Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Balmoral, Cruising European Rivers & Canals ex Newcastle Return
Ship: Balmoral
Selected Sailing Date: 07 Aug 2019
Available Sailing Dates


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Prices displayed are retail per person, twin share, to the Australian Travel Trade. Consumers please contact your local cruise agent to request this Cruise Abroad package. At time of booking please check current cruise fare and any inclusions. Prices are indicative only, subject to currency fluctuations and may change at any time without notice.

Cruise Itinerary
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.
Cruise Description

9 Night Cruise sailing from Newcastle roundtrip aboard Balmoral.

Featuring four fascinating destinations in three different countries, this nine-night European city discovery offers a wealth of rewards. Balmoral will bring you closer to world-famous museums, iconic monuments to enchanting historic districts and stunning architectural wonders, diverting inland via picturesque waterways to dock within easy reach of the centre of each city on your itinerary.

After a short sail from Newcastle to the Netherlands, your smaller-sized ship will negotiate the complex locks and narrow passageways of the Nordzeekanaal and cruise all the way to Amsterdam, the delightful Dutch capital. Docking overnight here grants you time to delve deep into this diverse city; perhaps by day you’ll choose to visit the harrowing Anne Frank House, admire famous exhibits at Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, and take in the sights of the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring by bicycle. As night falls, the chance to take an evening boat tour along Amsterdam’s classic canals is not-to-be-missed. Then, a weekend in Belgium begins with a glide along the Western Scheldt River en route to Antwerp, where Balmoral will once again dock overnight close to highlights in the heart of the city. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts – housing works of ‘Flemish Masters’ – and the legendary diamond district are highly recommended, while no time in Antwerp is complete without indulging your sweet tooth with authentic Belgian chocolates.

Your three-day French foray will be spent on the River Seine, taking in glorious countryside scenes during hours of daytime cruising along this beautiful waterway, and enjoying time ashore in two charming cities situated on the river’s banks. After your first journey along the Seine, a full-day in Rouen affords you time to immerse yourself in the rich heritage of this picturesque city. Among many exciting options, there are chances to learn of Rouen’s links to Joan of Arc at Place du Vieux Marché, where the ‘Heroine of France’ was burnt at the stake, and marvel at the magnificent Gothic-style Cathédrale de Notre Dame. Alternatively, you could tour to Claude Monet House and Gardens, or even take a trip to the landmark-laden French capital, Paris. A cruise back along the Seine brings you to Honfleur, with its 16th century streets, distinctive architecture and pretty Vieux Bassin historic maritime district. Again, you’ll have time to explore this city in depth, or simply watch the world go by at one of the quaint cafés. The iconic Bayeux Tapestry is within reach on tour from Honfleur too.

Highlights of this cruise:

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Golden Age canals lined with elegant merchant homes is the familiar backdrop for the Netherlands's historic capital, Amsterdam. Established in the 17th century with the construction of the River Amstel dam, this celebrated port offers everything from treasure-packed museums and antiquarian bookshops to chic boutiques and convivial cafés. Equally, art is never far away in this hub of uber-creative design. One noticeable thing about the city is that, some 150 years after its industrial heyday, Amsterdam is once again awash with producers.

Amsterdam has some 40 museums, and the Museum Quarter boasts three of the most famous: the Rijksmuseum has paintings from Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals; the Van Gogh Museum; and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, displays work from Manet to Picasso. The Anne Frankhuis where Anne Frank and her family hid from German troops during the World War II, is an experience many visitors seek.

Whether on boat or bike - there are more bikes than permanent residents - exploration of the city is relatively straightforward, and a tour of the Canal Ring district, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is not to be missed. Seemingly stuck in the 17th century, the district has been recognised for its unique cultural and historical values, and is home to many exclusive gabled facades and their celebrity owners.

Antwerp, Belguim
Belgium’s charming, medieval city of Antwerp is the country’s biggest port and often recognised as its capital of cool. It has proved an alluring city for centuries, attracting lovers of art, fashion and, of course, diamonds – over 80% of the world's rough diamonds pass through the city's famous diamond district at some point or other. Renowned for its charm and sparkle, Antwerp was one of Europe’s principle cities in the mid-16th century and has maintained the essence of its medieval past, despite severe bombing during World War II.

A riverside fortress and numerous intriguing cobbled streets are overshadowed by the 123m high tower of the imposing Cathedral of Our Lady, the biggest church in Benelux. Its construction started in 1352 on the site of a 10th century chapel, but like many medieval religious buildings, it took several centuries to complete.

The cathedral interior has four altarpieces by Peter Paul Rubens – a true legend of baroque painting. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is dedicated to this local celebrity, and houses many of his finest works, along with those of other Flemish masters. There are more than 20 other museums in the city, and other attractions to this cultural gem of a city include a vibrant fashion and entertainment scene, a robust café culture, excellent shops and delightful parks and gardens. Fine dining is also on the menu, and one of Antwerp's most dramatic restaurant, The Jane, brings it all together with a slice of rock and roll.

Rouen, France
The ‘City of a Hundred Bells’, Rouen, is capital of the French region of Normandy. This 2,000-year-old port city on the River Seine, important in Roman times and the Middle Ages, is a unique city rich with monuments and museums.

Rouen’s narrow pedestrianised streets lined with tall, half-timber houses and a statue marking the spot where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, is a pointer to the city’s dark history. Devastated by fire, the plague and bombs in the past, modern Rouen is now a vibrant cultural centre, and one of Normandy’s most engaging destinations.

The skyline is dominated by the spires of Cathédrale Notre-Dame, much-painted by Claude Monet. The Gothic churches of Saint-Maclou and Saint-Ouen are also must-see attractions, two of the best examples of gothic architecture in France and a important part of Rouen’s history.

The city's beautiful botanical garden – Jardin de Plantes de Rouen, is also worth a visit. Its 600 different plant species and various gardens, including a rock garden, rose garden and a garden full of medicinal plants, are a joy to wander through.