-dinner stroll instead.

Balmoral will depart Antwerp the following afternoon and sail overnight to Amsterdam, arriving early in the morning. Here you will have a full day to explore, again on an optional organised shore excursion or on your own. Public transport is easy to use in The Netherlands, and the Dutch favour bicycles over other forms of transport. Whether you hop on a tram or jump on a bike, there is plenty to keep you busy in Amsterdam.

So after all that excitement, so much deserved relaxation ensues. A lazy day at sea concludes your time aboard, and on this final day, it is up to you what you get up to. Hit the spa, take a dip in the pool, join in the quizzes, enjoy afternoon tea, or grab a deck chair and watch the world pass on by.

The following morning sees Balmoral dock back in Southampton where you will disembark.

Balmoral is a lovely ship. I spent a week on her in an ocean view cabin on a cruise that visited both Antwerp and Amsterdam, and I loved the atmosphere onboard. The food is great, too!


  • Enjoy a long weekend break, sailing on a Friday and returning on Wednesday morning.
  • Enjoy an extended overnight stay in Antwerp and a day in Amsterdam.

The Route

The map above shows point-to-point lines which may cross land. Do not worry, your cruise ship will stay on water all the way! Mapping is approximate and the markers are based on city locations and not necessarily the ports. The itinerary for this mini cruise is:

1Friday 20th April 2018SouthamptonLate afternoon
2Saturday 21st April 2018AntwerpEarly afternoon and overnight
3Sunday 22nd April 2018AntwerpUntil early afternoon
4Monday 23rd April 2018AmsterdamEarly morning to late night
5Tuesday 24th April 2018Day at seaAll day
6Wednesday 25th April 2018SouthamptonEarly morning

Times are estimates, and itineraries are subject to change. Occasionally, cruise lines alter itineraries based on the weather or prevailing events at the time of the cruise.

The Price

When I last checked, prices for this cruise started from £499 per person, based on two sharing an inside cabin. This price excludes gratuities, shore excursions, and any applicable flights and transfers (if needed). As prices change far too quickly for me to keep up-to-date by hand, please use the link below to get the latest prices.

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Last updated on 1st June 2017 by David Fiske

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