Balmoral in Antwerp

Fred Olsen Balmoral Amsterdam & Antwerp Mini Cruise – 8th December 2018 Festive

Christmas is just around the corner, so now is the time to visit Europe.

Head on this December mini cruise with Fred Olsen and spend the night in both Amsterdam and Antwerp, soaking up the real European festive atmosphere.

About this cruise

This isn't a sun lounger cruise, well not in your bikini at least. It is mid-December after all. However, this itinerary reflects that, with no sea days and not one, but TWO overnight stops.

Let's get the party started on Saturday 8th December 2018 in Southampton, where you'll be introduced to Balmoral. She's an elegant ship that's large enough to offer variety but small enough so as not to overwhelm. If you've not tried small-ship cruising before, this is a very good introduction.

Get on board and get acquainted. You'll find plenty to keep you busy, from bars and lounges to a theatre and card rooms. There's a spa and a couple of outdoor pools, although it's the steaming hot tubs that you should be looking out for in mid-December.

You'll sail overnight and reach Amsterdam late in the afternoon on Sunday. So arguably, the morning is like a mini sea day, where you can do as you please. Have a lie-in, enjoy a lazy breakfast, sit in the lounge and watch the waves go by, take part in the onboard fun and games, or browse the boutiques.

The ship will remain in port overnight so you'll have the chance to tour Amsterdam in twilight as well as the following morning. Take an evening canal cruise or join an expert guide for a tour of Amsterdam's famous Red Light District. In the morning, head to one of Amsterdam's many art galleries and museums, hit the shops, or take a hop-on hop-off tour of the city.

On Monday afternoon you'll head back out to sea, bound for Antwerp in Belgium. You'll arrive early in the afternoon on Tuesday and will once again have the evening and following morning to explore Antwerp. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts which house the works of Rubens ad other Flemish artists. Alternatively, explore the region's diamond trade or satisfy your cravings with an in-depth look at their chocolate trade.

Early on Wednesday afternoon, the ship will make its way back along the Western Scheldt River (that's right - you get a mix of ocean cruising and river cruising on this itinerary) and back to Blighty, docking in Southampton early on Thursday morning.

It's a cheeky mid-December getaway that's easily crammed in before Santa arrives.

Tried and tested

I've sailed on Balmoral to Antwerp and Amsterdam. Read about my experience, my cabin, and the food.

See the latest prices°

The Route

The itinerary for this mini cruise is:

1Saturday 8th December 2018SouthamptonLate afternoon
2Sunday 9th December 2018AmsterdamArrive late afternoon
3Monday 10th December 2018AmsterdamDepart late afternoon
4Tuesday 11th December 2018AntwerpArrive early afternoon
5Wednesday 12th December 2018AntwerpDepart early afternoon
6Thursday 13th December 2018SouthamptonEarly morning

Why choose this taster cruise?

  • 5 nights on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' largest small ship, Balmoral
  • Voyage L1837 departs on Saturday 8th December 2018
  • Sail round-trip from Southampton
  • Overnight in both Amsterdam and Antwerp

See the latest prices°

So you know, the map above shows point-to-point lines which may cross land. Don't worry, your cruise ship will not sprout legs and run across dry land. Instead it's water all the way! Mapping is approximate, and the scheduled times are estimates. Your trip is subject to change as, occasionally, operators have to alter itineraries due to bad weather or unforeseen events.

The Price


On Thursday 18th October 2018, I found a starting price from £749 per person based on two sharing the cheapest cabin (usually this is an inside cabin). 1 day prior it started from £549 per person, a hike of £200 per person.


What's that per night?

Want to compare this short break to a hotel stay? A starting price of 'from £749 per person' equates to 'from £149.80 per person per night'.

Here's a trend line showing the movement of the lead-in price for this cruise. I aim to check prices daily and this graph shows only those readings. I love geeky stuff like this and thought it might be handy when planning when to book your next cruise.

In my last 16 checks, the cheapest I have seen this cruise start at is from £339 per person, and the highest I've seen it go is from £749 per person.


Are there any extras?

This price normally includes some meals but excludes drinks, gratuities, optional shore excursions, and any applicable flights and transfers (if needed and if excluded). If you want a cabin or suite with a view, these come at a premium (if available).

Cruise prices are based on supply and demand so the more spare cabins there are closer to the sail date, the cheaper the prices often become. After all, no cruise line likes sailing with empty cabins and this cruise sails in 1 month.

I regularly check for price changes by hand, but as they can occur rapidly, please use the link below to get the latest prices.

Remember, prices were correct when I last checked, but may have since changed. Prices are usually based on two adults sharing the cheapest available cabin.

See the latest prices°

More choices

Not quite right? Here are some other suggestions that may suit better.

See full mini cruise calendar

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