Fred Olsen Balmoral Amsterdam & Antwerp Mini Cruise – 8th December 2018
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
The itinerary for this mini cruise is:
|1||Saturday 8th December 2018||Southampton||Late afternoon|
|2||Sunday 9th December 2018||Amsterdam||Arrive late afternoon|
|3||Monday 10th December 2018||Amsterdam||Depart late afternoon|
|4||Tuesday 11th December 2018||Antwerp||Arrive early afternoon|
|5||Wednesday 12th December 2018||Antwerp||Depart early afternoon|
|6||Thursday 13th December 2018||Southampton||Early 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
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.
On Monday 5th March 2018, I found a starting price from £499 per person based on two sharing the cheapest cabin (usually this is an inside cabin).
What's that per night?
Want to compare this short break to a hotel stay? A starting price of 'from £499 per person' equates to 'from £99.80 per person per night'.
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 7 months.
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.
Not quite right? Here are some other suggestions that may suit better.
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